Origin by Dan Brown: A Review
Having become used to Dan Brown’s writing from his blockbuster novels Inferno, The DaVinci Code and Digital Fortress, I was extremely happy to see his latest novel Origin pop into my Audible queue. Since I was finishing A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon at the time, I took my time in starting the audio version narrated by Paul Michael. If you’re tempted to add this novel to your must read list, but aren’t sure if the description strikes your fancy, then read on to see what I really think of it!
Without giving too much away , I can say that this novel is definitely not up to the caliber of Digital Fortress or Inferno! While Paul Michael’s narration is wonderful as usual, the pace of the story is super slow!! Since I didn’t have the actual book in front of me I couldn’t tell you how long Brown went on and on about a particular scene, but I swear he talked about the artwork in the museum for ages! This did not make me want to keep reading, and in fact, I would take breaks from it just so I wouldn’t fall asleep at work. The secret that Langdon worked so hard to reveal throughout the novel was extremely anticlimactic for me, and I was actually waiting for a bombshell to spring up towards the end. While the premise of Edmund Kirsch’s discovery is quite shocking, the story took wait too long to tell!
Robert Langdon– Everyone’s favorite symbologist returns in this novel, but I didn’t really feel that he was on his best game. In other Brown novels, Langdon is extremely enigmatic and almost too brilliant for the people he’s working with. Origin offers us a meeker version that doesn’t even have the option to romance the “leading lady” Ambra Vidal because of her current relationship status. These two were super boring together, and Langdon seemed to have to explain every little thing to her over and over again. Not my favorite depiction of this character, but I would watch the movie to see what Tom Hanks does with it (I have no idea if they’re making a movie, but I assume they would).
Ambra Vidal– Oh God! I really didn’t like this character at all! The difference between Ambra and Siena Brooks from Inferno is staggering! I’m not trying to say that Ambra is dumb, but she had no real depth to her, and did not add anything to the storyline. Her relationship with Prince Julian of Spain was weird from the get go, and I never felt that they actually loved each other. This is one lead that I’ll be happy not to see in the next book!
Edmund Kirsch– We don’t get to see a lot of Kirsch (for reasons I won’t say in fear of spoiling the story), but what we do see of him makes him one of the most enigmatic characters in the story. The fact that he isn’t featured all the time made me feel bummed while listening to it because I wanted to know more about him and see him interact more with Langdon.
All In All
By far Origin is my least favorite Dan Brown novel ever. It took me the longest to finish, and I was totally unsatisfied at the end of it. If you’ve read it then I would love to hear what you thought of Edmund’s “secret” at the end. Was it boring? Or mind-blowing? Since I’m a fan of Tom Hanks, then I’ll definitely watch Origin in film form, but I hope it actually translates to a better story on the big screen.