Tag: Dan Brown

Dan Brown – Origin | Review

Title: Origin

Author: Dan Brown

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 473

Rating: 3.25/5

You know what you’re getting with Dan Brown, at least to a certain extent, although I do feel as though in this one, there were fewer twists and turns and a lot of the plot was more linear. There was also a twist at the end which was pretty easy to figure out, although I will admit that the motives had passed me by. It happens!

The main problem that I had with this book is that something happened at the end of the last book which really ought to have had repercussions. Instead, it wasn’t even mentioned. I guess that makes sense given Brown’s style, because he tries to make each of his books function as a standalone. And in all fairness, this one does work as a standalone – as long as you haven’t read the one that comes before.

What was cool was the way that this investigated artificial intelligence. Brown’s portrayal of it wasn’t particularly realistic, especially at the time it was first published, but if we give it ten or twenty years, we might not be far off it. There were also some interesting ideas about the ultimate fate of humanity – or to quote the book, “Where do we come from? And where are we going?”

They’re some pretty important questions, and I thought it was interesting to see how Brown – and his characters – approached them. I’m not sure whether I agree with their conclusions, or whether the science involved is even possible, but it was still a pleasant journey to go on. Sure, I got infuriated from time to time by Brown’s writing style, in which he sets up a mystery and then takes a dozen chapters to reveal the actual answer, but it also did its job and kept me reading.

What I would say is that it’s worth going out of your way to get a paperback copy if you can. I had the hardback and it was difficult to hold while I read reading it. Admittedly this is totally a firstworld problem and not one that everyone would have, but it did bug me a little bit and hamper my enjoyment. Actually, this may be one of those rare books where it would work better as an e-book or an audio book than when it’s physically in print.

All in all then, I’m glad that I finally picked this up, if only because I’m a completionist and I’ve read all of Brown’s other books. I’ll probably pick the next one up too, assuming there is one, but I won’t be pre-ordering it. I’ll try to grab it from a charity shop if I can. I’ve got to be honest, I fancy my chances. And that’s about all I’ve got.

Learn more about Origin.

 


Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief | Review

Title: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Author: Rick Riordan

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 376

Rating: 4*/5

 

Rick Riordan - Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

 

I suppose there are a few things to note here. The first is that I’m behind the times, because it seems like everyone under the sun has already read Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. I’ve read one of Riordan’s other books, and I didn’t think much of it, so I put off starting this one. I shouldn’t have.

See, this book is basically the best start to a series of this ilk that I’ve come across. It even beats out Harry Potter, because the first Harry Potter book was only okay. But this book drew me straight in, and while I couldn’t necessarily relate with the main character – Percy Jackson – I think that’s more because I’m not really the target audience, rather than a problem with how the character was written.

Of course, there were one or two one-dimensional characters, but that was largely intentional – and it played into Riordan’s unique take on Greek myths and legends. In fact, I’ve noticed a trend of late of authors imitating the approach, a little bit like what happened when Dan Brown released The Da Vinci Code. The funny thing is that it never really happened with J. K. Rowling – sure, people were influenced by it, but nobody reduced themselves to literally releasing an imitation.

 

Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan

 

Now, this might sound weird, but this book reminded me of a cross between R. L. Stine and Neil Gaiman. It has much of the world-building that Gaiman used in American Gods, and it has a similar feel, like an epic road trip. Stine, meanwhile, used simple language and near-childlike plots to hook his young readers into the story. But Riordan’s work feels in no means like a rip off – in fact, he has a new, original voice, at least in this book. Perhaps he becomes more jaded over time, but I wouldn’t know.

Overall, then, I’d definitely recommend Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, even if you don’t go on to read the rest of the series. It might not be for you – but if you like myths, magic and mayhem, I reckon you’ll probably like it.

 

Rick Riordan Quote

Rick Riordan Quote

 

Click here to buy Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.