Author: Dan Brown
Published: October 3rd 2017
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Genres: Fiction, Action, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller
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.
Mrs R’s review:
It’s been a while since I spent time with Dan Brown. Like everyone else, I was enthralled by The DaVinci Code and I was a big fan of Angels and Demons too. I was excited that The Lost Symbol would take me to the U.S but the story ended up being one big mess that I couldn’t remember by the time I got to the end. After that I didn’t even bother with Inferno even though I enjoyed the movie. Then when I heard about Origin I thought why not? The usual Dan Brown formula is here with a beautiful woman helping Robert solve a mystery that involves science, religion and for the first time, technology. While I learnt a lot about religion through these books as I usually do, I also discovered the extent that science is being used to shed light on our origins. I was most interested in technology aspect though. Dan does a brilliant job of exploring how and where we are going as a species with many thought provoking ideas on AI.
For the fifth book, Robert Langdon finds himself in Barcelona, Spain (which makes a nice change from Italy) to hear the presentation of his good friend Edmond Kirch. Edmond is a futurist, presenting his findings at a museum on where humans have come from and where they will be going, to be streamed worldwide. Every good story needs a problem and the assassination of Edmond at a critical moment in his presentation is it. Both Robert and Ambra, museum director and future princess of Spain, are implicated in Edmond’s death. Once they evade authorities, it becomes Robert’s and Ambra’s mission to find Edmond’s killer so they can share his findings with the world.
Tom Hanks is who I see in my head now when I read about Robert. As a man in his 50’s he hasn’t changed much throughout the series. Intelligent yet old fashioned, he sometimes comes across as arrogant. I much preferred spending time with Ambra because she is not your typical woman. In her late 30’s/early 40’s, Ambra doesn’t play by the rules, especially the royal family’s. Her backstory of how she met the prince and how they came to be engaged certainly isn’t the stuff of fairy tales. It reminded me that not everything is as it seems and that the royal family is all about image. As a result of her engagement and being in the public eye, there was no romance between Ambra and Robert. While I don’t mind a little romance, there is no room for it here. What there was room for was many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and a mind-blowing ending that will make you think twice about the future.
With its fast pace and action, Origin makes for a thought provoking read and will make a great movie in the future.
Origin by Dan Brown was published on October 3rd 2017 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Origin, Dan Brown, visit here.