Origin by J.A. Konrath is something else. What? I’m not sure. The story opens with Andy Dennison being offered/coerced into a job with the U.S. Government. In a secret underground installation, a creature has finally awakened from a coma 100 years after its discovery. Who knows how long it was there before then. But someone buried it eighty feet deep. That should have told the people who discovered it something. But people don’t always pay attention to the obvious. One other little obvious detail is that the creature looks like Satan. Raise your hand if you think this doesn’t end well.
So Andy is brought into the project because he is a great linguist and the creature is speaking a language not heard in thousands of years. As he and the two doctors, a geneticist, a rabbi, a priest, and one star general try to figure out the creature; he has already figured them out.
I was very much entertained and horrified at the same time. I could definitely see this as a movie. It has the character development of a Stephen King novel where they each have something in their past that is important to the plot. The personalities were a bit “stock,” but that’s what makes it work. Each character plays their part in the puzzle and the reader just watches waiting to see who or if anyone will survive.
The setting takes place in a secret underground facility that was built in the early 1900s. It grew extensively over the years while the Satan-creature was asleep. This place also plays a vital role in the plot.
The dialog is good. It does get a bit windy in places; but it is a “Techno Thriller” so there is a lot of medical, biological, and religious detail. A lot. Although, I did get the general idea of what the characters were saying in those places. I don’t know if all of it was correct, but the author sure does make it seem legitimate.
The book’s ending concluded in a satisfactory way, the expected outcome for a survival type book. However, there is a twist, and it does leave room for a possible sequel. I could see the movie version doing well and then a different director and different cast and different writers coming in to make B-movie sequels.
This original story is worth the read. I recommend for horror and supernatural thrillers. It’s a fun read if you liked being creeped out.