📚 Origin by Dan Brown

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Robert Langdon, Book 5

Goodreads⎮Reviewed Oct. 2017

Narrator: Paul Michael

Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
Publisher: Random House Audio⎮2017

Synopsis: Where do we come from?

Where are we going?

The stunningly inventive new novel from the world’s most popular thriller writer.

Bilbao, Spain

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum 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 40-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.

Origin is Dan Brown’s most brilliant and entertaining novel to date.

Dan Brown is the author of numerous number one international best sellers, including The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, The Lost Symbol, Angels & Demons, Deception Point, and Digital Fortress.


4.5 ★ Audiobook⎮ Dan Brown is easily one of my top five favorite authors. His novels are consistently entertaining. Before beginning Origin, I was concerned that it wouldn’t be as enjoyable as his other novels. What if the magic was gone? What up my preferences had changed since hearing Inferno three years ago? Ten minutes into Origin, I knew I had nothing to worry about.

Origin’s premise was quite different from Brown’s previous work, which focuses on history and the past. In contrast, Origin shifts much of the focus to the future of humanity. Despite this difference, the overall tone of the book was the same. It was thrilling, adventurous, and majorly thought-provoking.

As Aristotle is credited with saying, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” This quote comes to mind every time I begin a new Dan Brown novel. Brown has an excellent way of making you question what you think you know. The thing being questioned is generally something regarded as being “untouchable”. In this case, it was theology and religion.

This is probably a good point to interject that those who consider themselves deeply religious should probably steer clear of Dan Brown and Origin. However, if you are able to entertain a thought without accepting it, Origin will push you to new limits.

Each time I finish a Dan Brown novel, I feel as though my eyes have been opened a little wider, simply by having entertained a new [and mindblowing] thought. The thoughts Brown presents are ones I’ll be entertaining for weeks to come. And my favorite thing about his work is the way in which he presents these ideas. In Origin, Brown discusses profoundly huge concepts, having to do with the beginning of the universe, and yet I’m able to understand them without holding a single physics degree. Out of everything Brown has ever thrown at me, I’m most amazed by his ability to communicate these things in such a completely unassuming manner.

Because of this, I was able to follow along beside Robert Langdon every step of the way. Hearing this audiobook was like watching an action packed film. In classic Robert Langdon style, the adventure was so full of suspense that I was practically biting my nails in anticipation of the next line. Langdon is an Indiana Jones-esque hero and I can’t get enough of him.

As far as ranking this Robert Langdon story in with the others, Origin is my fourth favorite installment in the series. I didn’t enjoy it as much as Angels and Demons, The da Vinci Code, or Inferno, but much more than The Lost Symbol. The futuristic focus of Origin was intriguing, but also rather frightening in an existential sort of way.

I recommend this to fans of the Robert Langdon series and those who enjoy his standalone novel Digital Fortress. As with each installment in the series, the Robert Langdon novels can be read alone or out of order. However, I still recommend starting with Angels and Demons, simply because I think it’s the best in the series.

Narration Review: This was my second audiobook from Narrator Paul Michael. I previously heard him narrate Inferno, which was one of my first audiobooks. It seems like Dan Brown has made it to Stephen King’s level regarding the quality of his narrators. Paul Michael is a fantastic performer. He performs the material. He doesn’t just read it. And his characterization skills are phenomenal. There were only a couple of women featured in this story, but Michael performed them with ease. He also mastered the heavily featured Spanish accent and even managed to play a convincing AI. Paul Michael’s storytelling ability kept me captivated as Dan Brown’s story played out seemingly in front of me. ♣︎

$ Available at Audiobooks.com and Audible/Amazon

 

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