Reviewed by: Jennifer Chretien, Reference Librarian
Rating: 4 stars
Robert Langdon, famed symbologist, finds himself mysteriously summoned to an event by former student named Edmund Kirsch. Kirsch, a famed tech giant and renowned atheist, claims that he has discovered the answers to the two most elusive questions. The answers to “Where do we come from?” and “Where do we go from here?” will rock mankind and Kirsch wants Langdon there to witness it. When Kirsch winds up murdered, Langdon and museum director Ambra Vidal must piece together the clues Kirsch left behind.
OK folks! I have a confession to make: I don’t particularly care much for Dan Brown books. I don’t have anything against him per se, but I find a lot of his writing to be formulaic in a slightly pulpy way. He writes like he doesn’t read a lot of fiction, which is exactly who Dan Brown is! He has the most interesting theories and ideas, but can’t quite get his plot to measure up. In Origin, this somehow works.
Langdon is out of his element here with fewer elements of symbology and more modern art, and he doesn’t spend his time flirting with his sidekick; the fiancée of the Crown Prince of Spain. This, along with the introduction of an A.I. main character and a Spanish setting, gives Origin a less scripted feel. I also found the characters to be a lot more complex this time around.
Don’t get me wrong, Origin isn’t a great work of fiction, but that is not what Brown intended it to be. He uses current events and trending topics to make the book relevant to this moment in time. This usage of controversial current events allows the reader to experience the stress and urgency the characters are feeling because they are all over the news. The result is a fast-paced suspense that is a surprisingly great time. If you need something fun to combat the holiday blues, Origin is a fantastic distraction.