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Publisher's Summary

The last known human searches the galaxy for companionship in a brilliant standalone novel from the legendary author of the Pip & Flinx series.

"A provocative read." (The Washington Post)

Once Homo sapiens reigned supreme, spreading from star system to star system in an empire that encountered no alien life and thus knew no enemy.... save itself. As had happened many times before, the most primal human instincts rose up, only this time armed with the advanced scientific knowledge to create a genetically engineered smart virus that quickly wiped out humanity to the last man.

That man is Ruslan, the sole known surviving human being in the universe. Rescued from the charnel house of his home planet by the Myssari - an intelligent alien race - Ruslan spends his days as something of a cross between a research subject and a zoo attraction. Though the Myssari are determined to resurrect the human race, using Ruslan’s genetic material, all he wants for himself and his species is oblivion. But then the Myssari make Ruslan an extraordinary offer: In exchange for his cooperation, they will do everything in their considerable power to find the lost home world of his species - an all-but-mythical place called Earth - and, perhaps, another living human.

Thus begins an epic journey of adventure, danger, heartbreak, and hope, as Ruslan sets out in search of a place that may no longer exist - drawn by the slimmest yet most enduring hope.

Praise for Relic:

"Foster's high-concept novel is a gripping tale of serenity amid sorrow." (World Magazine)

©2018 Alan Dean Foster (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

Relic is a thrilling and thoughtful epic. With Alan Dean Foster’s trademark invention in both the psychology and physiology of his aliens, he also enriches the narrative with their complex cultures. The plot spans galaxies!” (Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Greg Bear)

“The stunning plot of Foster’s stand-alone novel will intrigue readers for not only the ‘last man in the universe’ trope but also the well-developed alien species. A true first contact novel on many different levels.” (Library Journal)

“Foster’s sympathetic novel successfully surveys human frailty, the tendency not to learn from history, and an enduring capacity for adaptation and emotional attachment.” (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    45
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    47
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    38
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • APLang
  • FARGO, ND, US
  • 08-16-18

Really fun story!

I was nervous purchasing this book as it had no reviews at the time. The summary sounded intriguing enough and I knew if it ended up being too cheesy or poorly written, I could just return it. I was not disappointed! In fact, I was pleasantly surprised! The story was fun! I appreciate that it's not the same regurgitated sci fi that so many other titles fall into. It has lots of fun concepts to think about. It was well written and produced. I'm not sure if this is going to turn into a series but I would be very interested in future books if it is!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating and original

I have read many of Foster's books over the years including his many movie tie ins. RELIC is something special! An absolutely captivating character driven story about survival and the power of the human spirit. A great listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, good enough narration

This was a great twist on the Last of his Kind trope; this time, the super-useful singular alien is a Human, and the aliens you’re dealing with aren’t some heady time-bending godlings; they’re actually the “backwards” civilization, at least in comparison to what the humans pulled off before everything went to crap.

So that right there is already an uncommonly used avenue off a well-travelled plot road.

The writing was good but the narration was kind of inconsistent between voice quality and voice delivery. I couldn’t distinguish at all between the different aliens via voice alone, which was disconcerting due to how much effort the narrator put into making “alien” voices to begin with, which to his credit wasn’t bad; I just couldn’t keep track of who was talking by voice except the human. I wouldn’t say this detracted from the story, but it was definitely a reason to dock a star from what could have been a great performance.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, mediocre writing, terrible reader

I’ve enjoyed quite a few of Foster’s works; Midworld comes to mind as one of his better works. This isn’t. It’s an decent story, but the writing is mediocre at best. But the worst part was the reader, who was wildly, absurdly, over dramatic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I really needed this Phoenix story!

I've been a fan since Pip and Flinx! Thank you for taking this journey back to earth.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great listen...

good listen if you like sci fi. recommended for all sci fi. natation was well done.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another example of Alan Dean Fosters art

Mr. Deans imagination and gift of storytelling are awe inspiring. No book of his is ever lengthy enough for me.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Full of alliteration and wordy

The authors use of alliteration is a distraction from the story line. Also, the story is unnecessarily descriptive. Like a highschool kid trying to write a ten page report who runs out of material at six pages. It's as if he used a thesaurus to find adjectives and adverbs to make the alliteration work.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

its a nice idea, but poorly executed.

