Origin is a novel written by Dan Brown whose character Robert Langdon is also the protagonist of The Da Vinci Code, which is more popular than any other novel on the earth. Origin is a good work; good, not in the same way as The Da Vinci Code. Origin explores a contemporary subject with a futuristic twist to it while exploiting all the thrilling-strategies of the novelist.
Edmond Kirsch, Ambra Vidal, Winston, Valdespino, Suresh, Garza, Prince Julian, and Agent Fonseca are the main characters in the novel along with the unstoppable Robert Langdon. The coterie of non-living characters includes the surreal museum of Bilbao, where Ambra Vidal works and Robert and Ambra first meet. The Museum of Bilbao appears to be one of the major characters in the novel. It becomes the ground zero of devastating events, which dictate the fate of many characters, including Robert Langdon. It is also noteworthy how museums find their special place in The Da Vinci Code and now in Origin.
Another significant non-living character is the city of Madrid, in Spain. The many landmarks of Madrid appear in the novel as crucial places where the story takes place. Casa Milà, also known as the "stone quarry" designed by architect Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia also known as the Basilica of the Holy Family and Barcelona Supercomputing Centre are some other landmarks that you'll see in Origin, neatly knitted into the fabric of the story. While reading, it was difficult to tell which was part was the story and which part was real. Before the beginning of the novel, the writer informs the readers about what are the facts in the story. A reader is entering into the world of the novel by being fully aware of the facts they will encounter in the story. These very facts would later guide the reader in sustaining the belief that everything he or she reads is also unbelievably real. These are valuable points that any aspiring writer can take away from Origin.
On a personal note, let me add that Origin inspired me to read the following books: Pope Francis's The Name of God is Mercy, Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens. Origin raises questions about the post-human world order. It tackles some of our unspoken realities like the still-raging battle between science and religion. It does not deal with these issues in isolation though. The brilliant historian in Dan Brown is fully awake and is doing his intricate analyses of historical events while performing this urgent discussion on technologically supported human existence. He also takes the arguments of creationism, turns it around, and places Artificial Intelligence at the centre of it. I urge all the readers to read Origin to clearly and enjoyably understand what I have been trying to tell you.
In Origin, you will also see Robert Langdon's emotional and spiritual growth. Origin leaves us with many questions unanswered about the world we live in and our future. It also urges us to go back to our roots and understand it deeply.
Published by Corgi Books, Origin comes with a symbolic cover with the image of the La Sagrada Familia and the helical structure of its famous (or rather infamous) spiral staircase. Dan Brown's previous books are Inferno, The Lost Symbol, etc.