Relic (Pendergast, #1)
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Relic (Pendergast #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  43,330 ratings  ·  1,535 reviews
Investigating a series of savage murders that disrupt a massive new exhibition at the New York Museum of Natural History, graduate student Margo Green finds a clue in a failed Amazonian expedition.
Paperback, 473 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Tor Books (first published 1990)
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Community Reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
This is another book (series of books) I was introduced to by my late wife (we were married 34 years before she passed so there were quite a few books we ended up sharing, sometimes to the surprise of each of us. I introduced her to things like epic fantasy she "introed" me to things like, well Preston/Child or Koontz). I am surprised not only that I liked it (them) but that I decided to give it 4 stars.

This is a surprisingly absorbing read and the Pendergast character while he could have ended...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Relic
Some thoughts.

Now, this isn’t really a review, simply because too much time has passed since I actually read the novel to form any objective and cohesive opinion on its literary merit. What I would like to focus on is what remained with me.

I’m sticking to my original rating. This novel is one of the few that my wife and I still discuss on a rather regular basis, even after all this time.

Relic ticked quite a few of the right boxes. Such as:
(1) Atmospheric setting. In this case, the museum....more
Willow
I'll be damned! This silly book turned out to be one big, over the top, cheesy, load of fun! I enjoyed it quite a bit.

I’ve read some reviews where people called The Relic a mystery horror (and I guess in some ways it is) but I tend to look at it as a crazy, disaster, monster film. If you took The Position Adventure, threw in a furry, brain-eating, velociraptor, and then had a total nincompoop in charge of the rescue mission -- that would be this book. Yes it’s that crazy. There are lots of WTF...more
Stephen
***UPDATED REVIEW***

3.5 stars. This was a great mystery/thriller that was raised above the norm by two elements. The first was the inclusion of a very interesting SF/supernatural element into an otherwise straight-forward crime drama. This may have had a more positive impact on me since my reading tastes tend to run towards speculative fiction and so the "X-file" element was very welcome.

The second was the character of Aloysius Pendergast, the charming, brilliant, FBI agent with a Southern accen...more
Bill
Jan 23, 2008 Bill rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
This was recommended to me by several visitors to my site, but I'm sorry folks, I simply couldn't finish it. Cardboard, cliched characters and a monster on a rampage in a museum don't quite add up to a great read. I gave it a good effort, the quick readability of it got me halfway through it but I don't care how it ends or who lives or dies. I'm moving on.
StoryTellerShannon
MINI REVIEW: A chilling thriller that takes place mostly in a colossal museum in NYC. Don't be fooled if you hate museums. It's still very interesting with a combination of horror, sleuthing and melodrama.

Characters are mostly vivid and while one could argue several plot points were predictable they were still satisfying. BTW, the movie is a terribly poor representation of the book.

CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: A minus; STORY/PLOT POINTS: A minus to A; CREEPINESS/HORROR: B plus; OVERALL GRADE: A minus...more
David Sven
Scientist goes to Brazilian rainforest. Finds cursed tribal idol.
Relic finds it's way to a New York Museum.

“...In local legend, the Kothoga tribe was a shadowy group, a witchdoctor cult. They were supposed to be able to control demons. There was a creature—a familiar if you will—they used for vengeance killings. That was Mbwun, He Who Walks On All Fours. Then, Whittlesey came across this figurine, and some other objects, packed them up, and sent them back to the Museum.

Carnage ensues in the co...more
erin
Surprisingly good...I thought this was an airport type book..you know...amusing enough for the moment and then you leave it somewhere and never think about it again.
It did really draw me in. I kept thinking that it would make a great suspenseful horror movie. It has all the elements...good characters, hateful antagonists and pretty Hollywood boys and girls playing smart historians and scientists and most importantly ancient curses and horrifying deaths.
What is up Hollywood? Here's your next Jur...more
Diana
The books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child are my guilty pleasure reading because they don't pretend to be anything more than thrillers with some interesting characters and plot twists. With all the more serious literature and scholarly material that I read, do research on, and teach, it's a welcome relief to just sit back on a weekend and take what I know will be a fun ride with these two authors.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book, actually; it was the first of their many books that I...more
Felicia
I picked this up because I never read this kind of book. I can't say it's 100% a 4-star book, but it's a great adventure romp, and for the change of pace I bumped it up.

