By Dan Deneve
Fans of Dan Brown will not be disappointed in his latest offering, Origin. Back in for a fifth book, Harvard professor Robert Langdon is back in another nonstop, pulse-pounding, page-turning thriller. Like Brown’s previous titles, Origin deals with matters of science and faith. Without revealing too much, the premise of the book can be summarized by two questions: where did we come from and where are we going? As you can imagine, this is going to be a showdown between science and faith, but again, Brown masterfully pulls it off.
Events quickly go south when one of Langdon’s former students gives a presentation in Spain that Langdon is invited to. It isn’t long before the professor is on the run with a woman searching for clues to what might have caused events to spiral out of control. Assisting them much of the way is a computer with extraordinary artificial intelligence. In fact, it is 10 years ahead of any other computer. If that isn’t enough, Brown adds a Tesla that drives itself, has a windshield that doubles as a computer screen and can outrun a Lamborghini. As usual, the pace is fast and the entire story takes place within 24 hours, although there are flashbacks to fill in the storyline. Brown does a fantastic job of not revealing anything until the very end, and, even then there are some unexpected twists.
While Brown sometimes stretches credulity, or, forced readers to suspend their disbelief in his books, this time, he weaves together a story that is entirely plausible from start to finish even if the technology is not yet available to the mass market.
In my opinion, I believe this is one of Brown’s best, right up there with Inferno. The formula is unchanged. An easy read, chapters are short and fast-paced. Brown uses history, architecture, and art to weave a colorful story. Unless you are Robert Langdon himself, I suggest you keep a cell phone or computer with internet access nearby as you are certain to be looking up references in the book. By now, all Brown fans should know that is standard procedure. Additionally, several storylines are moving along to reach the conclusion, but each storyline draws you in to the point you forget what is happening previously and can be frustrated when he leaves you hanging to go back to another storyline. I know there are many who don’t like his writing, but for those who do, this is a must read. The Dana Point Library owns a copy.
The Seaside Book Club meets at the Dana Point Library every fourth Monday of the month at 10:30 a.m. Registration is not required. For a list of featured titles, call the library at 949.496.5517. Copies of the current title are available at the library service desk.