Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

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Jessica Khoury
Publication date: September 4th 2012
by Razorbill


Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home—and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

*A copy was provided by Penguin Canada for review purposes*

Reminiscent of Lost, Origin takes place in the Amazon Rainforest where scientists are experimenting, and Pia is their most prized subject. Born and raised in a small secret village, Pia has never left the compound, has never seen anything other than the same old faces, the same old sterile labs and homes… until now.

Fascinating in itself, this story is told in a wonderfully vivid setting that sets the perfect mood for the reclusiveness of this secret scientific project. I can’t say that I’m very familiar with that part of the world, and I think this fact played a large part in how mesmerizing it was for me. Exotic animals, plants, and cultures create an atmosphere that is both unique and enchanting. The jungle is not just the setting, it’s an ambiance with sounds, smells, visualizations that come alive when you’re reading this book. Then, when you add hidden laboratories and secret experiments, it compels you even further. When I wasn’t immersed in the beauty of the Rainforest, I was contemplating the secrets and lies that run rampant within it. This encompasses immortality, science, magic, forbidden romance, betrayals, conspiracies, and evil plans, which are sure ways to create an exciting plot; Origin is definitely no exception.

Fast paced and energetic, the plot in Origin is set at just the right pace to keep you vigilant, while letting you absorb and savor the atmosphere. Pia, our protagonist, is a very peculiar character; her evident naiveté, lack of experience, and — surprisingly for someone immortal — vulnerability, would usually make for an unlikeable character, but because of her circumstance I found her quite compelling. Although I won’t admit to being completely in tune with her, she provoked a lot of wonderment and thought about her situation and what it would be like to know you will outlive everyone you love. Soon, she meets a native outside the fence – a boy named Eio (do not ask me to pronounce this, it sounds like I stubbed my toe O_O). Raised in the jungle, Eio is much more suited for the outdoors than Pia; he’s resourceful and strong. I liked him as a character. I didn’t find he and Pia had a whole lot of chemistry flowing between them, though. They develop a relationship that progresses fairly quickly; before I had time to register their attraction for each other, they were already falling in love. I never felt it, this alleged burning affection. Still, it was cute, it was definitely cute, maybe even sweet.

Overall, with an incredibly beautiful and imaginative setting, Origin’s enticing premise is sure to captivate fans of science fiction/fantasy. Plus, it’s all in a fabulous standalone self! 

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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39 Responses to “Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury”

  1. Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

    Amazing review, Giselle! <3 I love the sound of this setting, and how you described it as so much more than just the "setting" of this book. Really want to read this one, and I'm so happy to hear that it was so captivating *o* Thanks for the review, it was awesome!! <3

    and LOOOL, Ai-oh…? or Ay-oh…..

  2. Sharon ObsessionwithBooks

    I have been really eager to read this one, I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    The setting sounds wonderful, I’m not a huge fan of relationships that progress too quickly, I like a build up so I hope this aspect doesn’t drive me batty 😉

    Thank-you for sharing Giselle!

  3. Amy

    This sounds really awesome!! I love that it’s a stand alone too. There aren’t nearly enough of those lately. Not that I don’t totally love series, but I feel like I am reading like a million of them. Lol!! Fantastic review chick!!

  4. Danny

    I was waiting to finally read a review from Origin! I loved the cover, although it reminded me always of “Lost” (the TV series…).

    But.. this character description of Pia sound so great “Although I won’t admit to being completely in tune with her, she provoked a lot of wonderment” .
    Love this :))

  5. Rebecca

    This sounds unique and refreshing, glad to hear you enjoyed this as I know you were really looking forward to it as your a huge Lost fan. The setting and descriptive visuals sound electrifying, this aspect intrigues me the most.

    Soon, she meets a native outside the fence – a boy named Eio (do not ask me to pronounce this, it sounds like I stubbed my toe O_O). *cackles* *doubles over with laughter* *giggles* Giselle, you are too much 😉

    Ashame there wasn’t much chemistry between Pia and Eio, I love me some good romance and electricity so to hear that they develop a relationship so quickly that it didn’t even register with you, the reader, is disappointing to hear, even if they make a cute couple. Random fact: Eio’s name sounds like it was vowel inspired. As in, AEIOU.

