I'm not the biggest fan of Dan Brown, but generally I could at least find some entertainment value in his Robert Langdon books. The Lost Symbol, is a complete and utter disaster in just about every facet of it. For one thing, the writing is subpar at best. The plot is so utterly preposterous with holes the size of the craters on Mars. There was nothing remotely believable about it, both in the overall macro sense, but even in smaller micro details. The villain in this story doesn't in any way resemble a real human being. The writing was also repetitive. If I heard the phrase "As above, so below", or "the secret is in the order" again, I think I'm going to shoot somebody.
In this dreadful novel, Robert Langdon is drawn to Washington DC at the supposed request of his mentor Peter Solomon, who is the head of the Masons. He is actually being drawn out by the story's antagonist, who is trying to learn the Ancient Mysteries of the Masons that will unleash secret powers that will change humanity. He has Peter hostage, making Robert Langdon cooperate with him. Meanwhile, the CIA is also involved usually working against Langdon to stop this from happening, despite the fact that there was no mention of how the CIA could possibly have known about what was going on since the only people who knew were the villain, Langdon, and Peter Solomon. The CIA had to stop them as a matter of grave national security, but this grave national security turned out to be silly. Another thing that ate at my craw is that is utterly absurd that Peter Solomon could not have recognized who Molloch, the villain in the story. It's hard to describe how ridiculous the scenario was. Also, it's not believable that Molloch could have gone from a Turkish prison where he was drugged out, to not only becoming a Mason, but achieving their highest level in a period of about three years. I have never thought that a book could jump the shark, but this one did. It is disgraceful. Dan Brown must think his readers are a bunch of idiots to put out such garbage. Avoid this one.
Carl Alves - author of Blood Street