Former student, Edmond Kirsch, has invited professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to witness his unveiling of something that will challenge existing views on the origin of our species. What already promises to be an explosive event turns catastrophic and Langdon is forced to flee the museum accompanied by its director, Ambra Vidal. Embarking on a quest across Barcelona to try to locate a password that will launch Kirsch’s theory into the world, Langdon’s life is, once again, in danger. Will he be able to share Kirsch’s discovery before the forces acting against him catch up with him?
I know that there are a lot of readers who sneer at the thought of a Dan Brown book but, as far as I’m concerned, any book that encourages people to read is a good one. The fact that his books have sold over 200 million copies and have been translated into 56 languages must mean that there are a lot of fans out there! Origin is the fifth book to feature symbologist Robert Langdon and the action sees him returning to Europe, this time to Spain, to partake in another battle between science and religion.
From the outset, we know that Edmond Kirsch has discovered something that threatens the doctrine of all world religions but we do not find out until near the very end of the book what the discovery is. This was a very clever move as, throughout my reading, I was desperately looking for clues as to what it was, and it was not until a few paragraphs before the big reveal that I worked out part of it. I enjoyed this ‘not knowing’ as it built up an air of anticipation and when it was finally revealed, it made me think about how this could actually happen.
For me, the thing I enjoy most about Dan Brown’s books is the setting. Through this series, I have been introduced to many historical places, museums and galleries that I did not know about and I find that, as I am reading, I am often looking them up online to find out more information. In Origin, Brown paints a picture of the Guggenheim Museum so detailed that I could imagine I was there. Other locations visited include Casa Milà and the impressive Sagrada Família.
As with Dan Brown’s other books, it will not be seen as a classic but it is an entertaining, fast-paced read which allows you to have a few hours of escapism whilst reading it. I, for one, will be awaiting the next Robert Langdon book eagerly!