“Where Do We Come From?” Origin a Book Review

Where Do We Come From?


Origin: A Novel is a new thriller from the world-famous bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown’s famous protagonist Robert Langdon is back, and this time, he’s trying to release the answers to two of humanity’s deepest questions: Where do we come from? and Where are we going? These questions have been asked for centuries particularly by scientists, many of whom would like to debunk the whole religion and God/Genesis theories entirely. After all, man has been fighting and waging war over whose is the only “God” “Allah” “Buddha” or another.  Actually, Christians and Muslims probably agree on more of their origin than they disagree on, both believe the Genesis theory and believe it or not, the existence of Jesus. This thrilling novel follows Langdon as he navigates the tricky waters of some of the world’s most extreme religions, uncovering dark secrets and hidden personal histories of the characters along the way. 

Summary – Where Do We Come From?

At the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, attendees (by invitation only) gather to witness the unveiling of a major scientific breakthrough by Edmond Kirsch – a former Harvard student of Langdon’s and billionaire inventor and sworn atheist. The mysterious discovery promises to change the world forever, answering the questions humans have struggled to answer for centuries: Where did we come from? And where are we going? But this event explodes into chaos, and Langdon is forced to flee Bilbao with museum director Ambra Vidal, searching for the password needed to unlock the secrets of Kirsch’s discovery. 


Origin is narrated in the third person with a limited omniscient point of view. Each chapter follows one of a handful of main characters. Chapter-by-chapter, the narrator reveals some of the inner thoughts and feelings of the main character, such as Luis Ávila, the retired Spanish Navy Admiral, who lost his family to a church bombing that cost him everything when he tried to find the answers to why God took his family in the bottom of a bottle. He assassinates Kirsch and takes aim at Langdon and Vidal on orders from the mysterious Regent.   


Origin is set in the present day. The globetrotting protagonist takes readers on an adventure, but a large part of the novel takes place in a few different Spanish cities, from Bilbao to Barcelona to Madrid. Kirsch has a two-year lease on the top floor (which is actually the Gaudi Museum) of the famous Casa Milà, which was designed by world-famous architect Antoni Gaudi After revealing his discovery to three of the world’s leading religious leaders, a Catholic Bishop, Antonio Valdespino (who is the King of Spain’s counselor and confidant), an Islamic Imam Cleric Syed al-Fadl, and a Rabbi Yehuda Köves, only those three know the nature of Kirsch’s discovery and what he will reveal to the world after their meeting soon after the Parliament of the World Religions. Syed al-Fadl dies wondering around lost in the desert after a car-jacking and the Rabbi will soon follow. 


As with many of Dan Brown’s books, Origin explores the major themes of religion, history, and symbology. What is the role of religion on a personal level? On a cultural level? How has religion shaped history? Who are we as individuals? As a society? These questions and more are explored in Origin: A Novel. However, the central questions of this book are the biggest of all: Where do we come from? and Where are we going? 


This book is decidedly a thriller. Packed to the brim with conspiracy, mystery, high-speed chases and “murder and mayhem.” Origin: A Novel is designed to keep readers on the edge of their seat and it does just that, at least it did me. This book is one of the most popular recently released books on the market, and Dan Brown’s previous books have remained bestsellers for years after their release. 


Dan Brown is the bestselling author of a number of thrillers, including his breakout bestselling novels Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci CodeOrigin is the latest book in the Robert Langdon series and upholds the high standards of the previous books. 

The Guggenheim Museum -Where do we come from? Buy Origin, a Novel
The Guggenheim Museum – Bilbao, Spain


At the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, hundreds of elite invitees have gathered to witness the unveiling of a discovery by the billionaire, atheist, and futurist visionary, Edmond Kirsch. When the meticulously planned event descends into chaos, Langdon realizes that there are many people who want Kirsch dead and will stop at nothing to prevent his discovery from being revealed. After Kirsch’s assassination during the live broadcast, Langdon flees to Barcelona with the museum curator, event coordinator, and the future Queen of Spain, Ambra Vidal to find the password to his phone, where Kirsch stored the secret to launching his discovery. Ambra is engaged to the Prince Julián, who will succeed to the throne after his father’s death, and he is fading fast.

My Opinion

Origin is a great book for fans of previous Dan Brown works. Unlike many sequels, readers do not have to have read Brown’s previous work to enjoy Origin. Throughout, the narrative style works well and keeps the reader engaged as it switches from protagonist to protagonist filling in the reader on their background. I highly encourage others to read this book if they like thrillers, mysteries, and pardon my cliché, “page-turning drama.” 

The main characters are Robert Langdon, Ambra Vidal, Winston (Kirsch’s Artificial Intelligence AI named for Winston Churchill), Prince Julián, Bishop Valdespino, Edmond Kirsch, Luis Ávila, Spain’s King, and a few other minor characters. My favorite character is Ambra because she seems so real and genuinely troubled. My favorite quote from the book: “In the beginning, man created God.” My favorite part of the book is when we finally hear Kirsch’s discovery and what it means to humanity. I will read any book Dan Brown releases because his stories are always action-packed “page-turners.”


Book #5 in the Robert Langdon series is an impressive choice for readers who like action-packed thrillers. Brown’s narrative style is engaging and interesting, and the book is thought-provoking as well as gripping.  The thing with Dan Brown novels is that they are always believable, even when the story itself seems unbelievable! Depending on what you believe, the book may or may not answer the questions, where do we come from? and where are we going? 

Buy it Now!

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