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.
Urgh, I had such high expectations for Origin and whilst there were some good things about it, the bad things totally outweighed the good and I was totally let down. Bad science, insta-love and lack of character development are all problems that seriously annoyed me. Let me tell you what was good about this book first.
The setting: The lush jungle setting of this book is gorgeous. Though we don't see it until a little later in the book it is one of those vivid settings that totally paints a picture in your head. I also liked Little Cam and the Ai'oan village. The setting descriptions were gorgeous and I loved it.
The premise: Okay, this is a bit hit and miss for me, but I loved the storyline in the beginning. I really thought that I was going to love this because the whole trapped immortal girl thing could have been good, I wasn't a fan of the execution but I did really like the premise.
However, there were a few problems that I just can't overlook...
The science: Look, I'm a scientist. I'm studying a science, I may not be a biologist or a botanist but I'm studying Environmental Geography and have a bit of an understanding of that stuff. The science in this book started off so well. Khoury had obviously done some genetic research which worked for the whole family side of things, however the actual science that goes into making the immortals never really worked and though I dealt with it to begin with, I just couldn't deal with it when it turned fantasy at the end. It just didn't work, sorry!
The characters: I liked some of the characters in this book, Aunt Harriet was cool, Uncle Antonio was awesome and even Uncle Paulo, who's the evil bad guy in this was well written. Unfortunately, I seriously disliked Pia, I understand that she's torn and that she has never known anything other than Little Cam and has been brought up a certain way, but her indeciciveness annoyed me... and she seemed TOO perfect, it was very annoying Mary Sue like. Eio was okay, but he was just the love interest and wasn't really developed.
The romance: This was my worst problem with this book. The lack of character development meant that since I was pretty much indifferent to Pia and Eio, I didn't really care for tthe romance. Plus, this book is total insta-love and I hated it, it just didn't work! Plus, after their first meeting, Eio is constantly telling Pia she';s beautiful. It seemed like it was her appearance that caused the attraction and not some kind of deeper connection. *Sigh*.
Overall, despite a beautiful setting and a good premise the execution lacked. The science was bad and a lack of relationship and character development seriously annoyed me.
Overall Rating: D-
Book released September 4th 2012 by Razorbill
Book received as an eGalley for review from NetGalley