Where do we come from?
Where are we going?
They're the quintessential questions of the universe. Do you believe the creation story? Or do you believe the universe came together through scientific forces and we, as humans, simply evolved?
These are the questions in Dan Brown's newest novel Origin and the questions that drive his predictable, yet surprising, narrative.
If you've read more than one Dan Brown book you know his basic formula. Robert Langdon finds himself thrust into danger and mystery, he's using accompanied by a smart, beautiful woman and there are religious undertones. Or overtones. Tones. And, while I've read all of his books and sometimes roll my eyes at the predictable nature of what he writes, he always sucks me in.
Origin was no different.
I preordered this book and I think had it delivered and finished before most of the world even knew it existed. I wanted something to keep me interested page after page and I knew this would do the trick. With short, mini-cliff-hanger chapters, 456 pages flew by.
What always makes Brown's books interesting to me is the amount of historical research and setting as character. This book is set in Spain and his descriptions of historic and religious landmarks had me reaching for my phone on multiple occasions to get a true image of the incredible settings he described. I learned some things here, which is always a nice bonus. And, I was thoroughly entertained.
The book describes a Steve Jobs-like character about to make an announcement he promises (fears) will change the world. The announcement purports to answer those fundamental questions - where do we come from, where are we going - in ways that could upend religious and shake the faithful. And, as his announcement gets closer, someone is so determined to stop it, they'll stop at nothing to prevent it.
The book moves fast. It has just enough mystery and just enough twists to reward you.
Should you read it? If you like Dan Brown's other books, yeah. For sure. Don't expect a departure from style and substance. I mean, the man has sold more than 200 copies, why change up the formula now?