the idea behind the book was pretty good. There's only one person left and they've been rescued by some aliens. At the great opening for a mystery, but then it kind of all just fell apart. To start off with your asked to believe one impossible thing after the other they can create Tire new organs that do things that no human organs done before but replacing an old heart with a new one is impossible for some reason cloning requires eggs when they can create entire organs out of nothing and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Next we meet their version of faster-than-light travel. And there have been many similar where there has to be a organic sentience to achieve the FTL travel. Unfortunately they don't do it in a clean way on the one hand they say that the pilot is a highly augmented cyborg but at the same time the character experiences mystical psychic emanations with no explanation for why. He's in What's called the stasis bed but it clearly doesn't even put him to sleep since they talk about the thing putting him to sleep so why is it called a stasis bed they talk about how everybody has to go into their stasis bed but again there's no stasis going on and there's no clear reason why they couldn't all just be in recliners and if they got all Spacek somebody could just knock them out with a needle. It's just not well thought-out. Then we get to a planet and for no particular reason our protagonist decides to wander off into the woods and the alien civilization security system is so bad that it can be defeated by a low-hanging Branch cut to an unnecessary action scene and that's about where I stopped reading. It just didn't make sense, it wasn't science fiction it was a fantasy mystery written for young adults. With a little bit of science on the side.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • APLang
  • FARGO, ND, US
  • 08-16-18

Really fun story!

I was nervous purchasing this book as it had no reviews at the time. The summary sounded intriguing enough and I knew if it ended up being too cheesy or poorly written, I could just return it. I was not disappointed! In fact, I was pleasantly surprised! The story was fun! I appreciate that it's not the same regurgitated sci fi that so many other titles fall into. It has lots of fun concepts to think about. It was well written and produced. I'm not sure if this is going to turn into a series but I would be very interested in future books if it is!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amber J. Hawman
  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • 08-29-18

Captivating and original

I have read many of Foster's books over the years including his many movie tie ins. RELIC is something special! An absolutely captivating character driven story about survival and the power of the human spirit. A great listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • tosbanzai
  • 10-04-18

Great story, good enough narration

This was a great twist on the Last of his Kind trope; this time, the super-useful singular alien is a Human, and the aliens you’re dealing with aren’t some heady time-bending godlings; they’re actually the “backwards” civilization, at least in comparison to what the humans pulled off before everything went to crap.

So that right there is already an uncommonly used avenue off a well-travelled plot road.

The writing was good but the narration was kind of inconsistent between voice quality and voice delivery. I couldn’t distinguish at all between the different aliens via voice alone, which was disconcerting due to how much effort the narrator put into making “alien” voices to begin with, which to his credit wasn’t bad; I just couldn’t keep track of who was talking by voice except the human. I wouldn’t say this detracted from the story, but it was definitely a reason to dock a star from what could have been a great performance.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nevermore
  • 09-25-18

Good story, mediocre writing, terrible reader

I’ve enjoyed quite a few of Foster’s works; Midworld comes to mind as one of his better works. This isn’t. It’s an decent story, but the writing is mediocre at best. But the worst part was the reader, who was wildly, absurdly, over dramatic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • Branson, MO, United States
  • 09-21-18

I really needed this Phoenix story!

I've been a fan since Pip and Flinx! Thank you for taking this journey back to earth.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe
  • 09-11-18

great listen...

good listen if you like sci fi. recommended for all sci fi. natation was well done.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Raymond N. Gerlach
  • 09-06-18

Another example of Alan Dean Fosters art

Mr. Deans imagination and gift of storytelling are awe inspiring. No book of his is ever lengthy enough for me.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Patrick F. Householder
  • Issaquah WA
  • 08-17-18

Full of alliteration and wordy

The authors use of alliteration is a distraction from the story line. Also, the story is unnecessarily descriptive. Like a highschool kid trying to write a ten page report who runs out of material at six pages. It's as if he used a thesaurus to find adjectives and adverbs to make the alliteration work.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah Davis
  • Luna City
  • 09-17-18

its a nice idea, but poorly executed.

the idea behind the book was pretty good. There's only one person left and they've been rescued by some aliens. At the great opening for a mystery, but then it kind of all just fell apart. To start off with your asked to believe one impossible thing after the other they can create Tire new organs that do things that no human organs done before but replacing an old heart with a new one is impossible for some reason cloning requires eggs when they can create entire organs out of nothing and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Next we meet their version of faster-than-light travel. And there have been many similar where there has to be a organic sentience to achieve the FTL travel. Unfortunately they don't do it in a clean way on the one hand they say that the pilot is a highly augmented cyborg but at the same time the character experiences mystical psychic emanations with no explanation for why. He's in What's called the stasis bed but it clearly doesn't even put him to sleep since they talk about the thing putting him to sleep so why is it called a stasis bed they talk about how everybody has to go into their stasis bed but again there's no stasis going on and there's no clear reason why they couldn't all just be in recliners and if they got all Spacek somebody could just knock them out with a needle. It's just not well thought-out. Then we get to a planet and for no particular reason our protagonist decides to wander off into the woods and the alien civilization security system is so bad that it can be defeated by a low-hanging Branch cut to an unnecessary action scene and that's about where I stopped reading. It just didn't make sense, it wasn't science fiction it was a fantasy mystery written for young adults. With a little bit of science on the side.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • APLang
  • FARGO, ND, US
  • 08-16-18

Really fun story!

