Book Review: Origin (Robert Langdon #5) – Dan Brown

2 stars

Title: Origin
Author: Dan Brown
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Release date: October 3rd 2017
Genre: Mystery


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.


Normally, I’m a very big Dan Brown fan. I love the riddles in his books and all the little art facts are amazing. Sadly, I’m not a fan of Origin at all. The first part of the book was actually really boring. If you read the back of the book, that’s all the info you get from the first 30%.

I am such a fan of Brown’s books because of all the symbolism and art. This book felt like it had much less of all that. Maybe it’s just because of the subject, the battle between science and religion, it just isn’t that interesting to me. There also was much less of a riddle to the solution than there normally is.

It was the first time in this series that I really noticed how naïve and unthinking Robert Langdon acts. He jumps headfirst into every adventure and after all the trouble he went through in the first 4 books you should think he stops for 5 seconds and assesses the situation for his own safety. He really doesn’t think about the consequences his actions my have on his own live and health. He still is the same person as in Angels and Demons and character development is almost none existing. I have to say that this lack of development starts to feel strange after 5 books to say the least.

I also wasn’t a fan of the whole science versus faith battle that’s going on. Edmond Kirsch, the very brilliant scientist in this book wasn’t a very lovable character to say the least. Of course it’s just a story, but he was so narrow minded. His opinion basically was: If you believe in God, you’re stupid. There were some good arguments from the religion side in this book. But the science side felt like extremely narrow minded.

Obviously I’m not going to spoil anything about the discovery that was made, but it just fell a bit flat for me. I wasn’t really expecting to be wowed from the beginning to be honest. The farther we got into the story the more it seemed unlikely that the question where do we come from and were are we going could be answered in an exiting way by an fictional scientist.

Overall, not a bad book but I think it’s just the least good book Dan Brown has written so far.


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