“Origin” – Dan Brown (book review)

“Fear nothing but to waste the present moment.” – Dan Brown (Origin)

This book came out almost two months ago and I didn’t even know about it. About a month ago, I randomly walked into Barnes & Noble as I was in the area and as soon as I saw it standing just in front of the door, I grabbed one and felt excited.

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I started reading it, but unfortunately didn’t have a lot of time in the beginning, so at about 30 pages into the book, I stopped. I picked it about a week and a half later and I managed to finish it in two weeks and as always, the journey has been memorable and non-stop exciting.

I don’t know whether it is the American version of the book, or whether I have matured as a reader, or whether Dan Brown decided to write it differently, but Origin felt the easiest of his books by far. Everything was plain and straightforward, apart from some unknown words here and there, as one for who English is not the native language would find, but overall I didn’t struggle to understand the meaning and savor the brilliancy in Brown’s way of writing.

As always, in his Brown’s Langdon series books, Robert is somehow invited to an extraordinary event, or gets there one way or another, and is accompanied by a strong, female character, in this case Ambra Vidal, who is one the richest characters, second only to Sienna Brooks from Inferno, Vidal being tied to the royalty family, their romance story with the future king being both beautiful and funny and the same time. Edmond Kirsch, which is a type of an usual character in Brown’s books, who is a genius scientist and somehow triggers or thinks out a way to change the world, to the worst, or it apparently is so in the beginning.

For me Brown’s books are more about learning about real life secrets, locations, symbols and different meanings that I’m not aware of. Origin was mostly set in Barcelona although major parts of the action were spread throughout other cities in Spain,  Barcelona is the only city in Spain which I was fortunate enough to have visited. Because I was young at that time, I didn’t pay attention too much at it’s stunning architecture and structure, but I do remember La Sagrada Familia which at that time for me was nothing more than a scary, dark and immense church, having seen it from a close range. I didn’t get the chance to get inside it, at that time, and that is why I’m grateful for the books written by Dan Brown. His rich detailed desciption of places, alongside with google images helped me visit inside La Sagrada Familia, at least in my mind. That goes for many other places as well, which I could just google and look at pictures, and imagine all the action in my mind.

Also, books for me are about imagination and information. Langdon for me does not look anything like Tom Hanks, and honestly I really think he does not fit this character, at all. Brown’s description of Robert Langdon created a completely different image in my mind, one which I have enjoyed in the four books I’ve read, starring him.

Dan Brown is brilliant in the way that he uses modern technology in his books as few people could even think of. Have a computer character aiding the main protagonist along the way? It just made my soul smile. Also, like I said, this book stands out from the others in the way that it is much more action-packed. Description of different places, important history events that have influenced the present day in the book in one way or another are present, however for me it feels Dan Brown has mastered the length of it. Gone are three-four page chapters of endless description of places and people and countless history events.

The outcome, just like in the other three books having Langdon as protagonist that I have read, has been mind-boggling but not in any way life-changing. It’s like a fun and exciting journey that eventually gets you to a place where does not meet expectations. When you get there, you assess the situation, make your conclusions and that’s it. It’s not like it completely changes you and gives you radical thoughts like staying at that destination for the rest of your life.

To conclude, Dan Brown’s Origin is a must-read whether you are acquainted with Langdon or not, however, I do recommend starting with Inferno, as it in my opinion introduces Robert to the readers better than any other of his books, and this is important for a better understanding and imagination of the story.

The other books featuring Robert Langdon that I’ve read over the years are: InfernoAngels & Demons, and The Lost SymbolOrigin, as I’ve mentioned before, is his best one yet, the characters being richer and liver, the story being more polished and the places better researched than ever.

I’ve enjoyed it right from the beginning all the way until the end, and it ignited in me a big wish of reading more books and surely enough, the second day after I have finished reading it, I found myself at Barnes and Noble yet again where I bought four more books, one of which I already have started reading.

“Despise chaos, create order.” – Dan Brown (Origin)

 

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