" I loved the concept for this, but the execution fell a bit short. The great set-up made for an intriguing mystery - the US governent has "Satan" locked in an underground lab for study. But who or what is Bub in reality? Unfortunately, the premise was let down by a couple of things. Firstly, the characters, none of whom felt particularly well-fleshed out (with the exception of Sun, who I loved), and some felt a lot more like plot devices than people. I didn't really connect with anyone (again, except Sun) and often found myself skimming paragraphs of info-dumping on characters' backgrounds. I think this is a real weakness of Konrath's (I particularly hated it in his Kilborn book, Trapped) - he doesn't develop his characters, he just reels off a list of facts and attributes that are usually only there to serve the plot in some way anyway. Harker is the best example of this, I think. Konrath needs a character deranged and unstable enough to do what she does, so he sticks her in there and it doesn't really matter that it's implausible a woman like her would be placed on a project like this.
The second half of the book is also problematic as the tone shifts from mystery to gore-fest (although Origin isn't really as gorey as the Kilborn books, which I appreciated as I felt the gore was included less for shock value and more because it was natural to the situation). The change in tone does jar somewhat and it sort of undoes Bub's mystique. He spends the first half of the book as this unfathomable, clever, fascinating being that could push the story in any number of directions, then abruptly changes to a crass murder-beast. I think this disappointed me because I liked Bub and I liked the dynamic between him and the humans studying him, and the cat-and-mouse games he played with them. To see that swapped out for rather generic hack-and-slash horror was disappointing.
And the ending...I thought maybe the book was missing a section, it was so abrupt. Apparently Konrath is planning a sequel - good, we need one. I've no objection to ambiguity in books, but this felt less like ambiguity and more like Konrath just forgot to include the epilogue.
Am I saying Origin is a bad book? No, definitely not. It has the B-movie feel to it that I enjoy in the Kilborn books and I raced through it despite the problems I mentioned. I just feel such an awesome set-up deserved a better resolution, and that the book deserved more care. It could definitely use a good editor, and given Konrath's resources I don't understand why he hasn't run Origin by one. There are a couple of formatting problems that could and should be easily fixed, for example. He does say in his afterword he's not interested in rewriting the book anymore, but it wouldn't take much time or effort to polish Origin up in this respect.
In short, it's a fun read with a few flaws. I'd be on board for a sequel if it showed up cheap, but wouldn't necessarily rush out to buy it. "
— Naomi, 1/21/2014