Dan Brown has done it again! Though this third novel in his Langdon series was over 500 pages long, I managed to warp through it in less than three days (on a weekend when the Chicago Bears were playing the Pittsburgh Steelers, no less!). While the previous two novels in the trilogy I found to be brilliant, both in style and plot, this third takes the prize for truly ingenious subject matter and theme. We should be used to submitting to Brown’s brilliance in forcing us to question our beliefs of religion and the constructs of history, but in The Lost Symbol, Brown somehow manages to make us question our own humanity – the true nature of our relationship with God. While, I admit to having been a bit turned off by some of the supernatural elements throughout the book (my academic sensibility, like Langdon, was continually butting heads with the plot of the story, but of course Brown made me realize the error of my ways within the last few pages of the novel), I was eventually brought around. Interestingly enough, I was about two-thirds of the way through with the book when I found myself discussing it with a co-worker, who has recently been delving into meditative and yogi practices. I distinctly recall saying that I was truly enjoying the book, but was a bit baffled by Brown’s leaning toward the magical/fantasy – and I stated that I hoped (or anticipated) Brown would reel me in again soon. He did. Superiourly. Brown is a master story-teller, a fantastic researcher, and a brilliant historian. After three incredibly well-done books, he finally managed to puddle my previously tickled brain and make me want to seek out Masonry.