I was nervous purchasing this book as it had no reviews at the time. The summary sounded intriguing enough and I knew if it ended up being too cheesy or poorly written, I could just return it. I was not disappointed! In fact, I was pleasantly surprised! The story was fun! I appreciate that it's not the same regurgitated sci fi that so many other titles fall into. It has lots of fun concepts to think about. It was well written and produced. I'm not sure if this is going to turn into a series but I would be very interested in future books if it is!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amber J. Hawman
  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • 08-29-18

Captivating and original

I have read many of Foster's books over the years including his many movie tie ins. RELIC is something special! An absolutely captivating character driven story about survival and the power of the human spirit. A great listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • tosbanzai
  • 10-04-18

Great story, good enough narration

This was a great twist on the Last of his Kind trope; this time, the super-useful singular alien is a Human, and the aliens you’re dealing with aren’t some heady time-bending godlings; they’re actually the “backwards” civilization, at least in comparison to what the humans pulled off before everything went to crap.

So that right there is already an uncommonly used avenue off a well-travelled plot road.

The writing was good but the narration was kind of inconsistent between voice quality and voice delivery. I couldn’t distinguish at all between the different aliens via voice alone, which was disconcerting due to how much effort the narrator put into making “alien” voices to begin with, which to his credit wasn’t bad; I just couldn’t keep track of who was talking by voice except the human. I wouldn’t say this detracted from the story, but it was definitely a reason to dock a star from what could have been a great performance.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nevermore
  • 09-25-18

Good story, mediocre writing, terrible reader

I’ve enjoyed quite a few of Foster’s works; Midworld comes to mind as one of his better works. This isn’t. It’s an decent story, but the writing is mediocre at best. But the worst part was the reader, who was wildly, absurdly, over dramatic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • Branson, MO, United States
  • 09-21-18

I really needed this Phoenix story!

I've been a fan since Pip and Flinx! Thank you for taking this journey back to earth.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe
  • 09-11-18

great listen...

good listen if you like sci fi. recommended for all sci fi. natation was well done.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Raymond N. Gerlach
  • 09-06-18

Another example of Alan Dean Fosters art

Mr. Deans imagination and gift of storytelling are awe inspiring. No book of his is ever lengthy enough for me.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Patrick F. Householder
  • Issaquah WA
  • 08-17-18

Full of alliteration and wordy

The authors use of alliteration is a distraction from the story line. Also, the story is unnecessarily descriptive. Like a highschool kid trying to write a ten page report who runs out of material at six pages. It's as if he used a thesaurus to find adjectives and adverbs to make the alliteration work.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah Davis
  • Luna City
  • 09-17-18

its a nice idea, but poorly executed.

the idea behind the book was pretty good. There's only one person left and they've been rescued by some aliens. At the great opening for a mystery, but then it kind of all just fell apart. To start off with your asked to believe one impossible thing after the other they can create Tire new organs that do things that no human organs done before but replacing an old heart with a new one is impossible for some reason cloning requires eggs when they can create entire organs out of nothing and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Next we meet their version of faster-than-light travel. And there have been many similar where there has to be a organic sentience to achieve the FTL travel. Unfortunately they don't do it in a clean way on the one hand they say that the pilot is a highly augmented cyborg but at the same time the character experiences mystical psychic emanations with no explanation for why. He's in What's called the stasis bed but it clearly doesn't even put him to sleep since they talk about the thing putting him to sleep so why is it called a stasis bed they talk about how everybody has to go into their stasis bed but again there's no stasis going on and there's no clear reason why they couldn't all just be in recliners and if they got all Spacek somebody could just knock them out with a needle. It's just not well thought-out. Then we get to a planet and for no particular reason our protagonist decides to wander off into the woods and the alien civilization security system is so bad that it can be defeated by a low-hanging Branch cut to an unnecessary action scene and that's about where I stopped reading. It just didn't make sense, it wasn't science fiction it was a fantasy mystery written for young adults. With a little bit of science on the side.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful