After Origin By Dan Brown I Can’t Wait For Robert Langdon #6, because unlike every other installment in the Langdon series, Origin did not sit well.
The payoff was not enough this time.
The character that became a modern-day Sherlock Holmes in Angels and Demons, Robert Langdon, is the linchpin of Dan Brown’s series that surround the professor with symbols, mysteries, murders, and two thrills, of the hunt or quest and the mortal danger held therein, and of the epic knowledge that comes out when the many secrets are revealed at the stories’ end.
I love the works of Dan Brown.
Rarely has education through entertainment been as intriguing, as puzzling, as revelatory as when The Holy Grail is besieged in The Da Vinci Code, or when myriad lives come so close to extinction in Inferno (Dante would have loved it).
And the character of Langdon drives the story in every book in the series, just as Holmes and Watson do in many of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales.
But that comparison reveals the biggest issue I had with Origin: the supporting cast were not even close to on par with Langdon or his previous comrades and nemeses.
Please comment and change my mind here; I love Dan Brown’s work and want to change my mind.
Langdon’s royalty alienating female sidekick takes a backseat early on in the story to an AI.
Let me repeat that for emphasis: an artificial intelligence created by a forty-year-old genius (Musk, meets Jobs, meets Gates, meets Einstein?) who is intriguing but . . .
MAJOR **SPOILER ALERT** to opening chapters to follow.
. . . the character I was most invested in is killed to open the thriller. And an AI steps in to take his place and to largely supplant the female protagonist and the (at that point) clueless professor.
And yes, the book is thrilling, the suspense, the arc of grandiose mystery and conspiracy, they are all there.
The Fibonacci Sequence is also INCREDIBLY interesting!
So, you had me from the cover – I LOVE IT – and then you lost me while Langdon and his dame run from the murder scene for their lives guided by IBM’s Watson.
Maybe it is the decade or more of research into AI and being surrounded by quite a few people at times that are far more knowledgeable of the subject than I, some of them write semi-autonomous code to get robots to behave certain ways, that spoiled this novel for me.
Maybe it was having reread the classic Neuromancer by William Gibson shortly before I picked up Origin that put such a bad taste in my mouth, because the godfather of cyberpunk’s AI in the 1980’s was a lot more convincing and all-around interesting than Brown’s.
AI is mind blowing, in and of itself, and world changing, and it just felt all too happy to me as that luke-warm character became the fulcrum, even over Langdon, for periods of time.
Robert Langdon’s character should not take a backseat to anyone except his Moriarty or his Irene Adler, because Sherlock would be drawn and quartered before he let Lestrade become the focal point of the game.
The writing was as good or better than it has ever been for Brown.
And he has a tall task every time he continues the series: to match or outdo his previous Langdon stories.
But Dan Brown has pulled off the nearly impossible feat four times before! From Angels and Demons and on he did it . . . until now.
I expect a grandiose differentiating installment when or if Robert Langdon graces us in a sixth novel.
The Forgotten Fiction Grade: NAY (NAY! Skip it)
“After Origin By Dan Brown I Can’t Wait For Robert Langdon #6” was written by R.J. Huneke