    Love this review ♥

  6. Lena

    i have see a lot of reviews for this book, and every time I read a review i get excited!!! Origin sounds great… and you always write nice reviews- lately you have been giving books 4 stars, and even a five starred review, so you must be enjoying all the books that you are reading haha.

  7. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    WOW, I have seen a lot of not so favourable reviews for this one so I had kind of written it off, but this makes it sounds so very interesting! I love that the world building is so fantastic in an area that is completely foreign to the reader. Great review darlin’!

  8. Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)

    This one looks super good — great review, Giselle! I love that it’s kind of like Lost. Actually, it reminds me of State of Wonder by Anne Patchett — but YA. I’ll have to see if my library’s getting this one! I love the cover for it!

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Giselle

    @Lena: I did read a few books in a row that I loved. But I also had a DNF which I didn’t post on the blog, and a few 2-3 stars last week. Bleh. I think you’ve just been hitting the blog on a lot of good days 😉

  10. Jac

    I like the setting – and Pia sounds like her story would be really interesting! I hadn’t heard of this one, and I have to admit that I’m not a Lost fan. But this sounds really good!!

    -Jac @ For Love

    and Books

  11. Alexa

    I thought this book was really imaginative! I really liked it, though I too wasn’t too much a fan of the romance. It’s really good though!

  12. Millie

    Great review! All I’ve heard is how wonderful Origin is, so I’m glad you were a little more critical and explained why you thought the book was good.
    I cannot wait to read this one! It looks so interesting! Your review has definitely made me very excited for this one 🙂

  13. Chevy27

    Thanks for the great review! Origin looks like a great book and I can’t wait to read it!And now thanks to reading your review of it, my patience is getting tested haha

    I just followed your blog and can’t wait to read what you have to say about other books you read! I would love a follow back at

    Thanks again for the amazing review, and i will be back soon!


  14. Camille Picott

    I read another review of Origin that wasn’t quite so positive, so it was nice to one from someone who really enjoyed it. The premise has me really intrigued and I love great worldbuilding.

  15. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I’ve read a couple of good reviews for this one…enough that I’m pretty darned excited to read it. Love the setting and the MC sounds like no one before. Plus, a cute relationship…I like it!

  16. Silverlight

    I’m on the fence w/this one, I mean I love the idea of the world building and great visuals, but I’m put off w/the whole sci-fi aspect of it. N6ot a huge fan of that genre, thanks for the honest review!

  17. Meg K.

    Yay! So glad you enjoyed this one. 🙂 I’m definitely going to get this once it’s out, and try to ignore the obvious insta-love in it. A lot of people have been saying how beautiful and exotic the book is, too, so I’m pretty excited for it. Great review, Giselle!

  18. Candace

    I really enjoyed the setting as well. And I liked the idea of the story but did grow bored with it. And I liked the relationship okay but like you I wasn’t really feeling it. It wasn’t bad I just wasn’t really seeing the connection between them so much. But it was still an enjoyable read!

  19. Kim

    *squee* This sounds sooo good! Even though there seems to be a case of insta-love which I usually can’t stand, I might just read it to experience the amazing setting you’ve described! To be honest though, I’m not sure whether or not I’ll like Pia, but I’ll take your word for it and hope for the best x) Fantastic review!

  20. Christina

    “do not ask me to pronounce this, it sounds like I stubbed my toe O_O”
    Bahahaha, Giselle, you crack me up at least once in every review, I do declare!

    I definitely agree with the romance, although I didn’t find it cute. Mostly, I thought it was sad, because it seemed like neither of them EVER got to meet anyone else in their age group. It’s sort of like a post-apocalyptic scenario where there’s just two people left. Guess they’d better fall in love, because what other choice do they have?

  21. Beckie

    Wow amazing review,I have read the synopsis before and ummed and arred about whether to read it, but after reading your amazing review, I have to read it, wow. Thanks for sharing xx

  22. Damaris (GoodChoiceReading)

    I DNF’d this book :-(. I just couldn’t get into it. It started off VERY slow.

    After reading your review, though, I feel like I should have kept reading LOL. Maybe if I would have gotten a little further I would have finished it. :-/ I might try it again…eventually.