11 February, 2018

REVIEW: ORIGIN by Dan Brown


Title: Origin
Author:  Dan Brown
Series: Robert Langdon #5
Genres: Suspense, Thriller
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Release: October 3rd, 2017
Source: Hardcover (Spanish Edition)
Pages: 461

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BLURB: Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum in 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.

EXPECTATIONS: Listen, Dan Brown's books are my guilty pleasure. They always follow the same script but I always like them. There's no point in having expectations if you know how the story script will go and knowing you will like it anyway so...

THE WORLD: Our normal world but not so boring... there are always conspiracies going on. In this book the plot takes place in Bilbao and Barcelona (Spain). You have no idea how happy I was reading about my country and the places where I've been (Bilbao) and I want to visit (Barcelona). Oh, I should mention that although it's set in Spain the things written about the Royal Family are fictional!

CHARACTERS: The main character is, of course, our beloved Robert Langdon. A professor at Harvard University in his mid 40s who loves swimming, religion/art, and codes/enigmas. We have Edmond Kirsch, the genius scientist in this book, and Ambra Vidal, the pretty but helpful female sidekick (sigh, it's always the same way). Then we have the fictional Royal Family specially the prince soon-to-be-king, JuliƔn, and the family's good friend bishop Antonio Valdespino. There's also a very special character called Winston. I won't say more but he's very special hehe have that in mind.

ROMANCE: No romance. Not explicitly at least but there are romantic couples mentioned. Just not important for the plot so you just glance over the phrase and move on.

GOOD: Where do I start? This book focuses much more on science, as opposed to religion, than some of his past books. The plot is about how this one scientific discovery would shake the basis of all major religions in the world but there aren't that many symbols and things mentioned about religion itself so, as a scientist, I was very happy with the spotlight on science.

Let me talk a bit about the ending... it wasn't memorable. There, I said it. It's definitely not one of his best endings BUT I actually liked the simplicity of it because it made sense. I was expecting something else because of his past endings and when this one was so... simple, I felt a bit disappointed but then it really made sense so I can't be mad. I like it.

I also liked all the information about Spain. Half are fictional because he couldn't possibly use the truth for such a book but the other half was accurate and well-researched. Lastly, the science. In the book is more advanced that what it really is nowadays but it wasn't complete bollocks either. It had its basis so I really enjoyed reading about it.

BAD: If I really thought about it I could come up with something for sure; writing, always the same plot structure, the ending, etc. but when I think about those things I realize that a) I don't mind average writing as long as it's not dreadful and I like Dan Brown's style of writing b) Plot structures are always the same but I like them and because he comes out with a book every 3 years or so it never becomes overwhelming or too boring c) The endings are always a success or a failure in whatever mission there was going on but no matter what there is always a moral message behind it and I like that.

Conclusion: there was nothing bad because I like, or don't mind, those pitfalls.

OVERALL: 5 stars. What can I say? I love Dan Brown's books not because they're the best or the most controversial but because his combination of fictional and well-researched information makes you think. He always adds that air of mystery and conspiracy into his books that stimulates your critical thinking and imagination. This book wasn't the exception. 


What do you think about ORIGIN?


 

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