Book Review: ORIGIN, by Dan Brown

In 2003, I remember Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code’s big release. It was met with immediate outrage. Churches opposed it. There were conspiracy theories, and accusations of blasphemy. The hype tsunamied across media outlets (this was a year before Facebook was even invented, and three years before Twitter struck).  So naturally, everyone was reading it. Wonderful, wonderful news for Dan Brown. He had written a book that demanded Controversy!

I tried reading it. The chapters were so long, and dry, and I didn’t understand half what I was reading –or better put– I just didn’t care. The story did not hold my interest.

Then the movies started coming out, and I loved them. But I never went back and re-tried the books.

Until Origin. I bought a copy when it was released. I then proceeded to read it in three sittings. I devoured the book. Perhaps it is because of my love for the movies that I suddenly enjoyed Dan Brown’s writing, or because of that love that I gave Brown a much more worthwhile chance this go-around. Regardless, I am glad I did. I found the writing so engaging, and instead of reading with the need for a thesaurus beside me, my computer and Google were used most often. I had to look up painters, and sculptors, architects, and locations . . . and I had so much fun following maps on Google while I read! (This, in case you hadn’t realized, is NOT sarcasm. I am being dead, dead serious)!

Origin is the 5th Robert Langdon thriller (and I assure you, I will go back and read the other four).

Symbologist, Robert Langdon finds himself invited to a most unusual event. One of his former students is set to make a public announcement that will rock the world’s foundation to the core. Edmund Kirsch has discovered the answer to two of the oldest questions around. Where do we come from? Where are we going?

His revelation is bound to tear the fabric of religions to shreds. The known atheist has battled his life to prove that science is what is behind all of creation, and the believing in God is pure foolishness. If Kirsch’s discovery is a world-altering as the man is claiming, then the religious leaders around the globe have every right to … want him dead before the announcement is made!

In a riveting, non-stop thriller, Langdon and Ambra Vidal team up after an assassination to uncover Edmund Kirsch’s discovery and share it with the world. Forces are against them. The Royal Navy, the Palmarian Catholic Church, and quite possible religious leaders from every faith and background! With considerable help and guidance from an artificially intelligent being, (Winston), maybe Langdon and Vidal will live long enough to show the world what Kirsch had uncovered!

As a side note, the actual answers to the two major questions )Where do we come from? Where are we going?) are given, as part of the book’s climax, and while they are . . . interesting, they are neither mind-blowing, nor earth shattering (and yes, I know this is just fiction). But I do see how, if ever proven as true, they could be earth shattering, and mind-blowing. (The one question that was left unanswered, and continues to go unanswered is the same . . . which disproves science’s vice-like grip on creation . . . but that is neither here, nor there).

Origin was absolute fun. I find I am now a Dan Brown fan! While I am most familiar with Langdon (as portrayed by Tom Hanks) in the films, I believe this book can easily be read as a stand alone. So if you are not even familiar with Langdon as depicted by Tom Hanks, have no fear. You can read Origin, and never be the wiser!

Phillip Tomasso
Author of Absolute Zero
and Assassin’s Promise

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