Our ori­gins, a pos­si­ble fu­ture

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not to­tally lost; Kirsch had planned to make his an­nounce­ment in a pre-pre­pared mul­ti­me­dia pre­sen­ta­tion, which is kept on his own off­site server.

And thus a chase to fig­ure out Kirsch’s pass­word to the pre­sen­ta­tion and the site of his server is trig­gered, aided by the al­most all-know­ing Win­ston and com­pli­cated by the in­volve­ment of the Span­ish royal palace and the as­sas­sin chas­ing af­ter the in­trepid duo.

Ori­gin pretty much fol­lows the same for­mat that has made Brown a best­selling au­thor.

The writ­ing is fast-paced and filled with in­ter­est­ing bits of in­for­ma­tion, mostly re­volv­ing around the works of Span­ish Catalan ar­chi­tect An­to­nio Gaudi and var­i­ous the­o­ries about the ori­gin of life.

We also have the pair­ing of Lang­don with a “spec­tac­u­larly beau­ti­ful” wo­man who, while en­gaged to be the next queen of Spain, also has qualms about her royal fi­ance – ro­man­tic ten­sion, any­one?

To be hon­est, I was never quite con­vinced that the earth-shat­ter­ing rev­e­la­tion that would prove all the world’s reli­gions “dead wrong” would be quite worth the pay­off – and in­deed, my mind re­mained un­changed at the end of the book.

It per­haps didn’t help that the sce­nario on page 87 is al­most ex­actly sim­i­lar to Isaac Asi­mov’s short story The Last Ques­tion, which gave me a far more sat­is­fy­ing an­swer to the ques­tions posed in that story and this book.

It is prob­a­bly also be­cause the book is writ­ten very much from an athe­ist’s point of view, with re­li­gion mostly be­ing por­trayed as the bad guy. (Disclaimer: I’m a Chris­tian.)

There are also a cou­ple of plot­lines in­volv­ing the royal fam­ily that don’t re­ally seem to have much of a point in ad­vanc­ing the story, and should prob­a­bly have been left out.

My other point of con­tention is that the events of In­ferno are to­tally un­ad­dressed in this book, which seems a tad strange, con­sid­er­ing how far-reach­ing the im­pli­ca­tions are.

It was also rather amus­ing to read about the fic­tional con­tention of the rel­e­vancy of the Span­ish monar­chy in the cur­rent age, when the ac­tual cur­rent cri­sis fac­ing the coun­try right now is the Catalan dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence.

But, ad­mit­tedly, re­view­ing du­ties aside, I was still cu­ri­ous enough about Kirsch’s rev­e­la­tion to fin­ish Ori­gin.

Over­all, while Brown’s lat­est novel is a solid en­ter­tain­ing read – es­pe­cially for those in­ter­ested in the evo­lu­tion-ver­sus-cre­ation­ism de­bate – it is per­haps not quite up to par to its pre­de­ces­sors.

More art, sym­bol­ogy, and in­trigu­ing puz­zles in your next Lang­don book, please, Mr Brown.

De­spite the of­ten apoc­a­lyp­tic sub­ject mat­ter of many of his books, Brown re­mains an op­ti­mist in real life, he says. — AFP

Dan Brown Dou­ble­day, fic­tion

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