Synopsis: (as told by the back of the book)
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultra-modern Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao to attend a major announcement – the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough – one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.
As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred other guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation – which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously organized evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling, and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate the cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.
Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself… and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. Following a trail illuminated by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery… and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.
I love Dan Brown – I’ve been hooked on these Robert Langdon stories since I was 9 years old. I’ve read every book Brown’s written and enjoyed each one (with the exception of The Lost Symbol). Origin is a typical Dan Brown book in structure – Robert Langdon travels to another country only to unknowingly get swept up in a global crisis that only he can resolve. A foot soldier of a cult-like group is out to stop him. There’s been some miscommunication and he’s wanted by the police. A beautiful and intelligent woman is by his side. No one knows who is truly calling the enemy shots. Sound familiar?
Nevertheless, Origin, like all of Brown’s books, is chock full of research and interesting facts about art, science, and religion. In retrospect, I think maybe because I knew exactly what would happen story-wise, I was able to appreciate the research even more fully. Each of these books opens my eyes to just how much information is hidden in history and art that I never even imagined existed. I spent a semester studying in Barcelona, so this was the perfect combination of being able to picture the exact buildings and artwork Brown was describing and then learning something new about them.
Despite the predictable plot, I found myself devouring this book so I could figure out what Kirsch’s final conclusion was. This book, like Inferno, raises interesting questions about the future of our society. If you’ve finished the book, let me know and let’s discuss!
Interested in this book? Buy it on Amazon here or find it at your local bookstore.