Robert Langdon is a well known character in pop culture. Ever since The Da Vince Code became an international Best seller, Dan Brown has written only Robert Langdon. His latest, Origin explores two intriguing questions
- Where did we come from?
- Where are we going
What I Liked about Origin
Dan Brown is a story teller who uses a writing style inspired from Jeffrey Archer – one with multiple threads and timelines being told parallels. Jeffrey Archer uses it to his advantage, revealing information to the reader at the right time. Dan Brown achieved this very well in The Da Vinci code and has used it in Origin as well. Personally, I like this style. This has allowed him to share seemingly trivial detail that becomes important later on. For example – the story about Edmund’s mother’s suicide. His language is simple and book is easy to read. [Spoiler Alert!! Skip to next section if you haven’t read the book] Lastly, the thing I liked is that he ends it on an optimistic note. He describes a utopian future that may not be far removed from reality.
What I did not Like about Origin
Now this is not a strong dislike.Origin does not folllow the usual Dan Brown template. For one, the murder happens in the tenth chapter or so. There is a huge build up leading to that event. Second, identity of the murderer is not even a mystery. We know who killed and how. The why also is revealed gradually as the book moves along. The mystery here really is the supposed answers to the questions cited above. The reveal in the end is a bit anti-climatic and not as sensational as they are made out to be. Maybe to someone who feels strongly about the subject, it is radical. To me, it felt underwhelming. Third, the female protagonist is just an accessory. The character of Ambra hardly contributed to the story. She seems to have been added so that there is a glam factor added when the movie gets made. The feminist in me did not like that!
Final Thoughts about Origin
Lastly, Origin is definitely better than Inferno, but does not match up to the biting suspense or high paced action of Angels and Demons. For Brown or Langdon loyalists, it is definitely a must read. For others, there are much better scientific thrillers out there that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Image courtesy: DanBrown.com