Origin (2017) – Dan Brown

It’s been a while since I dove into a Dan Brown book. I do enjoy his Robert Langdon adventures, and I love how he takes elements from the real world, be it organizations, technology, art, architecture, religion, science and marry them into engaging popcorn thrill ride narratives.

Origin is no different, but also includes a wonderful message of hope. The events of the past novel, Inferno, aren’t mentioned, which seems to be a bit of a glaring error, but the rest of the tale works wonderfully, and demonstrates that Dan Brown is a master at creating a page-turner.

When symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to Spain, specifically the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum by one of his past students, he is intrigued. His student, Kirsch, has become a bit of a celebrity futurist with a well-publicized dislike for organized religion.

He is preparing to announce to the world a fantastic discovery that answers two of the questions that permeate the souls and minds of humanity since we first began to contemplate our existence… Where did we come from? Where are we going?

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Before Kirsch can reveal his announcement, he is publicly assassinated and Langdon and the museum’s director Ambra Vidal, the fiancee of the prince of Spain, find themselves on the run, enmeshed in conspiracy, driven and determined to discover Kirsch’s pre-recorded announcement, and release it to the world.

Brown continues to demonstrate his well-researched knowledge on art and literature, firing the reader’s imagination with the beautiful architecture of the locations he sets his adventures in, and honestly, I love the expanded illustrated editions of his books for this very reason.

Instead, as I read this one, I fired up Google images, exploring pictures of art, buildings and locations one after the other to gaze in wonder at the amazing things that surround us, and delight in how Brown weaves all of them into a fun narrative.

The heart of this tale is well-crafted, and walks the fine line between science and faith, delivering the options for both throughout the tale, even as some troubling things on both sides are revealed.

It had been awhile since I had read a Dan Brown book, and I forgot how much I enjoyed diving into his storytelling style – short quick chapters that seem to end with one cliffhanger after another.

There are supposed to be a few surprises and reveals in this book, but for the first time I saw them coming from a few miles away, knowing what was going on, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book.

I’ll look forward to his next novel with excitement!

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