I have read all three of the Robert Langdon books by Dan Brown now. I actually read them in order, though not on purpose. I read Angels & Demons first because I was listening to books on my long commute to work, and The DaVinci Code wasn't available. I read TDC, in paper form, only in the past year. So, I decided to be on top of this third novel at it's publication. I listened to this as an audiobook... gotta love listening to books that keep your attention and make the horrible LA traffic a bit more bearable.
Although I marvel at Dan Brown's ability to tie facts together and make them into fiction, I did not love this book. I loved A&D, I liked TDC, and I thought The Lost Symbol was alright. Will I loan my CDs to a friend? Sure, it's a smart mystery and easy to listen to. However, I feel like the story got a tad hokey at the end and was perhaps a venue for Brown to evangelize his spiritual message (I'm gathering it's his spiritual message, because it's come across in the other two novels as well) rather than tie up the end of a thriller. I didn't much care for the outcome because I didn't feel the need for it. I also didn't fully experience the urgency and thrill of the story that I felt in his previous works, especially in the first in this series.
What I did keep thinking, however, was how very smart I believe Dan Brown is. The research that must go into his writing, and the puzzle that it is to piece it all together to not only make sense, but also an interesting novel, impresses me. Hats off to him for original and engaging story lines (as well as informative).
As with the previous two, this was a story unto itself and there is no need to read the entire series to understand it. If you are new to Dan Brown, I suggest Angels and Demons. I couldn't get enough of it and was sad when it was over. If you are a Dan Brown fan already, borrow The Lost Symbol from the library or a friend. It's worth the read, but not necessarily worth a spot on your bookshelf.
The Coconut Librarian