Origin by Dan Brown

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.

Synopsis by Goodreads

What is it about Robert Langdon that makes you want to hop into a pool and swim laps? I mean, this man is well into his fifties and is the epitome of health. In the Langdon universe, he has been involved in FIVE scandalous (not to mention secretive) events where he damn near died in every single one. Whatever he’s doing, it’s working.

The same could be said of the attractive fifty-something, tweed jacket wearing author, Dan Brown. His Robert Langdon series has amassed a cult following of readers and non-readers alike. The naysayers like to criticize the series for being repetitive, though as an avid fan, I can see why. Robert Langdon always seems to get himself in over his head in a new city filled with, history, art, culture, and technology. Also, we mustn’t forget the gorgeous, brilliant brunette that typically accompanies these impromptu outings. Regardless, I still read each new story with ravishing hunger. Repetitive it may be, I enjoy the rhythm in a new city with new characters while Langdon remains the central point.

The fifth book in the Robert Langdon Series, Origin, was released October 3, 2017. Of course, I’m late to the game, typical. In my defense, I was knee deep in the terrible twos trying to desperately claw myself out of a very long and dark tunnel. I bought the book in 2017 intending to read it but alas, it sat on my shelf staring at me until I finally could crack the spine open.

With a satisfying sigh of relief, I began my journey with Robert Langdon in Bilbao.

Spoilers ahead!!

Before the presentation could begin, Edmond was shot and killed on camera. Robert, being informed seconds beforehand by Winston (the artificial intelligence built by Edmond) has been implicated in the shooting. After Ambra confesses her belief that her fiance, Don Julian is involved, they flee the Guggenheim with the intention of honoring Edmond by launching his presentation. But first, they must find the 47 letter password that unlocks the presentation on Edmonds phone. Meanwhile, in the royal palace, the prime suspect in Edmonds murder, Bishop Antonio Valdespino, has disappeared with Prince Julian… so begins the long night of running, hiding, gasping for breath, anticipation and murder.

It was a wild journey that I dearly enjoyed being part of. Early on, I suspected Winston then just as abruptly, I dismissed those feelings. Strangely enough, the point Brown was making regarding where are we going? fits extremely well with this dismissal. I dismissed my suspicion because, at times, I forgot that Winston is not an actual human character. He (it) was nothing but helpful to Robert and Ambra, it was truly awe-inspiring to see how a computer was honoring its late creator. Just as Edmond explained, I absorbed Winston, just as I’ve absorbed all of my electronics. I often found myself thinking of Winston as a person – it was always there when it needed to be. As I was not the only one to suspect Winston then dismiss it, I’d say that was a pretty classy writing job Mr. Brown.

I will admit, after meeting Winston and suspecting it, I still thought the Bishop murdered his friends. He wasn’t exactly friendly? SO much evidence was piled against the Bishop. I was pretty shocked at his confession later on.

Overall, I enjoyed Origin. I didn’t find it too predictable, cheesy or slow. It kept me on the edge of my seat and my attention glued to the book. Maybe it’s me or maybe I’m just fond of the Robert Langdon series.

Amanda

2 Replies to “Origin by Dan Brown”

  1. I loved this review of Origin. =) It makes me want to reread the book but I need to read Inferno first haha.

    1. Thank you! It was such a great book. Inferno was really, really good though too. Everyone was good except The Lost Symbol hahaha

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