Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human. But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders.
Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who - or what - is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop the massacre?
Prolong the suspense: listen to the sequel, Reliquary.
©2007 Douglas Preston; (P)2007 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"With its close-up view of museum life and politics, plausible scientific background, sharply drawn characters and a plot line that's blissfully free of gratuitous romance, this well-crafted novel offers first-rate thrills and chills." (Publishers Weekly)
"Wildly cool....Thrill hounds couldn't ask for a creepier environment....a thriller staged in the world's scariest building, with no room for the squeamish." (Kirkus Reviews)
Perhaps this is just not my genre--mixing science fiction into a thriller. If that juxtaposition doesn't bother you, you may love the book. My larger complaint is the overbearing Southern accent used for Pendergast. As a native Southerner, I find that the exaggerated dialect and mannerisms of the Pendergast character make him less credible, and frankly quite annoying. I won't be back for more of this series.
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.....
After reading the Monster of Venice, I wanted to check out other books by Douglas Preston and came across Relic. After reading the summary , I dismissed it because I do not like supernatural-themed books. I bought it on sale, not realizing what I bought and almost didn't listen to it. But I gave it a chance and I really liked it. The authors are talented and the characters are interesting. They make something that is unbelievable, believable. The narration is good, too.
This audio novel was just the right blend of creepiness and science fiction. I was on the edge of my seat wanting to find out what was going to happen next. I particularly liked Dr. Frock and the revelation about the monser was intriguing. I'm picking up the sequel Reliquery.
I listened to Relic over a couple of long trips in the car recently. I would describe it as Michael Crichton meets Sherlock Holmes, and the story is engaging.
However, the narrator, David Colacci, turns a good listen into a great listen. He makes the characters come alive. You love Pendergast, root for D'agosta, and want to see Coffee flayed alive. Colacci may be the best Audible narrator I've ever listened to. I was crushed to see the sequel, Reliquary, is narrated by someone else. AUDIBLE, DO US A FAVOR AND BRING BACK COLACCI AS PENDERGAST IN RELIQUARY!
Last, the conclusion to Relic is clever and caught us totally off guard. As soon as the book ended, my wife and I went back to the first chapter to pick up the clues we missed the first time around. An excellent listen.
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
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 . . .
I cannot compare the audio with the print version because I have not read the print version.
The plot was exciting from the first page. I do most of my reading in the car, and I found myself gripping the steering wheel! Most of my reading is non-fiction, but I occasionally take a break and read a novel. What a great find! I am so happy that I am reading this.The story is unusual in setting as well as plot. It is great to listen and imagine the people, trapped in the Museum of Natural History, and the fear that they are feeling.
So much! Colacci is by far the best reader that I have listened to! He reads so well, and adapts his voice to the different characters, that it is like I am listening to a play rather than listening to a book.I will now do searches specifically for books that he has narrated.
It made me scared and excited! I forget everything and become immersed in the plot.
The Relic is the first of a series. Start here and keep reading!
It kept me on my toes and guessing, I was never sure what was coming, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
I'm not sure what to compare it to, I've never listened to or read another book like this one
I don't know if I had a favorite part, I enjoyed the whole book other than the end here the mad scientist was growing more of the weeds and selling it as drugs, that part was a bit disturbing
No, it was not that kind of book for me
Preston and child are my favorite duo, they never disappoint
After reading Cabinet of Curiosities and loving the writing style of Preston and Child I had to start from the beginning and was not disappointed. I loved the first Pendergast book and cannot wait to continue with the rest of the series. Being a huge James Patterson fan, it has been refreshing to really enjoy a completely different writing style that has kept my attention. Looking forward to the rest!
I enjoy Smithback's character because he is completely obnoxious, but you grow to love him because beneath it, he is is a decent guy, but the subtle comedic relief of the book.
I loved how he portrayed each character's voice and took great detail to account for the sounds that the voices would make in various rooms (such as a deep basement, or over a walkie talkie)....the attention to detail makes the narration one of the best I've heard.
I really enjoy reading the bits of history and facts that are sprinkled in the plot of the story.
"Gripping Plot and Gritty Characters"
This is the first boom in the Pendergast series and introduces the listener to many of the characters used in future 'Pendergast' books. The plot twists and turns right from the beginning and leaves you wondering where it will go next. Gritty characters and great narration will get your pulse racing and biting your lip in anticipation of the next twist. Follow this up with Reliquary, then Preston's other 'Pendergast' books, they are all as gripping!
This book was a different genre to what I normally listen to so I was unsure if I would like the book or not. However, Relic was a pleasant surprise. The story was gripping from start to finish and the final part of the book was breathtaking. I would recommend this book to anyone.
"Brilliant. I loved this book"
This book was brilliant, with a wondefully gripping story that really draws you in. This story is so good you will want to read Pendergast book 2. Sci fi, adventure, murder, suspense, what more can you ask for. The story is also well read and this book ensures hours of pleasure.
"Should have been left in the museum"
Predictable, cliched "dark corridors, something down there" novel. Couldn't get in to it, didn't believe in it, bored by it and couldn't relate to the cardboard characters. Very disappointing given the quality of previous Lincoln Child output. Did he just put his name to it?
"Rip roaring Boy's Own yarn"
Great fun to listen to, like an aural version of an Indiana Jones film. A ripping yarn you can't wait to get back to listen to!
"Penderghastly at points"
In the round, it's not a bad book but some parts are pretty tough to swallow. It's not until you get right to the end that there's a revelation which makes some of the more far-fetched parts of the book slightly more plausible. Not sure I'll go back for more from Preston and Child.
"Keeps you on the edge of seat"
Definitely,and narrated by David Colacci - he is just brilliant
Prendergast- I imagine him as Sherlock Holmes
The jungle, the basement, the escape and the ending
Excited - could wait to finish
A good action thriller - plenty of suspense and gore
My major gripe here is that the description I found to be misleading.
Not a bad book. I did finish it unlike others I have left others half way through as I found them appalling. This was average in every way. I wanted a thriller not a slightly absurd fantasy.
"A great book with a great twist"
There are few books that really make you want to read them again and again, and few that make you want to buy the audiobook as well! This is one of them.
The story has pace, the narrative intense, and the twists are quite remarkable.
Many years on since I first read this, I continue to be entertained by the story. A great book.
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