Mu favorites are paranormal, supernatural, post-apocalyptic, and horror!
This was my first Agent Pendercast novel. Luckily, it looks like this is the first book in the Pendercast series. I fully plan to listen to the entire series. I am already a die-hard Pendercast/ Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child fan!!! These authors have done an excellent job writing this novel together.
Relic is a suspensful and terrifying tale of a mysterious and hungry creature living in the basement of a popular muesem. No one knows what exactly is causing the murders in the muesem, why they seem to be occurring with greater frequency, and how to stop them from continuing. Agent Pendercast is introduced as a wise and talented Federal agent who helps bring the adventure to life.
I was literally at the edge of my seat throughout most of this book. It had my full attention and interest! Normally, i will listen to my audiobooks in the background while attending to mindless tasks - but i could not do anything else while listening to Relic. I was completely engrossed in the excitement. I am sure that i will listen to this book again and again, but i doubt it will ever be as thrilling as the first time through. I highly recommend this book - but if you scare easily, maybe you should only listen during the daylight!
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
There was excellent character development. You came to know the characters. I like thrillers where you don't know what is goingto happen (no foreshadowing) and what does happen is believable and unexpected.
Margo Green is a kick butt heroine. She is fearless. Also, this is the introduction to Special Agent Pendergast.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
I love mysteries, but generally do not read "monster" stories. I can't remember why I purchased "Relic," but I did, and it was a very pleasant surprise.
However, I should warn you that it doesn't start out too well. For the first hour of listening, I was disappointed and very nearly turned off my iPod. But I decided to listen halfway before giving up on this book. As soon as the character of Pendergast was introduced, my enjoyment of the book increased dramatically. There are many secondary characters that are not well-defined; it is an overarching weakness of the book. But Perdergast, the main police character, and two of the museum characters are very well written and engaging.
I thought the narrator was just OK.
The drama of the "monster" was also well written and grabbed my attention. I definitely experienced tension and fear.
The biggest surprise (no spoiler ... read on!) was the epilogue. Do not miss that, when you finish listening to the last chapter.
This is my second Preston/Child Pendergast book. I jumped in at Number 5 - "Still Life with Crows", and I was left scratching my head after that one. My final thought was "Huh?" i'm still thinking "Huh", but I would define that word as 'too many holes in the plot, too inexplicable, too implausible' But I loved the description of the town, and Dick Hill's audio performance was haunting. I am sure I will listen to Part I of "Still Life" again soon, when the leaves turn and are thrashed from their branches by the Santa Anas.
When I finished this "Relic", I thought "What if . . . " Not really likely (or probable), but "What if?" I'm still thinking that. The sense of place was intriguing, although sometimes a little hard to map in my mind. I remember the computer technology from the era discussed, and it's accurate. Yes, Virginia, computers used to have black screens and green letters - no other colors, no graphics.
That brings us to the audio, which is the worst that I've heard on Audible. The problem wasn't the difference between David Colacci (Relic) and Dick Hill (Still Life). It took me about ten minutes to make the transition, but I got used to it.
There were two major problems I never got over: the 'special effects' and Gilligan's Island.
Audio special effects are like text special effects - just because you can throw in 26 point Comic Sans into a paragraph of Times Roman 12 point text doesn't mean you should. It's jarring, messy, breaks the flow, and your reader will just ignore that comically blaring point you are trying to make.
With audio books, ust because you can throw in echoes and the sound of someone transmitting on a walkie talkie doesn't mean you should. That happened in this performance, and I wished I could have skipped over all of that. I would have missed part of the story, but it was that annoying. I would have rather missed part of the story than hear it.
I was willing to attribute the intrusive 'special effects' to bad editing and production - until Thurston Howell III showed up. One of the characters had THIII's voice, and I am not kidding. Every time Colacci performed that character, I looked for the Minnow, shipwreked on a beautiful beach.
I will listen to another Pendergast book, just to fix my bearings on this . . .
The story is very flat and there is no suspense at all in the whole book. The narration is also not very good. The narrator creates unique voices, but the recording quality is not that good either. Especially, the sound effects for direct speech are very bad (e.g. echo in the cellar, walkie-talkie voices). It hurts in the ears when listening on an iPod. All in all, not a good book. The newer Pendergast stories are much better, especially considering that Pendergast is not the protagonist in this book and some book catalogs do list this book not as a Pendergast book.
So much is wrong with this book; where to start? With the cardboard, cartoon characters, I guess. The museum honchos - prissy, silly, clueless. Seriously, they're more concerned about the bad publicity of having to postpone the exhibition opening than the fact that three grisly murders have occurred there the day before, and the unknown person/thing who did the killing is STILL THERE? The hot shot, pompous head of the FBI in NY who snidely dismisses southern FBI agent Pendergast, he of the honey-dripping accent that everyone thinks makes him dim-witted? We immediately know that these folks are in for serious humilation when the sainted Pendergast shows them for fools.
Then there's the narration. The reader is adequate when speaking in a normal voice, but his accents (an Austrian and a Scot sound like Col. Klink and the Gorton Fisherman, respectively) are laughable.
But maybe the worst part is the loud and annoying special effects - tunnel, walkie-talkie, etc. - that had me grabbing the volume control button repeatedly to avoid ear damage.
There was never the slightest sense of tension or threat as the plot progressed. I did get this book on sale, but it was still a waste of time and money.
Are all New Yorkers stupid? This book would have you believe that officials in high places and New York's smartest high achievers all panic at the sight of a dead body and make 1 stupid decision after another. And that FBI supervisors are untrained with the emotions of tween-age girls. You have to overlook a barrage of unlikely and stupid choices to enjoy this book. POSSIBLY A SPOILER alert: And you will come up against another common pattern for this genre, where a clever creature that has maintained a secret existence suddenly has a death-wish at the time the book's narration begins.
If you are able to dismiss a series of unlikely events and characters with simplistic mentation, you will have nearly 2 hours of suspense and thrills at the end of this book.
Without wanting to spoil "plot" details, this reads as a highly contrived story with cardboard characters, and it's almost as if the authors were primarily aiming for a movie deal. There were several points in the story where you just have to say "..ah, come on.. give me a break!". Also, the worst Scottish accent effort by the narrator you are likely to hear. But light listening if you have something else to do at the same time.....