I was one of those people that drank the Davinci Code kool-aid. I loved that book, and watched all of the follow-up shows on History Channel and NatGeo about whether any of the "history" presented was true. Like many readers, The Davinci Code was the first Dan Brown book I read, and when I went back and read his earlier books, I assumed that the fact that I wasn't as crazy about them was because they were his earlier works. Obviously he was peaking with DaVinci Code, and anything that he wrote after was bound to be as amazing.
Well, not so much...I recently completed The Lost Symbol, and while it was enjoyable it didn't have the same draw for me. The setting of Washington, D.C. was interesting, but not nearly as engaging as the journey across Europe in The DaVinci Code. For the first half of the book I kept expecting Nic Cage to come in and start talking about something he found in his uncle's attic or something. While I appreciate that Dan Brown works hard researching all of the history behind his choice of artifacts, rituals, etc...I wonder if there is another way for him to give us that information that to have his main character expound on it during long monolgues...often standing over a dead body or while driving at breakneck speed through some section of DC. Seems like those might not be the times for a thoughtful discussions of Masonic history.
That said, I still enjoyed it. The history was fascinating, even if it was often explained at strange points in the story. The idea of Noetics really grabbed me. As an atheist I've always said that I see no empirical evidence proving the existence of anything "supernatural". If something like Noetic science can give me a scientific explanation for what seem like irrational beliefs then that would be something that could profoundly change my life. I'm not getting on the theist train just yet, but it was interesting enough that I plan to research on my own. For Dan Brown fans, this book will be enjoyable, I think, if something of a let down. If you've never read Dan Brown before, start at the beginning-this is not the best representation of his work.