Review of the “Origin” by Dan Brown
“Where did we come from?” “Where are we going?” Those are the two main questions that character Edward Kirsch posed to society while also declaring that he recently had discovered the answers. The Origin is the fifth novel in the Robert Langdon series by author, Dan Brown. The prior novels in the series included Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol and Inferno. In this latest installment, I realized that I didn’t have to have read the prior books in the series to either understand or enjoy the novel. My attention was immediately grasped in the first few pages since the book posed the question as to where we, as in human lifeforms, came from. It brings up the age-old conflict of Evolution versus Creation. I was interested to determine if the answer would be as riveting as the journey to discover it.
Robert Langdon is dear friends with Edward Kirsch who is a renowned technology expert and physicist. Langdon is invited to a Spanish musuem for the unveiling of the answers to the fundamental questions by Kirsch. Upon entrance to the museum, Langdon is introduced to a marvel model of artificial intelligence by the name of Winston. During the first moments of Kirsch’s talk where he is about to reveal to the world the supposed answer to the question of how life began, Kirsch is assassinated. What happens next is a series of escapades and adventures that involve Langdon, the AI Winston and the beautiful and intelligent future Queen of Spain!
Like the previous Robert Langdon series, Origin definitely reals in the reader into the web of intrigue and mystery surrounding technology, religion and artificial intelligence. Although I was disappointed at the ultimate revealing of Edward Kirsch’s “answers” to the ultimate question of “Where did we come from?”, I felt that the beginning and middle parts of the book made up for the ending. Spoiler alert: The last few chapters did reveal an unexpected twist, and I felt that they added even more thought to the question of “Where are we going?”All in all, I do recommend this novel to fans of the Robert Langdon series since it is a page-turner and does make one think about the advancement of technology at the end of the novel. However, if one is looking for the answer to how lifeforms were created, you will not find the penultimate answer in this novel.