Dan Brown, after a long absence from the publishing novels, returns with a brand new novel „Origin”. He has kept his fans impatient for nearly four and a half years since the last novel. This time, the American writer takes us to the sunny Spain, where a new puzzle waits to be solved by Robert Langdon.
Former student of Robert Langdon, multimillionaire, computer scientist and futurist – Edmund Kirsch, invites his former lecturer to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, where he intends to announce his discovery, which will shake up the foundations of all religions. Kirsch, considered to be visionary, has been shot by the assassin just before the final part of the show. Robert Langdon has little time to discover what his friend wanted to announce to the world.
The same by the same
Once again in Brown’s novel we are dealing with the same scheme: Langdon, a beautiful woman, a riddle and attractive tourist places. So far it has been a reliable recipe for success, but how many times can you serve exactly the same? This duplicated scheme is like a double-edged weapon. On the one hand, it has become terribly trite and tedious, but on the other hand, this repetition is not a magnet for millions of readers in the world? In the end, the first two volumes from the Robert Langdon’s series sold nearly 120 million copies.
Dan Brown and Gaudi
The action of the first part of the novel takes place in Bilbao, after which Brown bravely transports his hero with his beautiful companion to Barcelona. Robert Langdon will visit, among others Casa Milo and the monumental Sagrada Familia presented on the book’s cover. The perspective of combining Gaudi’s art with the imagination of Dan Brown was for me the biggest lure to reach for the „Origin”. Unfortunately, my appetite had to get around with the taste. Although the American writer devoted a considerable part of the novel to descriptions of architecture, but he did not manage to match any catchy conspiracy theory as he used to in his best books.
Although the story is not very complicated, the book has almost 600 pages! There is no such plot potential to spread it on so many pages. From all the Robert Langdon’s books, „Origin” has the least content related to Langdon himself. Dan Brown served a number of side motifs, which instead of supporting the plot, only artificially impress the number of pages. I have the impression that having no idea how to develop the plot, the author tried to extend the book to a comparable number of pages as in previous volumes.
Everything can be forgiven if the punch line will be surprising, but it also ran out. I guessed the final solution of the puzzle very quickly. On the base of experience I gained from other Brown’s books, I was hoping for a plot twist or surprise at the end, but nothing really happened. The ending is predictable and probably as simple as possible. The Kirsch’s discovery, which was supposed to be an earthquake by default, turn to be nothing unusual. Treatment aimed at misleading the tropes, completely fails all along the line.
It’s no secret that Dan Brown’s writing technique is quite poor. When we talk about a style, I can say Brown is average or even a weak writer. So far, his greatest asset was the ability to create a complex plot based on a large number of sources. Brown deprived himself of all his strengths except for a solid portion of knowledge about architecture. „Origin” is rather a poor piece of literature, written more like the script for a film than a full-fledged detective novel. Topics are forcing us to think about the future of religion, but they are not very attractive.
If you haven’t read Dan Brown at all, I recommend starting with his earlier books. In my personal ranking of the 5 novels about Robert Langdon, „Origin” takes only 4th place in front of the weak „Lost symbol” and after quite good „Inferno”. To sum up, I strongly reccomend „Origin” only for the most faithful fans, which cannot live without Dan Brown’s writing.