By: Dan Brown
My Rating: Four out of Five Stars
Best for: 16 and up
You’ve read one Dan Brown, you’ve read them all.
Good thing for him…it works over and over again!
I actually enjoyed Origin a lot more than I initially thought I would. There is much less of MC Robert Langdon solving mysteries using art and code and hidden messages than there is in other Dan Brown books, and that’s kind of a bummer. For the first 30% or 40% I was feeling down on the whole thing. If we’re not looking at Renaissance art and discovering the artist had left hidden messages that people have been looking at for years with out realizing they were there, what’s the fun of a Dan Brown book?
Turns out the fun this time is a little bit more…modern.
Instead of Renaissance art, this book shows off Modern art. Instead of code breaking, it’s figuring out computer passwords. Instead of Robert Langdon’s knowledge, it’s the worlds most advanced Artificial Intelligence. On the surface, Origin felt different and unexpected. Once I caught on, I found the same tried and true Dan-Brown formula, and I was pleased in the end.
The biggest win for me, though, were the two main themes that drove the plot:
1st: The fascinating science vs. religion debate on who answers these golden questions best: Where did we come from? Where are we going?
2nd: What is the appropriate role of technology in our lives? Are we going to far? Do the pro’s outweigh the cons? Are we on our way to becoming less human because of our reliance on technology…or is it making us better?
The journey to the big reveal in the end started to drag a bit (also typical of a Dan Brown book), but the climax was worth the build up. I especially loved the surprise twist at the end that I saw coming but still enjoyed anyway.
As with all Dan Brown’s, keep your smart phone nearby while you read…you’ll be Googling like crazy to see pictures of the real life buildings and works of art he incorporates into the story.
There are a couple f-words and an instance of violence, but the slow pacing is the bigger reason I recommend Origin for ages 16 and up.