Amongst the many problems with the book include such diverse elements as:
1. The CIA exceeds their authority to operate domestically. As a typical reader with no special knowledge of the CIA, I expect the CIA to have very little authority inside the borders of the USA. There are plenty of people crying out over government agencies abusing their authority, or the great potential for abusing their power, so a different agency should have been used.
2. In Angles & Demons, the threat and the motivation of the authorities dealing with the threat will very real, easy to understand, and clear cut.
In The DaVinci Code, the true threat and motivations were more abstract, but there were still multiple murders to investigate.
In The Lost Symbol, the threat and motivations are kept hidden too long. The leader of the CIA efforts to thwart the villains plans is prepared to bend or break any rules in order to succeed, without any explanation of why. Once the threat and motivations were made clear, I was not impressed by the severity of the supposed threat.
3. There are parts of the book that come very close to science fiction. The leading/bleeding edge technology might exist is some form, but not yet practical or safe to be used the way described in the book.
Very suspenseful, thought provoking and interesting. Somewhat long, with a few parts that could have been left out without losing anything. A typical Dan Brown mystery with many spiritual overtones and messages.
I read reviews that say its just another Dan Brown twist of the truth and theories; and so it is. But if you're on a long drive and want something easy to follow, not too deep, yet thoughtful at times, this is a good choice. I thought it was interesting and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a light read. If all you can do is criticize Dan Brown, then skip it.
I didn't have high hopes for this book, and was still disappointed. Very long and tedious, with detailed explanations about uninteresting bits of history and objects. It seems Dan Brown must have been paid by the word by this book, since he uses 5 of them whenever one will do, with a bonus for every ten adjectives. To make matters worse, the actual plot (such as it is) ends about 45 minutes before the actual book, a gap which Brown fills with goofy monologues and soul sucking banter between characters who have long lost interest in their own adventures, let alone what desire the reader may have had to continue to listen to their drivel.
Having enjoyed Dan Brown's other books, I looked forward to this title. What a disappointment- couldn't even complete it. So predictable, pedantic and uninspiring. You could tell he cranked this out just to make a boat payment or two. Nothing against the Masons, they are a great charitable organization, but this reads like some gigantic Masonic apologist tract, layered on one of the most formulaic books that I have read in a long time. Don't waste your time.
While the previous Da Vincy Code was an easy and exciting read, this is basically the same but much much slower paced - but also just bad writing. The narration is great, but that can't make up for the fact that this book is the book that Dan Brown should have left in the drawer as a draft. The plot is painfully obvious and sometimes the plot mechanics are embarrassingly placed to drive the story in a certain direction. The characters are not belivable and lacks depth. In short - get another audio book instead!
If you liked Angels & Demons, you might appreciate this Dan Brown novel, which offers the same sort of labrynthine mystery and mayhem but on American soil.
Whether you buy into the symbology/beliefs ascribed to the Free Masons in this book, the puzzle that Brown places in the nation's capital city is nonetheless fascinating.
I guess Dan Brown and his editors figured that if the DaVinci code worked, just take that, tweak it, repeat certain lines and paragraphs over and over, and Voila! One voice given to a specific character, was the most annoying and grating I've ever heard. The story doesn't even get interesting for FIVE HOURS and aside from a few good heartpounding moments, a is a total waste of time. This book made National Treasure look original. An extra star for a few tense moments and for being able to get so many people to buy this book.