Tuesday, March 27, 2018
BOOK REVIEW: ORIGIN by Dan Brown
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.
As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.
Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.
I'm a huge Dan Brown fan, and I couldn't wait to read the latest installment in the Robert Langdon (Da Vinci Code) series. And while I found Origin intriguing and enjoyable to read, it lacked the urgency and intensity of its predecessors. Don't get me wrong. Origin is great. But the mystery was simplistic in comparison to Brown's other titles. And the ending was a bit of a let down. Basically, not much happens. There are a couple of scenes where Langdon's life is in jeopardy, but mostly there is a whole lot of description of places and buildings (not unusual for a Brown book) and it takes way too long to get to the crux of the plot. Then when we're finally there...still very little actually happens. Has Dan Brown lost his edge? I hope not. Do I still recommend Origin? Of course. Just don't expect it to be anything like Angels & Demons.