Our origins, a possible future
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