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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars

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on 25 January 2012
I found it a good read. The prologue was intriguing -- a bit of history that brought to mind the beginning of the film "My Science Project", also involving a president. This wasn't a copy of that, though. The first chapter -- the one where you're wrenched into the present -- was well done, with the presidents men knocking at the door at 3 a.m. Then, the setting opens up to us bit by bit through the eyes of Andy the linguist, before moving on to other narrative points of view.

He and eight others are the only ones, outside of the President, and possibly a few others who were sworn to secrecy (like ex-presidents, presumably), who know about the creature, allegedly the devil himself. At least he looks like the classical depiction of the devil. Through Andy's expertise, they get the creature talking. He's ancient. He knows Latin, Hebrew and Mayan, but he quickly learns English. His actual history is illusive, as we never know whether to believe the creature or not.

The other characters are a mixture. Sun, the vet, has recently been called in to check the creature's health. There's a priest and a rabbi. As one who has had exposure to both religions, I can say they're believably portrayed. Joe Konrath has also done enough reading up on things like ancient languages and DNA to at least sound believable. The narrative is spiced up by the banter between the rabbi and priest, chemistry between Andy and Sun, the secret desires of the doctor, and the hidden histories of each one (enabling the President to blackmail them into staying put), in an underground world equipped with everything only the army would think sufficient for the good life. He takes us from what seems like a science fiction techno-thriller, to what could pass as a horror story.

...and, to answer an earlier reviewer (the one who repeatedly forgot to say "spoiler alert"): yes, in an project where even the president has a limited pool of human resource, where they've been locked underground, not seeing the outside world for however long, given a history of government inefficiency, I would expect inept bungling such as what happens in the story.

At least the story kept me on til the "uh-oh" ending.

robby charters
author of Pepe
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on 8 February 2012
I always think it slightly arrogant of us amateur reviewers to critique a professional product: but we are the customers, after all.. When I say 'surprisingly', this is only because I have experienced minor disappointments with the quality of lower-priced Kindle editions - but Origin is definitively not in that category. The style is fluid and fast-paced; as other reviewers have alluded to, the 'movie' like feel of chapters and scenes is evident, as is the plot development, but still with oodles of originality and visceral reality in many of the descriptive scenes. Characters are likeable, flawed, vulnerable and believable - not a massive amount of depth but enough to make you want them to survive.
I've read (and rate) a number of Graham Masterton's novels and I think this compares admirably with those: and is way better than a lot of self-styled 'technothrillers' that really don't feature the quality of writing present in Origin.
Original, great characterisation, superbly judged touches of humour, conspiracy and romance - probably just a hint of Resident Evil - great entertainment and worth substantially more than the the low-price ticket for Kindle. I'll be reading more of Mr Konrath's writing in the coming weeks as it's rare that I'll read any novel at only two sittings, but I only put this one down as I fell asleep in bed! Highly recommended!
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on 23 August 2013
This book is definitely a story of 2 parts.
First off is introducing the creature, Bub. Is he the devil? Or an alien? Or what? I liked the mix of characters investigating him. I did skip some of the theological stuff as that seemed to go on a bit.
Then comes the action part of the story and that was quite a roller coaster ride of the gory kind. What Bub does to anyone who gets in his way is nasty to say the least.
I did enjoy this book. It was a page turner of a read.
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on 20 May 2013
The discovery of what may or may not be a demon/the devil and what occurs when a presidentially appointed team of scientists, linguists and experts interact with it is not a plot device that I have come across before, and initially, showed plenty of hope for the remainder of the book.
However, the story loses its flow and cohesion from around the middle onward, and takes on more of a horror slant rather abruptly, and from there on in becomes rather trite and James Herbert-esque, with less depth, and the loss of its earlier promise.

Origin has a strong concept and opens with a strong start, but I feel that more could have been done with this fairly unique idea, and the story could have been taken in any one of many much more promising directions than it ultimately took.
Origin is very readable and keeps you turning the pages until the end, but I feel that the story lost its momentum and direction part way through and instead went tangentially off in a well tried-and-tested but fairly unimaginative "monster threatens the fate of humanity and is fought by a small team of misfits and civilians against all odds" style, which made me feel that the writer either lost interest in the story or ran out of steam after the initial few chapters.
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on 13 January 2014
I've read a couple of Kilborn/Konrath's books (Afraid and Trapped) and know to expect the well-written, descriptive action-packed and past-paced prose... this one, 'ORIGIN', I didn't like as much as the other two I've read, as it seemed a wee bit too unbelievable, the concept of Satan/the devil etc just wasn't there for me, much as it wouldn't be if 'God' became a factor in the tale. However, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and there was plenty of blood and gore, as well as likeable characters that I was rooting for to the last page.. I loved the concept of the underground government lair and how the staff were chosen to work there, and also how some of these staff got their just desserts.. I'm currently reading another technothriller by Konrath - The List - and am really enjoying this (about 40% read so far) as it has all the action, drama and suspense typically associated with this author's work. Kilborn is a fantastic writer with some very original ideas and I look forward to reading more work from this chap!! Would recommend to fans of the thriller/horror genre.
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on 30 August 2016
Interesting plot with strong charcters ...Especially Bub !! I am quickly becoming a fan of this man's imagination . I would strongly recommend his books .
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on 2 November 2014
Another decent book from this author, yeah you need to leave your brain at the door for a lot of it but for me this is what can make this genre so enjoyable.

Having recently read Haunted House I especially liked learning more about Frank, and how he got to be the character he is in that novel.
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on 7 March 2011
I read this straight after reading The List and both books are pretty similar. That's not a bad thing though.

Origin has a great story and engaging characters. It's very visual in that you can imagine a film of it working very well. Think of Origin as the book equivilant of an Arnie film. Loud, brash, utterly ridiculous but great fun.

Time to read something else on the ever growing Kindle pile but I'll certainly be back to see what else Mr Konrath has to offer.

As is the case with all Konrath books the Kindle formatting is excellent. The author was even kind enough to reply to an email correcting what I thought was a formatting error (devout Jews write 'God' as 'G-d' which looks like an error on the page but isn't).
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on 18 March 2011
How this book did not cut the grade to be published in paper, I have no idea. I downloaded this to my Kindle and I could not put it down.
If you liked the Exorcist, throw in a bit of Science and you get Origin!
1906 they find a tomb containing what can only be described as a thing. Being on the cautious side, they entomb it under the earth being supervised by medics, religious bods and scientists from all areas.
After many years of being poked, prodded and tested, it eventually wakes up, with a hunger for fresh sheep. The scientists call him Bud after Beelzelbub, and they beleive it to be Satan himself or a fallen angel. The only thing Bud wants is out of his/its cage......interested? Download this for a great read...it gets better ;)
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on 26 April 2011
This was a fun horror read. Easy to get into and it has all the classic components for a typical horror story, secret underground lab, creepy monster, flawed idiot scientists. The only criticisms I have is that it would have been nice if the main character Andrew had been developed in more detail and had more of a role, i/e getting to use his linguist skills a bit more, either in one on one conversations with the creature or possibly in deciphering the glyphs on the container and realising what was happening etc) but this is a minor criticism.

All in all, a very enjoyable ebook, well done Mr Konrath. Incidentally, If you enjoyed this ebook then it would also be worth checking out Afraid (written by the author under the penname J Kilborn).
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