Friday Review: Origin by Dan Brown (Audiobook)

Origin (Robert Langdon, #5)Origin by Dan Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Narrated by Paul Michael

In this latest installment of the Robert Langdon series, professor and symbologist Robert Langdon is in Barcelona for a live mega-event being put on by his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch. Kirsch is a billionaire and futurist, and claims to have discovered something that will change the world’s views on religion and science forever. He previewed the presentation to three of the world’s leading religious leaders before his event, one of whom is a Catholic archbishop who is also a close adviser to the dying Spanish king and his son, the soon-to-be-king. Before Edmond can reveal his findings, he is assassinated, and Langdon, with the help of Ambra Vidal, the museum director and fiance of the Spanish prince, is put on the run to try and find the password that will allow him to trigger Edmond’s presentation. Helping them is Edmond’s artificial intelligence construct, Winston. Chasing them is the assassin, the Spanish secret service, and others who would rather see Edmond’s discovery buried with him.

Okay, let’s get this out of the way now- I like Dan Brown’s books. Yes, he can be a bit long-winded. He likes to show off his ability to research and integrate history into his works. He doesn’t always get it right, nor does he always stick to established fact. But, really, this is fiction, after all, and nothing he does is out of line with what many other authors do when they use real life settings to tell a fictional story. His characters are interesting, he obviously does his homework on his settings, and his plots are twisty and complex.

Origin is no exception to the above. From the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to the rural countryside surrounding Barcelona, Spain is the real life backdrop for a hunt, not only for the cryptic password, but for the secret to our future itself. Each character in the story has secrets and undercurrents, and it’s not always easy to tell who is on which side- or even which side is in the right. There are internal politics and religious overtones in the Royal Palace, where even the dying king harbors a secret unknown even to his son. The beautiful Ambra, engaged to a prince, has her own doubts and ambitions. The national church of Spain may or may not be responsible for Edmond’s death. The assassin has ties to a radical Catholic sect. It all races together as Ambra and Langdon search for the missing password.

I thought it was a good book. Great? Maybe not, but I don’t read this sort of book for enlightenment. I read these for escape and entertainment, and for that, it filled the bill nicely. The audio narration was well done by Paul Michael, who did a good job with Langdon’s point of view voice.

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Coming in December 2018: Two’s Company, a sci-fi novel in the space opera tradition.

Medusa “Deuce” Grainger is smart, confident, and as good a pilot as she is a poker player. A freelance shuttle jockey working for an independent terraforming company, she’s left her former life, and her father, behind. Mostly.

Now, her AI has downloaded another Personality off a wrecked ship, and he’s acting oddly ever since. Someone wants to sabotage her friend’s company out of business, evidence of tampering is being corrupted, and people have died.  With an investigation looming that could shut down the company and cut off her main source of income, Deuce needs to figure out what’s going on. And she needs to do it fast, because there’s more at stake than anyone realizes.

Two’s Company is listed on Goodreads. If you like what you see above, I’d appreciate you adding it to your Want To Read list. Thanks!

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Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here

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Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.

Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.

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