Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Title: Decoding The Lost Symbol
Author: Simon Cox
Simon Cox is the author of Cracking
the DaVinci Code and, I must say, for any conspiracy theorist
like myself, these books are just a whole lot of fun. In
this expert guide to unveiling the facts behind the fiction, Mr. Cox
has artfully given us the answers to most of the questions in Dan
Brown's newest "ultimate-puzzle" book.
With each page of this informative guide I was met with explanations of everything from Freemasonry and the Great Pyramids, to the "real" story behind our now famous one dollar bill. My favorite sections included the one about Aleister Crowley. I've done a great deal of research on Crowley for one of my own books and, I must tell you, this man never ceases to amaze me. He was called everything from "The Beast" (by his own mother), to "The Wickedest Man in the World" (by almost everyone else.) However, Crowley, after inheriting his father's fortune at the age of twenty-one, entered the University of Cambridge. This guy was no dummy, let me tell you. He devoted his life to learning alchemy, magic, and the occult, and was once a part of the very secret and ancient organization called the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. This Order also claimed participants such as the poet, William Butler Yeats, and others high-up in their respective fields. Crowley's house still resides on the shores of Loch Ness. It's called Boleskine, and was the place where Crowley established his very own temple to practice the art of black magic. Crowley was very proud of the evil, satanic labels that were given to him during his lifetime, and anyone who would like to "see" inside the world and brain of this strange man should read Crowley's own book titled, Magick in Theory and Practice. This man was one of the strangest characters in creation, as far as I'm concerned. And, perhaps, not all that crazy.
The other section I was very fond of, was the one regarding the life of Sir Francis Bacon. He, too, is one of the characters I've been researching for a puzzle of my own. Mr. Bacon was thought in most circles to be the REAL Bard of Avon. People didn't really believe that a man who signed his name with a simple X, like William Shakespeare did at the beginning, could come up with the stories that he claimed to have written. Bacon was also the author of New Atlantis, which described a utopian version of society that our very own Founding Fathers believed in.
And, the funniest one? When I read in The Lost Symbol about the gargoyles that adorn the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., I was so taken aback by what Dan Brown had written that I rushed to my computer - to the wonderful world of Google - and looked up his fact. YES! Darth Vader IS one of the statues on top of it. Darth was the winner of a contest for "most evil being" and will now forever let generations to come, know that George Lucas was one of the well-known "creative minds" in these here United States of America.
The information on Freemasonry, itself, was incredibly interesting. I found myself wondering, after reading all the sections of this book that touched on Islam, Buddism, Judaism, Christianity - from astrological signs to Egyptian symbols - why we haven't all come together by now and stopped our ridiculous "religious" fighting? Literally, everything that has ever been a part of religion is based on the one that came before. Even with all the different ideas where "The Supreme Being" is concerned, the basis is the same. He, or, She - depending on your society and beliefs - are what brought us all together in the first place. If we could all somehow come to grips with the fact that, in the end, we're not so different from our neighbors, and grab on to the common thread that we're not alone - perhaps there would be no more need for our boys and girls to come home in boxes.
I look forward to the next Simon Cox "Unauthorized Guide" when the next strange and wonderful world is unleashed from Dan Brown's fantastic mind.