Few books make your pulse race like those in Dan Brown’s bestselling Robert Langdon series. From the gasp-worthy revelations of The Da Vinci Code to the terrifying government conspiracies of The Lost Symbol, his books never fail to set readers’ hearts — and the bestseller lists — ablaze. This week brings us a new installment in the series called Origin, out on October 3. Here are the key things you need to know before diving into the new Dan Brown book.
1. The novel takes place in four different cities across Spain.
Langdon has spent much of his career globe-trotting from Paris and Rome to Washington, D.C., and in Origin, he treks through four cities in Spain, each of which offers its own intriguing opportunities for storylines. The plot kicks off at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, where Langdon is attending an event announcing an exciting new piece of technology. Following that, Langdon travels to Seville, Barcelona, and the country’s capital, Madrid.
2. Some of the lead characters in Origin are newcomers to Langdon’s world.
Origin introduces both new colleagues and new enemies for Langdon. The novel opens with a presentation from billionaire computer scientist Edmond Kirsch, Langdon’s former student who invented a mysterious but life-changing new piece of technology. But Kirsch’s invention, which addresses some of the most fundamental religious questions the world has ever faced, disappears. Soon after, Langdon is forced to go on the run with beautiful museum director Ambra Vidal by his side as they try to unravel secrets that will change their lives forever.
3. In Origin, Brown focuses on modern, rather than ancient, art.
Previous boks in this series saw Langdon unraveling secrets of ancient and Renaissance masterpieces. But Origin takes a new direction, focusing on modern technology, science, and art and pondering if science will make religion obsolete. In an interview with Publishers Weekly, Brown declined to specify exactly which works of art Langdon will be deciphering, but he did give a hint, saying:
“Langdon is a great admirer of modernists Gauguin and Picasso. In this novel, as he moves into the world of contemporary art, Langdon must come down from his ivory tower, set aside his classical predilections, and navigate a landscape of avant-garde works that challenge his very definition of art.”
4. Fact-checkers have vetted the story.
There’s always a ton of history covered in Brown’s series, so the author enlisted fact-checkers for Origin to make sure he got everything right. He told Publishers Weekly:
“Considering it takes me years to gather all the facts in my books, it’s a daunting task for the fact-checkers to review all of that material in a matter of weeks. They tell me it’s great fun learning about exotic locations and esoteric history. And, yes, the fact-checkers always catch a few things that have slipped through the cracks during the writing process, so I’m very grateful to them.”
5. Critics agree that this new installment will please fans of the series.
USA Today says, “Loyal fans of… globetrotting symbologist Robert Langdon will no doubt be thrilled with the fifth book in the series. The New York Times writes, “Readers will find in it a familiar swirl of big ideas and nonstop action, so that those who aren’t enchanted by the erudition can find relief in the plot, and vice versa.” The Globe and Mail adds, “[It] will probably satisfy those same readers who adore Brown’s work.”
6. Tom Hanks may be back as Professor Langdon for an Origin adaptation.
Actor Tom Hanks has starred as Langdon in three films based on Brown’s books: The Da Vinci Code in 2006, Angels & Demons in 2009, and Inferno in 2016. Excitingly, he could reprise the role in a film version of Origin. When speaking about why he and director Ron Howard didn’t adapt The Lost Symbol, Hanks skirted the question, replying, “Dan Brown, who is very secretive, is working on another one. We have no idea if it’s going to come down the pike — if we’re going to want to jump on it or not. We’ll see.”
Do you plan on reading the Dan Brown new book? Tell us in the comments!