Sunday, September 27, 2009

Catching Fire and Lost Symbol

If you are wanting to read these books and don't want to be spoiled, don't keep reading. I'm just saying....

So, I finished Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) and Dan Brown's Lost Symbol this week. It was a reading frenzy at my house, which my husband didn't 100% appreciate, but we got through it. I have thoughts on both of these books that I just have to get out.

First, Catching Fire. I loved this book, and was so excited to find out the story of what happened to Catniss once she got home from the Hunger Games. I was surprised about some of the events, particularly the brutality that the Capital started to show towards the districts as they started to rebel. I loved how it ended; Collins strings you along without a clue of what is coming down the pike; she is so talented at surprising you.

Here is my one criticism: Catniss kind of reminds me of Bella. I'm really, really trying hard to not allow her to, but I can't stop myself comparing them. The love triangle. The absence of caring what she looks like, or desire to decide on her own wedding dress. I don't want her to be Bella, I can't stand Bella, but the comparison has already been made in my head. It's the perpetual self-deprecation, the "who am I that so many boys love me?" quality, the way they are always targeted by people who in authority who want them dead. Am I the only one who sees this? Does it bug anyone else? I hope I don't ruin it for anyone else by saying this, but it just keeps creeping into the corners of my brain.

The Lost Symbol was not my favorite Dan Brown book. I was intrigued with the subject, and it's true I did little else for 2 days but read this book. But the foreknowledge of his formula for his books lessened the effectiveness of the reveals, which made me distrust the direction the book was taking. I learned a little, but was disappointed with the last 30 pages or so. He's already shown us Mal'akh's true identity, and his "reveal" that the word was the Bible wasn't really much of a reveal to me.

The real thing that bugged me was his insistence of writing a book that is so closely related to the subject of God and religion, but that insists that man is the glorious one, rather than God. Does that make sense? He kind of did the same thing in Da Vinci Code by saying that Jesus was less than divine, but here, in Lost Symbol, he stressed that man needs to have faith in himself, rather than God, to become divine. I understand sort of why he did it that way, but it goes against the grain of what I believe personally. The premise that man needs believe in the power in himself to become like God is backwards to how I think. I know I'm not making myself totally clear, I just disagreed with the end of the book, that man will become divine through himself. What is the point of faith in that situation?

I almost hate it when I have opinions like these, because I know one of you smart people out there is going to show me all the holes in my argument (but don't hesitate to do so; I need to be challenged!). I know my argument isn't totally thought out, so bear with me in my ignorance! If you saw things differently, if I'm missing something, tell me what you think. Especially if it's about the last few pages of Lost Symbol. I'm still forming thoughts....

But, these are my latest best-sellers I've plowed through. What did you think of them?


Amy Sorensen said...

lalalalalalala....not reading your post! My library friend is going to loan me her copy of Catching Fire so I don't have to wait for 18 months to read it. Only she keeps forgetting to bring it with her. Actually I just need to make a big Amazon order and call it good!

Jeanette said...

Aaaah good girl! teehee

Haven't read them yet, they are on my list though.

Catrina Bradley... said...

Commenting on The Lost Symbol - I agree with you that the theology is bad, but then again it's not a theology book. ;) I did see a glimmer of hope at the end (when I finally got through the last couple of needless chapters) that Katherine would be a strong witness of the real Truth to Robert. Oh, I also plowed through it in two days. Couldn't put it down.

(I skipped your review of the first book because I haven't read it yet.)