I am—completely lost. Is it that I was outside of the intended demographic? Did key points miss me that would’ve enhanced the experience or am I a complete dolt? Those are my Origin-al feelings in a nutshell.
There isn’t a lot to explain with this book. It’s about the fictional life of Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconolgy, Tom Hanks Robert Langdon, and his fate-of-the-world-hanging-in-the-balance quests that take him on historical journeys to discover mysterious antagonists—who are almost always religious, or a part of some ancient cult/order that became obscured throughout the ages. I hope you see where I’m going with this.
Origin wasn’t very different from The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, and Angels & Demons. I’ll be honest, I’ve only read The Da Vinci Code and yes, it’s just the first book. Therefore, it’s not an indication that the others are, or aren’t, good. But it’s the main reason I looked forward to reading Origin. Based on summaries I read for the other prequels, their dynamic didn’t change much. I had enough enthusiasm though, to dive straight into Origin. Sadly, there isn’t much left for another sequel. Now—let’s summarize.
Origin starts off with Robert Langdon’s invitation by his former student, Edmond Kirsch, to witness the unveiling of a discovery that Kirsch claims will change the world. Kirsch is murdered however, right before the announcement, and Robert’s life is in great peril as he tries to reveal Kirsch’s big secret.
Pause. I’m still waiting for the build up—and the climax—of this book. Insane—I know. But that’s just a glimpse into the confusion of Origin. Firstly, the whole religion versus science bit—a little played out. Yes it’s a good theme, but when it recurs with the same character, in the same book, by the same author—it’s less of a thrill.
For the record, I’m not very cultured or have a “refined” appreciation for interpretive art, as a matter of fact—I don’t have any appreciation for it. I know Mona Lisa smiles—that’s about it. However, being a simpleton didn’t prevent me from enjoying The Da Vinci Code, hence I didn’t expect it to do so for Origin. But man, did the descriptions become exhausting. I get centering this book around history is a big part of the series in general, but it seemed as if that’s all that was talked about. But I guess the hidden goal of the book was accomplished; I was enlightened—and annoyed.
The few moments of dialogue and chase scenes were drowned out by the full page descriptions—at least they seemed endless—and how important they were in real life. I didn’t even read the epilogue. Wait, was there an epilogue? Hold on—yes, there was! I was so eager to be done with this book that I’m forgetting parts of it already.
Spoiling plots—not me. But the twist of this story was anything but surprising. I wanted this book to do well, but I’d be lying if I said it did. I don’t want to just sit here and trash the book, it’s not fun—ever. But there’s nothing I can say that truly stood out in Origin. I guess using technology to solve cryptic puzzles was okay—but even the technology was over-descriptive. I’m a Millennial for peace sake, I don’t think I need to be amazed by the self-driving feature of a Tesla, and if I needed to, I could just look it up.
For Langdon fans this will be a must have and for the curious, I wouldn’t say stay away, but if you’re looking for a fantastic read—this isn’t it. The story is unique—but it’s time Professor Langdon start tapping into that Harvard pension plan.