The Lost Symbol is very similar to The Da Vinci Code. It's just a different city (Washington D.C. instead of Paris), a different girl (not a granddaughter but a sister this time), different secret society (The Freemasons) and a different creepy antagonist (not an albino). The entire book takes place over one busy night of reading symbols and breaking codes throughout D.C. so the story is definitely fast paced and exciting most of the time. Each short chapter ends with a cliffhanger which makes you need to continue.
By the amount of time it took me to finish The Lost Symbol,though, I would have to say that it didn't capture my interest quite as much as The Da Vinci Code. When I read it, I couldn't put the book down and read it over a couple days. This one took me a week. It was, however, interesting enough to keep reading to the end. The history of the Freemasons and the founding of our country was compelling. I love conspiracy theories and reading about secret societies so that part was fun.
Yes, the book is formulaic and yes, I figured out the bad guy's secret pretty early on but it was still fun to read and see if I was right.