In Review: Origin

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Author: Dan Brown Publisher: Doubleday Books Year: 2017 Pages: 461


Since I read the Da Vinci Code 2 years ago I kept my eye on Dan Brown. Although at the time, I ended up not posting a review of the book, even though, I enjoy it more then I thought I would. When I heard that Dan was releasing another Robert Langon adventure I wasn’t particularly excited. I knew I would like the book but it wasn’t on the top of my list to buy. But then I read the first chapter on the WHSmith blog and it got me hooked. Despite the book taking place in Barcelona the first building, Langon visits is the Guggenheim Museum. It might not be a big deal for you, but the architect in me got really excited to have this book.

Robert Langdon is invited by his former student and friend, Edmond Kirch, to a private and very exclusive announcement that promises to change the world forever. The secret discovery by Kirch is going to be broadcast from the Guggenheim Museum to the entire world to see. Although things don’t go as planned and Kirch’s research can be lost forever. So is up to Robert and the museum director, Ambra Vidal, to unlock the secret and announce it to the world.

One of the things I most like about Dan’s books is his writing style. The books are generally quite big and it can be intimidating, but he writes in such simple way that a 12-year-old could read it – I’m exaggerating. This book and many others by Dan talk about topics that not everyone understands, although you understand what he writes. It’s like while reading a science book you get a ton of terminology that a “common human being” doesn’t understand, and Dan takes the information and transform it, in other words, to be more appealing and simple for the reader. After all his books are fiction their purpose is to entertain.

This actually leads me to my next point. When you read any book by Dan Brown there are two things that are guaranteed, the easy writing style, as I said before, and the learning you archive. Learning with a fictional book is possible and Dan does it better than anyone. You understand when is fiction and when are real facts. So every time I read a book from him, I know I’m going to learn something. With the Da Vinci Code was about the symbology in Da Vinci’s art and with the Origin was about Franco regiment and the creation of life. Obviously, both books expand much more than that but I would be here forever to name everything that is featured in his books.

I got pleasantly surprised and felt refreshed by the contemporary references. Just in the other day, I saw a video on Youtube about how a simple smartphone isn’t brought up on contemporary YA even though every teenager has one and spends a good amount of their day on it. And a simple detail as to talk about an Uber driver makes Origin seem more real. After all, it’s set in Spain in 2017 – or around it – and only the characters are fictional. So if you wanted to travel from Bilbao to Barcelona you would call an Uber instead of a taxi.

I got very excited to discover one of the mysteries around the middle of the book. I don’t think it’s predictable, but if you already read any Dan novel, if you think outside of the box, and search for something shocking you can get there. I actually took what I learn from Da Vinci Code to help me uncover the mystery. And I just want to brag a little since it’s not every day I guess the finally of a book. So let me have this moment. Oh, by the way, you don’t have only one secret, you have like 5 or 6 happening at the same time and they are kept from you until the end. Making this book a huge page turner.

This kind of book is great to read in a book club. It brings up so many conversation topics from religion to science and even technology, that is a waste not to talk about. At some points, I felt the need to stop and reflect on what I just read and what is my opinion on it. It really is a book that grabs you from the first page until the last.

Another great thing about this book is how culturally diverse it is. Although it’s set in Spain, you get characters from other parts of the globe. So you aren’t just reading an adventure of an American professor in Barcelona, the book takes you to Dubai and even Budapest. Although it doesn’t take much time has it takes in Spain – obviously – you still get out and have a glimpse of other cultures.

Since this book is the latest of the Rober Langdon series, I do wish that he got a romantic life already. He is always partnering with beautiful ladies that it must be hard to resist. Although since none of the characters come to follow him around on the other books you can start reading the series where ever you want. Obviously, there are details that are revealed about the character but they don’t matter for the story you are reading.

Therefore, if you haven’t read any Dan Brown book now is the chance. Start with this one and see what you think of it. Since we are so close to Christmas this is also the perfect gift for lovers of mystery and puzzles.


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