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Origin Paperback – 16 Nov 2010
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About the Author
J. A. Konrath broke into the writing scene with his cocktail-themed mystery series, including Whiskey Sour, Bloody Mary, and Rusty Nail stories that combine uproarious humor with spine-tingling suspense. Since then, Konrath has gone on to become an award-winning and best-selling author known for thriller and horror novels. He is also a pioneer of self-publishing models and posts industry insights on his world-famous blog, A Newbie s Guide to Publishing. He lives in Chicago with his family and three dogs.
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The novel was actually written in 1999 under the pseudonym of Jack Kilborn and is described as a `Technothriller'. No spoilers will follow, but in brief, Andrew Dennison, a translator and a polyglot, is recruited by the President of the United States to work at an underground, top secret government research facility in the middle of the desert. A `demon' is kept at close guard in the facility, where he had been lying comatose for nearly a century. But he has now woken up and Andrew Dennison is needed to act as an interpret or translator. I won't go into too much detail but of course, things don't quite go according to plan.
At first I wasn't too sure about this story; it was a bit slow to start with. I was, however, intrigued by the references to linguistics in the plot; different languages are mentioned at several points within the narrative and I thought it was quite unusual to have a male character who was specialist in that field. The `demon', who is referred to as `Bub', didn't seem very frightening to me - in fact, I found him quite ridiculous. However, humour is one of Konrath's trademarks and there was an underlying menace in the `monster' that kept me on my toes. By the time I was half-way through the book (it's quite short, at about 300 Kindle pages) I couldn't put it down, and I had to stay up until 2:00 A.M. to finish it.
Of course this is - as another reviewer here pointed out - a `popcorn' read. It's entertainment and it doesn't try to be particularly deep, although I would argue that it does manage to raise a few interesting questions on the origins of humanity, on religion and on the power of our beliefs (I'll shut up now - no spoilers!). It has a distinctively cinematic quality to it and I wasn't surprised when I subsequently read in the afterword to `Origin' that the author had originally come up with the idea of the book as `Jurassic Park meets The Exorcist'. The snappy dialogue, the predictable romantic interest, the fast paced action - all essential ingredients adding to the `movie' experience. In fact, if there is a movie producer browsing Amazon right now, may I suggest that they option this book and start turning it into a script?
This was the second book of Konrath's that I have read - I am definitely going to read more of his work. It's fun and fast-paced but by no means dumb.
PS - As 'extras', the book contains excerpts to two further novels: 'Disturb' and 'Beneath'.
J.A. Konrath, who also writes as Jack Kilborn is a well established author of novels which span the genres of Horror, Science-Fiction, Mystery and Techo-Thrillers and it was the recent reading of `Draculas' to which he was a contributing author that led me to search out other of his creations that I may have missed. ORIGIN was one such and is a real gem.
When linguist Andrew Dennison is virtually kidnapped by the American Secret Service at the specific command of the President he finds himself taken to a ultra secret underground establishment in the desert staffed by a team of social and scientific experts; all of whom are misfits in the outside world. Their task is to examine a creature which has been secretly held at the bunker like facility since 1906 and to try to figure out if it is a real live demon or perhaps even Satan Himself. At the beginning the creature seems benign and co-operative but soon the situation changes and, and the team are fighting for their lives and the lives of everyone on the planet.
The story is a refreshing change and since it was originally written in the late 1990s has retained a lot of the style and energy of that era. This is no handsome demon racked with guilt but a full on lying, murderous, undying monster bent on world destruction. The story is full of action, tension, demons, monsters and the threat of nuclear destructions, a fast paced thriller which I found hard to put down until I had read it through to the end, which I did. I find that I am now at an age where I do not need much sleep but still quickly get bored when I am awake and so spend most nights reading or watching movies. I got through this novel in a single sitting with only one break for liquid in and out.
Another great story from Konrath/Kilborn, I am amazed that the author states he was unable to sell this book when it was newly written, but I have now downloaded the Kindle Edition and will definitely add this to my `read again' file.
There wasn't a clear cut-off point, but things slowed down. Not necessarily in a bad way, we just learn more about the plot and possible blooming romances. A few chapters later, it picked back up again and never stopped.
You know those movies when every time something bad happens, something worse happens? If you don't enjoy that type of movie, don't pick up this book. I kept thinking, "Oh, man. This really sucks. Maybe they'll do this or this." Nope. Konrath kicks you in the stomach with the next twist.
No doubt, Origin fits in the horror genre. I'm not a huge fan of horror, but there was enough suspense and storyline to keep me enthralled. I definitely wouldn't suggest this one for the squeamish.
I do have one complaint, and it's my preference, nothing to do with how the book was written. I wish Konrath had delved deeper into the demon's history, maybe more about the religious ramifications. I'm just nosy and wanted to see how Konrath would throw things together.
Fast read, simple, well worth the money.
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The reason for the secret; has just woken up after thousands of years and it just...Read more
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