Book Review: Origins By S.E. Meyer

As an archaeologist, the name Zecharia Sitchin sets all of my alarm bells ringing and my “Nonsense Detector” into overdrive; so when the writer presented me with this novel for review through theindieview.com, and the premise sounded very much the sort of novel Sitchin might have written, you’d think I’d have turned it away. But I didn’t. After all, I love the Assassin’s Creed games and the back story there is of a similar premise – silly but fun and enjoyable so my hope was that this would be similarly silly but a good read.

The story goes that our hero accidentally injects himself with a formula translated from 7000 year old texts. This formula gives him some ancient powers that mysterious powers of the world want to harness. What’s more, humanity is on the brink of extinction thanks to this technology and the alien race that invented it. He must use his powers to save the world and most importantly, his seriously sick wife.

It was an interesting enough story even though it got sillier as it went on for me and the end became a bit preachy with its quasi-religious theme. If you’re into this particular sub-genre you’ll know what to expect. It just didn’t push any boundaries and progresses pretty much as expected. If you read this sort of thing on a regular basis I’m sure it’ll tick all your boxes.

Some of the language grated on me; it could have done with a beta reader to iron out the typos and grammatically jarring sentences. It is over-written in places. Sometimes I just wanted something to happen when we were getting extensive and unnecessary narrative explaining what was happening or what had just happened. This type of book is supposed to be a page turner and I’m afraid that this wasn’t – I struggled in places.

The Kindle formatting is poor too. There were none of the marker tabs so you can’t hop back and forth easily through the “go to” facility. That is one of the benefits of digital publishing, the ability to go back and forth to check previous details. The ebook then is user unfriendly.

There is an extensive section at the end on the Sumerians. I decided not to read this in case my inner archaeologist felt the need to tear it apart. There’s no two ways about it, Sitchin has never and should never be taken seriously for his views but I understand how his fanciful ideas appeal to people.

A semi-interesting read in the tradition of The Da Vinci Code and various others. Good for a switch your brain off romp but I’m afraid it won’t stick in my mind. There are better examples of conspiracy thrillers and alternate archaeology fiction out there.

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