Great material. Really fun and varied ways of customizing characters, this supplements succeeds in doing what it sets to do, giving plenty of options for cool species to play with, yet being flexible enough so you don't get two exact same PCs basically EVER. Aside from "lower stats don't mean anything", this book's character creator mechanics are awesome.
It is basically "Ancestry and Culture", but in FTD's fashion it goes straight to the point, and the tools it gives are super flexible.
Seeing the paragon concept also makes me very happy, as the option for the "race as class" while being a trope it is still a cool concept. I think having many different ways to play a character is always better.
On the art front, I enjoy it but it is far too removed from the desperate, raw and gritty style of the core book. The core book has more atmospheric art, and origins seems not only whimsical in comparison but also far too basic and flat(technique wise).
I understand that the core book is twice the price, and I do enjoy me some whimsy, but comparing the core heritages art on each book there is no denying this is quite the step down quiality wise. Also a missed opportunity not having a spread of the heritages ¿maybe when we get a hardcover compilation? (if so, I think the original art style and technique are far superior).
As for the controversy regarding the last page statement, I get it. No, I don't think the author's worldview should be excluded from thir work, far from it. I also think that the best statement are the first 15 pages of the book. That statement reads as if the authors regret making FTD in the first place, instead of celebrating what origins brings to the table in both flexibility, variety and a more inclusive worldview.
Species ARE diferent, so on average some being stronger, taller, slender, quicker gives a clear startingpoint to think "how does a culture where a child can walk and lift 100 pounds by age 8 looks like?" If every species "is the same unless it is adventuring" then heritages become a paint job, which to me reduces the versatility, and is far harder to establish a world where that is possible.
However I agree that adventurers are extraordinary, regardless of species, that's why an Orc can be a Wizard, probably the strongest wizard in the class on average (not that hard).
I digress. Mechanics are on point, the statement's focus (negativity for the past instead of the many doors opened by this material and world view) and the "stats are only valid while adventuring" not so much.
Worth the price.