June 10, 2012

Book review: Origin by J.A. Konrath

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When linguist Andrew Dennison is yanked from his bed by the Secret Service and taken to a top secret facility in the desert, he has no idea he's been brought there to translate the words of an ancient demon.

He joins pretty but cold veterinarian Sun Jones, eccentric molecular biologist Dr. Frank Belgium, and a hodge-podge of religious, military, and science personnel to try and figure out if the creature is, indeed, Satan.

But things quickly go bad, and very soon Andy isn't just fighting for his life, but the lives of everyone on earth...

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Joe Konrath is somewhat of a legend among indie writers. His blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, was one major influence on my decision to self-publish. His blog is known for being controversial, sometimes offensive, but informative. Likewise, the two previous books I've read by Konrath are also offensive yet entertaining. I don't read one of Konrath's novels because I'm looking for good writing. I read it to be entertained. So when Konrath made Origin free on Amazon, I snapped it up.

Reading Origin was like reading two different books. The first half, unfortunately, was not that good. Konrath spent too much time going into the backgrounds of the people working at the secret facility where the story takes place. The back stories were forced and didn't flow with the rest of the novel. Even the relationship between the two main characters was hard to believe, as if Konrath threw it in because you have to have a romantic relationship in every story.

Then, once hell breaks loose, the story takes off. It becomes the entertaining joy ride that I hoped the book would be. There's a good bit of gore, so I don't recommend the book to those with a weak stomach, but if you can handle it, you'll probably find this book a fun, fast read.

I couldn't decide between giving this book 3 stars or 4. If I could rate each half of the book separately, I'd give the first half 3 stars and the second half 4 stars. In the end, I decided on 4 stars for the book overall because my intention in reading it was to be entertained, and in that respect, Origin did a pretty good job.

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