Thursday, April 15, 2010

#810 - The Lost Symbol

note: This entry will only be written in English

Warning : This Entry Might Contain Spoiler

About two weeks ago, I bought Dan Brown's newest novel, The Lost Symbol. Okay, it might not be that "new" because it was internationally released in September 2009, so it was like half year old. But I just had the opportunity to read it now (so yeah, poor me, hahaha). Anyway, I was really excited to (finally) read the novel, because I always like Dan Brown's style of writing, especially the two involving Robert Langdon, 'The DaVinci Code' (DVC) and 'Angels and Demons' (AnD). The latter is actually my most favorite novel of Dan Brown.

Well, I won't write the synopsis here since we can find it anywhere in the internet. Mainly, the mystery in this novel revolved around Freemasonry and also the (fictional) Solomon family.

::: The cover of the Indonesian version of The Lost Symbol.

However, this time, some mysteries were kinda really easy to solve (for the readers). I mean, it was kinda obvious that Mal'Akh was Zachary Solomon. Even though his real identity was kept secret until the late chapter of the novel, if we analyze the story a bit deeper, we can make a good guess in the middle of the novel that Mal'Akh was really likely to be Zachary. Why? Because somehow Dan Brown wanted us to believe that Mal'Akh was co-inmate of Zachary when he was jailed in Turkey and Mal'Akh was now after the Freemasonry's Secrets. The thing is that Dan Brown didn't specifically say Mal'Akh was the co-inmate. He just gave several statements which potentially could lead us to jump to conclusion (using false logic of course), that Mal'Akh was the co-inmate. However, if we thought about Mal'Akh's motives and way of thinking deeper, it was nearly impossible for someone who only knew Zachary for about 1 day to know that MUCH about the Solomon (including how to get through the Solomon's mansion gate, by finding a hidden key), and also the mysteries surrounding the Mason Pyramid. Okay, the latter still could be actually acquired if he did some extensive researches though. Another point, Mal'Akh seemed to possess a lot of money while he was in jail. Then, the co-inmate had been in jail longer than Zachary, why did he wait that "long" to bribe the prison warder to get out? He HAD the money! It all made sense if he was Zachary. Zachary was a rich boy! Also, Mal'Akh seemed to be too "concerned" for Zachary. I mean, if he wasn't Zachary, why would he be that mad to Peter for not bailing Zachary out from the prison? It was not his business at all. Those are why I concluded Mal'Akh was Zachary, when I was in the middle of the novel ;-)

Well, even so, Dan Brown was still really good. He created the thriller atmosphere; he knew when to spill the secrets a little, making the readers anxious about it, then jump to another scene, leaving the readers much more anxious. The mystery and thriller part was actually the best part of this novel. Reading his novel, people will keep turning pages, won't be able to stop (unless they are too tired and need some sleep or rest, LOL).

Dan Brown definitely made the main mysteries super intriguing, leaving people wondering how could Ancient Mysteries be a potential threat to the National Security? Well, as layer by layer (of mysteries) was revealed, it left me kinda a bit disappointed. Well, apparently I was expecting for something "bigger" and "unpredictable". Somehow, I felt that the mysteries was a bit too far-fetched. Still, the symbols and puzzles the characters needed to solve were still cool and enjoyable, though I don't think they were as complex as symbols and puzzles in DVC or AnD. They symbols and puzzles in this novel were kinda "too simple" for me.

Even though Dan Brown was really brilliant in most part of the book, in some parts the story was also really boring. In some parts, I felt like that I was in the middle of a lecture, reading serious papers or listening to a history or symbology professor giving a lecture; or that I was in a church, listening to a priest giving very deep and reflective contemplation. Some characters at some parts were like living encyclopedia or an old-wise hermit talking about how to interpret the bibles, that God is within ourselves and other things. The worst part was actually the closing, after Mal'Akh's death. To me, it was boring to hell. I literally couldn't wait until the last page of the book. I expected something better to close the novel.

Well, finally, even with those "flaws", I still enjoyed The Lost Symbol. I can't put it on my "most favorite" Dan Brown's novel though, Angels and Demons is still reigning that honorable place. The Lost Symbol was definitely much more interesting than Digital Fortress (DF), which I thought was the worst Dan Brown's novel. Somehow The Lost Symbol came neck to neck with Deception Point (DP). In fact, in some ways, the storyline of these two novels were similar! Anyway, I still think The Lost Symbol got a slight more points on term of better reading (than DP). That put this novel #3, behind AnD and DVC, but not that far behind from DVC.

So, yeah, another good and enjoyable novel from Dan Brown.

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