Origin by Dan Brown

origin dan brown

456 pages. 105 chapters, plus a prologue and epilogue. Dan Brown’s novels are never an easy feat. However, they are engaging and entertaining. I read Origin in just under two weeks, though I did have two four hour fights to make some real dents in the book.

Initial Thoughts

At first, I was intrigued by the novel taking place in Spain. Dan Brown’s novels always take place somewhere exciting…generally somewhere I haven’t been before. He’s so detailed that it can feel like you’re actually walking through the streets with the characters.

I remember reading the book jacket in a Kroger last fall. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by the promise of “an astonishing breakthrough – one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence”. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty disappointed in Origin.

Where is this going?

Dan Brown novels are fairly easy to read. The chapters are relatively short, and they generally switch between character P.O.V. so it makes it easy to read before bed. The majority of this story surrounds a millionaire intellectual prodigy named Edmond Kirsch claiming to have made a scientific discovery that will completely destroy any idea or foundation of religion across the world…not just Christianity or Islam, but every religion across the world. However, during his global, live presentation, something happens to interrupt the presentation.

The rest of the novel follows Robert Langdon and his token female accomplice, traveling through Spain to ensure that Kirsch’s discovery is released to the world. Seriously…7/8 of the novel is them following clues. About 2% is spent on the discovery itself. And the “villain” isn’t revealed until the very last chapter!

Why this wasn’t my favorite.

The other Dan Brown novels I’ve read follow art or history, making speculation and connections to continue the story. Origin dealt almost exclusively in science. There was talk of chemistry and biology and “primordial soup” and DNA and even mention of nucleotides. I got a little lost in this. I read to escape the tech world that I deal with every day, and this novel was just a continuation.

Where I’ll leave you.

I’m glad I read Origin. I’m always a fan of getting lost in Robert Langdon’s world. It makes me feel smarter for some reason, though I know the connections and basic premise are all (well researched) conspiracies. Will I go back to this one when I’m looking for an interim novel? Probably not. I save that for Inferno or The Lost Symbol.

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