Not at all what I expected. Story was bland and characters were shallow. Forced myself to listen to the end even though I was not even engrossed enough to care how it ended. Not at all up to the level of his prior books.
Brown throws everything but (well, maybe everything including) the kitchen sink about Freemasons into this piece.
If the reader actually knows anything about American history and the history of groups, like this (See the excellent Occult America) you'll be about as bored as I was.
By the way, about the most interesting character is the villain, who was stolen almost as a piece from Stieg Larssen.
Sorry I didn't wait 'til next summer. It would have been almost acceptable beach reading.
How did this so-called book become a best seller? I forced myself to finish this drivel just to see to what degree an author can fall. It's like watching a train wreck: you can't really believe what's in front of you. Sad, sad, sad.
I was expecting a roller-coaster ride of a thriller. I was ready for my mind to expand, my pulse to race... All that. So with such high expectations, I dove in. And was sorely disappointed.
The book itself is standard Dan Brown fare - lots of historical details, intrigue, and of course, fiction. But the overall feel was that of an author producing a work because he had already spent the advance. Not inspired. Not groundbreaking. Not interesting. If anyone else had written this, I would have stopped reading (in this case listening) at several points in the book. I so hoped it would get better. Nope. It went the other way.
To make things worse, the narration sounded like a hair commercial. I am sure I have heard Paul Michael before - I think he narrated the safety video my airline shows at the beginning of flights. And then there were the edits - oh, the edits. Mr. Michael has a quality of voice that changes as he reads. Early in a recording his voice is deeper and more gravelly and softens as he reads. I assume he made some mistakes. Anybody would. But they apparently record the corrections at at different time than the passage that is being corrected, so when they edit in his updated bit, it is like introducing a whole new narrator. Distracting, to say the least.
So I would be listening, thinking how bad the story was, then the audio train would derail with a horrible edit, and I would think, "it can't get worse," and it would - so much worse, in fact that I wished I could return it. But you can't return it, so I would try to re-engage as Mr. Brown would be building up this huge dramatic bit about the hero being taken to a mysterious place, but he didn't now where he was being taken, and there was this huge buildup of tension prior to the reveal, but the problem is I KNEW WHERE HE WAS. It just isn't that well crafted.
There are a lot of GREAT books available on Audible. This is not one of them.
I guess this was OK. Frankly, rather predictable and transparent. I'm glad I didn't shell out full price for this, it was just barely worth one credit. Dampen down your expectations and you won't be disappointed. If you haven't figured out who the bad guy really is by halfway through, you're not paying attention.
Seriously, it really looks like Dan Brown is just trying to fill some pages with mindless and BORING religious and ancient crap that goes nowhere and doesn't add much to the story which itself is not that good.
By far the weakest of his books so far, we are very very far from Digital Fortress and DaVinci Code in terms of nail biting stories.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story up to the last hour or so. Once the "Lost Symbol" is revealed, the rest is ridiculous. (Didn't an Editor say STOP HERE?) After what those characters had been through they would've been with the authorities, at the hospital or in bed. Not doing what they do. I realize its fiction but Dan Brown pushed it too far. If he had made the final event happened a few days or weeks later it would have been much better.