Saturday, February 24, 2018

Dan Brown ORIGIN Book Review

I was intrigued when I read in Dan Brown’s newest book Origin that the book includes only “Art, architecture, locations, science and religious organisations that are real.” I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the heart of Italy with Dan Brown in Inferno and then with my husband in real life and one day I hope to visit Brown’s Bilbao, Barcelona, Madrid and Seville in person after having enjoyed my visit with him in this novel.

I’m not quite sure why I picked up Origin but it was at least in part because of the memories and discussions that my entire family had after we all read the first two books in the series, Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code. I know that not all of the books in the series were quite as well received by my family and I have to admit to wondering how many times poor Robert Langdon could be called out to save the day.

Well, as it turns out, at least one more time. In this, the latest book, we are armchair travellers to Spain where Langdon is solving a murder mystery and focuses on the origin of man. It involves the art work, symbols, architecture, locations and religions of Spain. This time, the debate includes some interesting familiar and unfamiliar high-level technology and even a super computer. You will find yourself wondering is that really true and find yourself thankful for Brown’s statement that everything in the book is real.

Origin is the first Dan Brown book to feature modern art since Robert Langdon is not much of a fan of that genre and it focuses on the work of Joan Miró. I recommend googling her to have a feeling for her artwork. It really is different from the masters that Langdon normally prefers.  The book also features literary references to William Blake and Friedrich Nietzsche, authors whom I was not particularly knowledgeable of.

The effort required to put this book together with real details and facts is mind boggling. Apparently, Brown employs a team of fact checkers to make sure he is accurately presenting all of that history and science.

Is Origin recommended?

Yes, Origin is recommended by me. Is it highly recommended? I am undecided. I found the novel a bit heavier on religion than I care for and I can honestly say I have never thought about where I came from or where I am going to in such depth. Of course, thinking about our creation and destiny is not necessarily a bad thing.

I was, however, totally fascinated by the high-tech science in this book that includes quantum computing, artificial intelligence in the form of a thinking computer and a self-driving Tesla Model X. The conspiracy website is a nice link between our current online world and the book.

Barcelona Super Computing Center exterior

Barcelona Super Computing Center Interior
Barcelona Super Computing Center
Finally, I liked the glimpse into Spain. Yes, there is really a super computer built inside the walls of a church in Barcelona in this book and the pictures shown here are from the website of the real Barcelona Super Computer Center.

I expect that if you enjoyed Angels & Demons and the Da Vinci Code, you will likely enjoy Origin.

Origin was published on October 3, 2017 and was number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list in that same month and it remains on that list in the number eight position as I write this post in February, 2018. It is also currently number 2 on Amazon’s bestseller list of the top 20 most sold and read books of the week. Is there a movie? Not yet but maybe.

The New York Times finds fault and praise for the book but concludes: ”…for all their high-minded philosophizing, these books’ geeky humor remains a big part of their appeal. Not for nothing does Kirsch’s Tesla have a license plate frame reading: “THE GEEKS SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH.” Brown continues to do everything in his playful power to ensure that will happen.”

Here's an exciting peek at Dan Brown, his books, and Origin. Warning: It will make you want to go to Spain with me.

Origin is fun. Don’t take it too seriously. You can find it here on Amazon. If you decide to read it, be sure to come back and let us know what you think. If you have already done so, have you figured out where we come from and where we are going and, more on point, would you recommend this book to your friends and family?

See you
at the bookstore!


Angels & Demons (2000)
The Da Vinci Code (2003)
The Lost Symbol (2009)
Inferno (2013)
Origin (2017)


Buy Origin on Amazon.
Check out Dan Brown's author page on Amazon.
Read my review of Inferno.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


  1. Thank you for this review. My son likes Dan Brown books alot. I've not been able to get into them but I know that many people do. A friend at work is excited about this book and recommended it to me a few days ago.

    1. I hope it was one of the first ones you tried, Dawn Rae. They were my favorites.

  2. I feel similar to Dawn Rae -- just cannot seem to get into the Dan Brown books, even though I know they are very well thought of. I DO admire all the factual research he puts into his stories and one can see that it takes several years to write each book due to acquiring and checking all the facts. Quite an author.

    1. Interesting that two of you do not care for Dan Brown's works but I guess that there is something for every one. Reminds me of how some people just could not get into Harry Potter books, LOL! I am still trying to convince my mother to read J.K. Rowling!

  3. I have never been to Spain and I have no doubt that I would want to join you on your trip! I have also never read a Dan Brown book only because of the controversy his previous books have sparked between my own family members. Honestly, this has been one of those times when I was glad to say I didn't have an opinion because I haven't read the books. I would imagine (and speculating is truly all I am doing here) that we couldn't discuss a super computer that is built inside the walls of the church without also discussing that incongruity. I am intrigued for sure.

    1. Well, I'd love to have you on my trip to Spain Cynthia but you'd have to read the book, LOL. I can understand that Dan Brown's books would spark controversy in your family just as controversy rages between the covers. In this case, the focus is on the origin of man. Be that the way religion teaches or science???

    2. Truthfully Brenda, I am very familiar with that debate and it is one I decided long ago :) I'll read the book, mentally correct everyone who is wrong in it and then join you in Spain!

  4. I've only read the Da Vinci Code because I got it free from someone. I'd heard about the controversy. It's been a few years since I read it, and I'm afraid I don't remember too much of the content. It was well-written, but I prefer to read fiction that encourages my faith instead of trying to undermine it. I made up my mind a long time ago about my origin, and in spite of all the nonfiction writers and friends who disagree with me, I've not changed my mind.

    1. Thanks for your visit and thoughts, Barbara. I am not sure that this book is trying to convince anyone but rather sharing two sides of the coin.

  5. This is right up my alley! I haven't read his books, but I've seen the movies and loved them. Love the intrigue, the mystery, the creative thought into the philosophy of life and especially love the debate of where we come from and where we're going. We all have our own beliefs on that matter, but am always eager to hear other opinions on the subject. Hope they make a movie soon on this one!

    1. It is always fun when these books are made into movies though of course they are never as good. I loved the last one I read, Inferno, because of the setting in Italy.