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Relic (Pendergast, Book 1) by Douglas…
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Relic (Pendergast, Book 1) (original 1995; edition 1996)

by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child

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3,287741,665 (3.88)112
Member:HunyBadger
Title:Relic (Pendergast, Book 1)
Authors:Douglas Preston
Other authors:Lincoln Child
Info:Tor Books (1996), Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:thriller, Pendergast, New York, 2012

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Relic by Douglas Preston (1995)

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English (66)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
This one is a re-read for me. I read the book right after the movie came out because I loved the film so much. I found Chuck Palahniuk and Thomas Harris the same way. Fight Club and Silence of the Lambs were both movies I had no idea were originally books. As with most film adaptations, the books were much better. Which brings me to Relic. Not only is the book better than the movie, but it makes the movie look stupid by comparison.

Note: I still LOVE the movie, so I don't say that lightly.)

What Relic does well is blending the impossible with the possible. Though I'm a layman, Preston and Child come off as if they know what they're doing. They suspended my disbelief with an adept hand. If they made it all up, cool beans. At least it sounded plausible. And please don't comment about how far-fetched the monster or story is. I'm simply saying, I believed in the fiction enough that I could enjoy the story.

The review blurb on the front of the book states: "Far above Crichton's Jurassic Park." To me, this is truth, but only because of my literary tastes. Jurassic Park was another movie I watched before seeking out the book. I disliked Crichton's novel,though, feeling the movie was much better. Don't get your knickers twisted, as this is simply my own subjective opinion. Honestly, I probably liked Relic more because of the horror elements, which were handled very well, leaving a great deal to the imagination.

What I respect the most about Relic is the ending. Preston and Child manage to maintain tension for well over a hundred pages. I breezed through this book, as every chapter-ending left me wanting to move on. In fact, I think this is the quickest I've ever read a book of this length - 468 pages in only four days. I'm a slow reader. Don't judge me. :P

I'm reading the sequel, Reliquary, next. I will review when I'm done.

E.

(P.S. I forgot to explain why I gave it four stars. The writing is very matter-of-fact and often repetitious, sometimes even banal. Preston and Child have certain words and phrases they love, and you can tell. Oh, and another very minor thing that bothered was that everyone in the book not only had a fondness for saying "Chrissakes," but they also all said it the exact same way. The story, though, makes up a great deal for all the little things I didn't like.) ( )
  Edward.Lorn | Feb 13, 2015 |
I was suprised that I would enjoy this book. I saw the movie but didn't not remember much of it. This is the first Pendagast novel of the series. Well written, he wasn't shy describing every detail of the people who died. Suspensful, great read. 4/5 ( )
  dom76 | Dec 31, 2014 |
Relic is the first in a lengthy series of thrillers by Preston and Child, and quite the chilling read it is! It was first published in 1995, and as you see on the cover, at least one reviewer found it far superior to Jurassic Park!

It does feature a unique creature, as elusive as it is powerful and deadly, but it is not living out in the open; it is at home in the Natural History Museum in New York City, where it has apparently roamed the sub basements for years. Recently, however, it has developed a taste for the brains of human beings, and has begun to make it's presence known.

Reports of the murders attributed to a serial killer draw the attention of the renowned FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast, who is assigned to the New Orleans office. The grisly museum murders remind him of a case he worked which went unresolved several years prior and he makes his way to New York to work with NYPD to resolve the case. Pendergast is an agent with superior skills and analytical abilities reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes.

The museum directors are much more focused on an exhibit which is scheduled to open very soon, and do not welcome the intrusion of the police, the FBI, and the unwelcome rumors of a museum monster. The exhibit is called Superstition and features fetishes, totems and sacrificial devices used by remote tribes in remote rain forests in pagan worship. In fact, it seems like the disturbance of some of the crates containing some of these fetishes which have been stored at the museum for several years coincides rather dramatically with the sightings of the mysterious creature.

But while the Museum Directors are intent on opening the show to recoup economically what they have already spent, one of the grad students who works at the museum is becoming more and more certain that the museum should absolutely not host so many people when their safety can definitely not be assured. 0

This book also introduces Lt. Vincent D'Agosta of the NYPD who works closely with Pendergast, and Margo Green is the intrepid young graduate assistant who is instrumental in solving the case, using up-to-the minute genetic technology to zero in on just what kind of creature they are dealing with. Exciting to the very end...and then the epilogue compels you to check out Reliquary, the second in this exciting series. ( )
  vcg610 | Dec 18, 2014 |
3.5

This book is a very fast and entertaining read. Apart for occasionally too detailed depictions of characters' actions, it is more than a good way to have fun.

The whole series is named after a character who doesn't have a leading role in this story. Pendergast is neither a central nor minor character here. There isn't a character you could say he or she is a major character in the novel. Aloysius Pendergast and Margo Green and to a lesser degree NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta, Dr. Frock and a journalist William Smithback are the ones who each in their own way help to find the truth behind the present killings and museum's past. Still, even though Pendergast isn't as prominent here as I would like, I am glad it's his series. I want to read more about him since you get only crumbs and teasers here (his past, his wife and so on).

The lack of romance worked so well here. I like that Margo Green is written as a ordinary woman, someone who is neither weak nor some kick-ass heroine. Margo could be anyone. She is completely normal, she can't really keep a secret, she gets scared. Pendergast and Margo do end up together fighting for their lives, but that's it. If anything romantic happens in later books, it doesn't matter.

I like that Smithback is a real character, not some caricature of a journalist only after a story. He does want it, but not at any cost. The Mayor is another character who is not presented as your usual politician.
The red tape, bureaucrats and too ambitious agents form a antagonistic knot the main characters have to entangle to get to the truth. They are a bit one-dimensional, but since the story itself is really good, it doesn't ruin it.

The reason this book is labelled horror among other things is well written and the explanation for the killings and the origin of a strange figurine are not unbelievable. It touches the ordinary things and science just close enough to make a great story.

While the book doesn't end in cliffhanger, its epilogue leaves an opening of bad things to come. ( )
  Irena. | Aug 26, 2014 |
The book was nowhere as good as the synopsis made me believe. However...it's a series and I've purchased many of the books...so here is hoping it gets better! ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Douglas Prestonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Child, Lincolnmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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To Charles Crumby - D.P.

To Luchie, who came along for the ride. And in memory of Nora and Gaga - L.C.
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At noon, the clouds clinging to the top of Cerro Gordo broke free and scattered.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
When a team of archaeologists is savagely massacred in the Amazon Basin, all that survives are several boxes of relics and plant specimens. From boat to boat, from port to port, the battered crates drift. They finally reach New York City — only to be locked away in the basement of a museum, lost and forgotten.

But the black heart of the Amazon never forgets. Just days before the Museum's massive new exhibition opens, someone or something other than tourists and school children is roaming the echoing halls and dusty galleries. And people are turning up savagely murdered.

Forensic evidence points to a killer of terrifying strength and ferocity. Rumors of a "Museum Beast," never far from the surface, rise again among the Museum staff. But then Margo Green, a graduate student working in the Museum, uncovers a link between the killings, the failed Amazonian expedition, and an odd figurine that will be displayed for the first time. Will she be able to put the pieces together and stop the deadly menace before terror strikes again?

Relic is Margo's race against time and death and an enemy so horrifying that she must find the strength within herself to destroy it and save the Museum from disaster.

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Days before a massive exhibition at the New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being murdered. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human. The museum's directors decide to go ahead with the bash in spite of the murders. Now museum researcher Margo Green must find out who or what is doing the killing. Does she have time to stop a massacre?… (more)

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