Book Review: Origin by Dan Brown

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When Origin, the fifth in the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown, was published last Fall, I couldn’t wait to read it. Unfortunately, I had several ARCS, giveaways, and commitments that forced me to hold off until just this week to read it – nearly 5 months of misery. I cried when my fellow readers published reviews and I couldn’t look at them. I kicked things when the book mocked me on the shelf. Then my wonderful blogger friends voted for this as the book they wanted me to read in February on my Book Bucket List! So I survived and made it my priority this week… in the end, it was a good read and I will always enjoy Brown’s style, plots and characters. I’m giving this one 3.5 out of 5 stars and will rate either a 3 or 4 on each of the book sites depending on their ratings meanings.

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The story is quite intriguing, as always. A man holds a press conference to reveal that he has found the answers we’ve all been searching for: (1) Where did we come from, and (2) Where are we going? It kicks off a series of events including his murder, the ire of many established world religions and the envy of historians and cultural icons. Langdon pairs up with the future Queen of Spain who runs the museum where the murder occurs, then they travel the country to discover all the answers.

The scenery, setting, and backgrounds are marvelous. Brown is highly adept at giving readers exactly as much as they need to picture the story without coloring it in too much… a few blurry edges for personal imagination. The sheer intensity of the research he must have done in the worlds of science, religious, museums, Spain and art is admirable. The volume of characters, the who is good versus who is evil balance, the red herrings, the small and large steps during the chases… all of these facts and the enveloped tone completely make this a 5 star read from those perspectives.

But then I started comparing it to his previous novels, to other works in this sub-genre and to his overall approach in telling the story. It fell short for me. There weren’t enough side stories. The characters were flatter than usual. I would love to have seen a bigger story about the Spanish royalty’s influence and history (other than Franco) in regard to science, evolution and romance. There were no scenes except a memory between the prince and his future consort, so I didn’t root for them. Langdon almost felt like a secondary character in the book. And the various sects of religious and military groups involved in the story seemed too fluid and/or disorganized in terms of the bigger picture. It made the story less interesting as I couldn’t really latch onto any specific character. Even Langdon had a minimal connection to the man who was murdered… despite being professor and student, we saw very little memories of a bond between them. Throw in a few conversations at a pub bonding over a theory, or an argument over the church, something to connect them for us in the present.

That said, I do enjoy these types of novels and there was enough to keep my interest. It just wasn’t a consistent page-turner throughout the whole book. I’ll still read the next one. And I’ll always be in awe of the author’s intelligence, world knowledge and style.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
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31 thoughts on “Book Review: Origin by Dan Brown

    […] knocked the 9th entry off my Book Bucket List:  Origin by Dan Brown. You can see the review here. In its place, I’ve added The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor to round out the 12 options […]

    Liked by 2 people

    mistysbookspace said:
    February 15, 2018 at 6:23 PM

    I hate when you are expecting so much from a book and it ends up falling flat for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    theloyalbritwit said:
    February 15, 2018 at 6:51 PM

    I tried to read this in December I think. I’ve never read Dan Brown and a coworker recommended it. But let me clarify, I’ve been in a bit of a terrible reading spot and I just couldn’t get into this book. I believe I made it like five or six chapters in. And I got stuck. So I gave the book back. I wasn’t sure if it was just me or the book or a combination. But my coworker gave it a glowing recommendation. Yet hearing your review kind of makes me think my gut reaction was on point. What’s your favorite Dan Brown novel?

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      February 15, 2018 at 6:58 PM

      Da Vinci Code or Angels & Demons, hard to choose between them… this was his weakest definitely. you?

      Liked by 1 person

        theloyalbritwit said:
        February 15, 2018 at 7:36 PM

        I’ll have to give those two a try then. This was my first foray into Brown. I’m into crime novels and mysteries but it’s a new genre for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        Aislynn d'Merricksson said:
        February 16, 2018 at 2:27 AM

        Angels and Demons is still my most favourite. I’ve not read Origins yet, though.

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        February 16, 2018 at 7:36 AM

        I agree on Angels… Origin is definitely not as good, but still has a compelling storyline.

        Like

    Hasanthi Navaratne said:
    February 15, 2018 at 7:40 PM

    Great review!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    The Cozy Pages said:
    February 15, 2018 at 9:21 PM

    They can’t all be the biggest hits. That said, I also simply enjoy his style and knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

    Lashaan (Bookidote) said:
    February 15, 2018 at 9:41 PM

    Dan Brown’s books often seem to get a lot of hate, yet when I started to blog and read a lot, I assumed that it was a super popular and super good series. I now own the first 4 books but have yet to start them! I’m glad to hear you’re a fan of his though and that Origin was a pretty decent one, if not his best work! Great review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      February 15, 2018 at 10:17 PM

      You must read one! Probably angels/demons or da Vinci code are best m! Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

    Aislynn d'Merricksson said:
    February 16, 2018 at 2:28 AM

    Lovely review! Sorry to hear it wasn’t up to par 😦 I have it, but not got around to it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    Book Club Mom said:
    February 16, 2018 at 7:53 AM

    I’ve read 2 Dan Brown books. The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. He is such a smart writer. I enjoyed both of them!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      February 16, 2018 at 7:55 AM

      Hi! Those are my two favorite, and probably the best well-written. Glad you enjoyed them, too.

      Like

    Nicole (Read. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.) said:
    February 16, 2018 at 12:41 PM

    Great review! I’ve been finding that although I love the types of books Brown writes, the more recent ones have fallen a bit flat for me. Not sure if I should read this now or not. 😕

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      February 16, 2018 at 1:15 PM

      I agree…. the reasons I loved A&D and Da Vinci Code were missing from Origin. It was a good read, but not a thriller with tons of twists and nail-biting suspense

      Liked by 1 person

    dtills said:
    February 16, 2018 at 4:09 PM

    I think I liked this one a little more than you did. I particularly connected to the human evolution side bar, as small as it was! I am interested in visiting Barcelona now! Brown really sucked me into the setting 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Rae Longest said:
    February 27, 2018 at 3:38 PM

    Probably too strong on plot and a bit to weak on characterization to interest me!

    Liked by 2 people

    Rae Longest said:
    February 27, 2018 at 3:44 PM

    For me, characters make or break a novel. That’s why I so enjoyed Watching Glass Shatter, your novel.

    Liked by 2 people

    Priyasha said:
    March 30, 2018 at 2:19 AM

    Great review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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