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review 2018-02-19 00:01
A little slow and disappointing, but still a good read for the most part.
Origin - Dan Brown

Origin, Dan Brown, author; Paul Michael, narrator Edmond Kirsch is an atheist. However, when the book opens, he is preparing to meet with three important leaders, each representing a major religion: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. As he ascends to a magnificent, mountaintop monastery in Spain, he knows that what he is prepared to tell them may very well shock them visibly. He has accumulated certain knowledge that will threaten the core of their religious belief. Although the three leaders quietly panic, they vow to remain silent and think about how to handle the devastating new information, Edward, though, is determined not to remain quiet. He plans to present his thesis to the world, even though it threatens to shake the very foundation of religion and create a worldwide panic. Robert Langdon has received an invitation to his moment of glory, his actual televised presentation at the Guggenheim Museum, in Bilbao, Spain. The event is headed by the Director of the Museum, Ambra Vidal, the fiancé of the future king of Spain, Prince Julian. When Kirsch is murdered during the presentation, chaos reigns. There are too many diversions and tangents which will lead the reader’s eyes to glaze over. Some of the descriptions go on too long and are too technical. The final fifth of the book is tedious and the conclusion is unsatisfactory. Still, for most of the book, the reader is kept guessing, as the action moves forward. The most interesting aspects of the novel were the descriptions of various landmarks and attractions like the Fog Sculpture by Fujiko Nakaya, at the Guggenheim, and Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, a Basilica which was begun in 1886 and is not due to be completed until 2026.

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review 2018-01-13 16:44
Origin - Dan Brown

I'm not down on Dan Brown like a lot of other folks. He's fun and you can go to Eco or Chesterton if you want a more intellectual detective/conspiracy pursuit. He's just a breezy beach read, and all the more fun for it. Why not?

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review 2017-12-17 08:58
Origin by Dan Brown
Origin - Dan Brown

Professor Robert Langdon is invited to the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao to a presentation by one of his former students, futurist Edmond Kirsch. Kirsch's presentation is supposed to be revolutionary, presenting the answer to humankind's two oldest and most intriguing questions;Where do we come from? and Where are we going?

But before Kirsch can launch the gist of it, he's killed by a bullet to the brain. Someone doesn't want his findings to be made public, but Langdon is prepared to do anything to thwart their plans. Even go on a run with the future queen of Spain, be accused of kidnapping, and dodge an assassin from a Catholic sect...


Whenever I pick up a book categorized as a thriller I expect to be thrilled. Dan Brown has been failing at that in the last three installments in this series, with this last one being the absolute worst of the bunch.

Instead of mysterious, suspenseful and thrilling, I got boring, dull and plodding. It started off slow, slightly hurried up along the plot, yet never really picking up pace to even get to the level of "interesting" with its nonlinear narrative jumping backward, forward and sometimes even sideways in time resulting in severe loss of momentum at most inopportune times.
It was unnecessarily overcomplicated and filled with redundancy and unnecessary side-plots (that ended up not leading anywhere and/or didn't provide the "oomph" the author probably wanted), until the main story arc got lost in the twists, turns and spirals (pun utterly intended) provided by the fillers and ballast of the rest of it.

In the end, the final revelations of Kirsch's discovery and who was really behind his televised murder and why, came at a point where I wasn't excited about what happens next, but eager for it all to end.
The real "murderer" was no surprise, since I expected something along those lines; everything was set up too nicely for it not to happen the way it did. And the revelation about our origin and destiny certainly didn't inspire the awe and internal debate that was supposed to, I guess. It wasn't anything new—not the past and certainly not the future.

So what was this book really about? Why was it really written? It didn't bring anything new to the table, it wasn't intriguing, it wasn't thrilling. It also didn't adhere to the canon established in Inferno if the conversation about babies between the future kind and queen of Spain was any indication.
Was it really just for the money?

If it was, that's even more disappointing.

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review 2017-10-24 04:35
The Truth Comes Out
Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Lies (Rebirth) - Liam Sharpe,Greg Rucka

This was a very good rebirth/reboot of Wonder Woman. It introduces a character who I would consider Wonder Woman's arch-nemesis, although their relationship is very complicated, Cheetah aka Barbara Minerva. Also, Steve Trevor plays a big role. I loved the artwork. While nice, the cover art doesn't live up to the wonderful illustration inside the book. Greg Rucka is an excellent writer, and his skills are beautifully displayed in this volume. His understanding of what makes the characters tick is evident. He gets Diana, Steve and Barbara. He also examines our society in which the lives of girls and women are disregarded as not valuable, especially if they don't serve some usefulness. Barbara's character arc shows the damage that a misogynistic culture can do to a person. I also liked how this volume delves into the Greek mythology aspects of Diana's heritage. Her father is not who she thought he was. She also realizes that the Amazons have kept secrets from her. This leads to her sense of disillusionment. Also this book explores Diana's relationship with Steve. Although I not-so-secretly ship Diana and Bruce, WonderBat, I like her and Steve together. I think the problem is that Steve is a soldier and is entrenched in the human world, whereas Diana is immortal and pretty much a demigoddess, which puts a time limit on their relationship, and they're still trying to figure all out that out. I'm pretty happy with this first book in the Rebirth series of Diana. This is the best Wonder Woman comic I've read so far. Looking forward to reading more.

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review 2017-10-24 03:53
Diana of Themyscira, Earth One
Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 1 - Grant Morrison,Yanick Paquette

This was kind of weird. It was a skewed version of the Wonder Woman origin story, but instead of their patron goddess being Hera, it's Aphrodite. You can imagine how that could change a few things. It has a lot more overt sapphic tones than I've seen with Wonder Woman (but hardly surprising or shocking). I mean its a Utopian all female society, so why wouldn't the women pair up together as partners and lovers? I was fine with that. I think some of their rituals were on the verge of kinky if I'm honest. I've always been leery of sex and violence together thought.

I did like that Steve Trevor was black in this version. The relationship that Diana has with him is undefined. Since Wonder Woman has a lover already, I wasn't sure that there were any romantic undertones in her relationship with Trevor as it was written.

When Diana comes to the world of men, she is portrayed as very dominant with an edge of cruelty. I didn't love that about her characterization. I don't see Diana as being that kind of person.

The storyline where she encounters the sorority girls on a wild spring break trip and bonds with a particular girl was a bit odd. I know it was a way to group Diana and teach her the ways of the modern world. I didn't much care for it.

Honestly, I was glad this is Earth One. While I didn't mind the aspect of Diana being queer, and I liked that Steve was black, I didn't care for other aspects of the storyline. It wasn't terrible, so I would still give this three stars.

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