This is new for me. A Dan Brown that I have not read yet. Of course, that is what Langdon-A-Thon is all about. Discovering things. Like Robert Langdon. Whatever, I tried and intros are hard.
I remember being super pumped for this book for YEARS before this came out. Remember, I read The Da Vinci Code in 8th grade, so I was 13. This one was released in 2009, which was my Senior year of high school. There was quite a bit of time between these two books. When I was a Freshman, I was in a graphic design class. We had to make a calendar and put, like, 30 important dates on there: birthdays, holidays, stuff like that. I remember putting the release date for The Solomon Key on my calendar and that was in 2007. This was what the book was called before The Lost Symbol. Like I said, I WAS OBSESSED WITH DAN BROWN. I have no clue why, but I was.
(Also, on this calendar, we got to choose the theme of the calendar and I chose The Nightmare Before Christmas because that was another of my obsessions. This was an actual picture I used. It’s just a few buttons! What was I thinking? And yes, I just did a Google Image Search and grabbed pictures without adhering to copyright.)
Flash forward to 2009 and the book comes out. After being Brown-less for two years, I lost interest and did not read it. I know, I’m a bad Dan Brown fan.
I really had no idea what to expect from this book. A lot of people said it was just a National Treasure knock-off, as if that would dissuade me from reading it. Well, there are quite a few similarities to the movie, that’s for sure, but it isn’t a wholesale rip-off.
Set in Washington, D.C., Robert “The Dolphin” Langdon (That nickname is only mentioned, like, once in Angels & Demons, but I can’t get over that) is called by an old friend, Peter Solomon, to give a speech at the Smithsonian. But, things are not as they seem in the nation’s capitol. A tattooed man named Mal’akh has plans for Langdon and Solomon. He is looking for the secret and sacred Masonic Pyramid, alleged map to the Ancient Mysteries that will enlighten mankind to that of the Gods. Upon Langdon’s arrival to the Capitol Building, he finds Peter Solomon’s severed right hand, tattooed to create the mythical “Hand of Mysteries” and the journey begins. Of course, the CIA gets involved and he becomes America’s Most Wanted again.
That’s just a baseline for the mystery, but it follows a similar plot structure as the other books. Langdon gets called to place, he meets a girl and solves puzzle, girl is cute, he can’t do anything without girl (but solves puzzle), killer takes girl, Langdon solves puzzles, Langdon gets girl back while solving more puzzles, all is revealed at the end (with more puzzles).
This one, however, didn’t get me like the other ones. I felt like there wasn’t any real danger. Katherine wasn’t as badass as the other girls in this series. She was just kind of there and I didn’t like that. Brown does a decent job of writing female characters with agency and Katherine didn’t really have any.
ALSO, CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW LANGDON THOUGHT HE DIED IN A DEPRIVATION TANK? What a terrible cop-out, Dan. That made me so upset. I feel like he doesn’t normally rely on crappy fake-outs like that. I expect better from you.
Anyway, next month is Inferno and I am very excited. I guess you could say I’m… Hella excited. I’ll see myself out.