Something mysterious is in the NYC museum, it's hunting people, there's lots of blood and magic and murder and I really had fun with the plot. Very B-movie fun. I LOVED the details about the Museum of Natural History, it feels very well researched and made me want to go snoop around the basement of that building next time I'm in...more
Riju Ganguly
Long ago, in the days of "Jurassic Park" craze, my imagination had been caught by a couplet that was (supposedly) the sure-shot formula at that time (maybe even now) to produce a best-seller: "techno-thriller". Any reader of James Rollins (and Matthew Reilly, before he abandoned writing novels and started composing video-games through words, a highly praise-worthy process, but not entirely suited to my tastes) would know the essential ingredients that go into making of these books: some exotic t...more
Mark
Nov 10, 2013 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: the fans of the Pendergast series
Recommended to Mark by: the movie
I admit honestly having seen the movie first and I liked it in a B-movie monster show. By coincedence I found a 1st edition Hardback at a flea market and decided to buy it to read it on one of my daily traintrip from and to work. And suddenly I found that the writers of this novel were very shortchanged by the movie. However I do hope some folks discovered the writing of messieurs Preston & Child because in my humble opinion they are the current best writers in thriller/adventure/fantastic n...more
I. Curmudgeon ("As the Curmudgeon Grumbles")
I read this in my late youth, or, early middle age?.. okay, late youth...

It's a good read, fun, with a scary monster a great setting (Natural History Museum in NYC) and a believable (if a little brainy) action Heroine mixed in with a cast of strong supporting characters.

It should be noted that this is really "Pendergast #1 but, in my opinion, Pendergast comes across as one of the very active strong supporing roles here, the real star is our sexy hot scientist lady. The Pendergast series doesn't...more
Irishcoda
I enjoyed Cabinet of Curiosities so much I decided to go back and read all of Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child's books featuring the charmingly weird Detective Pendergast. The very first one was Relic and I was not disappointed, although Pendergast was a secondary character in this one. Still, I found myself turning the pages and reluctant to put the book down until the end. What a twist--I was expecting some kind of weirdness with the killer character but certainly not what happened! A very...more
Sue Smith
Oh my Gawd! What a book!! Totally riveting and crazy tension that just builds and builds.... there were times I was sitting on the edge of my seat utterly engrossed and appalled!!! I mean, when you think it couldn't get any more intense or complicated - it does. In a big way. And the ending is just the beginning.....proving the point that A) once that first domino falls, it starts a chain reaction of events that can't be stopped and B) don't mess with unknown drugs. (OK - I know that doesn't sou...more
Elsie
OK, OK, I guess this thriller area may actually be my all time favorite type of books to read. I have always loved mystery/romance, etc. But they all kind of fit into thriller. Anyway, I love Lincoln and Child, and wait for their next book to come out. It started with this one. I like the characters and the way you get to know them and like them. Even if they are a little weird! This book was one of the scariest books I had read, at least up to this point. Many books you just can't put down when...more
Nick Pappas
Apr 15, 2008 Nick Pappas rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: fans of fun quick reads.
Recommended to Nick by: Sean Kreycik
Shelves: pop-fiction
This was one of those books that was a fun quick read. I enjoyed it from start to finish. Just don't get hopes up for something that is far to "literary." That being said, I'm glad I pulled my head out of my own far to self important ass in order to read this mass maket fiction book. Because of it I was introduced to one of the most compeling characters I've read in a long time, Agent Pendergast. This character alone is worth the price of admission, and I'm intrested in reading more of him in th...more
Libby
A very enjoyable thriller. It was predictable, unbelievable and silly scary – exactly what I want from this type of book. The authors here know their genre and do not aspire to reach beyond it, and it works. I pick these books up because I want a well-written, entertaining thriller and that is exactly what I got. It is like going on a roller coaster - I know what is going to happen but it is still scary and fun. This book made for a very fun weekend read.
Linda
At first I had a hard time getting into it, but after a while I thought it captivating.

Something strange is happening at the Museum of Natural History. People disappear or die. At the same time, a new exhibition, "Superstition", is being set up, which involves objects from the Kothoga tribe - a mysterius tribe connected to a very strange myth.

Spoilers...

Despite dead bodies, the director doesn't want to postpone the exhibition and the very night of the premiere, another gruesome murder makes hund...more
Roy
I was given this book just as I started a job at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The gift-giver thought it would be appropriate. Cute idea and it did make roaming the halls and basement a little more interesting. First off let me warn you that while this book is set at a large natural history museum in New York, it inhabits the fictional New York Museum of Natural History on 72nd and Riverside Dr. No worries though, they did not keep this secret very long. Some of the details...more
Jaime Contreras
This is a good monster novel with a twist on the tragic creature's existence. There are plenty of chills in this book. Mr. Child has wisely populated his novel of terror with science and myth. The result is a first-rate horror-fantasy novel that stands above the rest. I recommend this novel to the lovers of fantasy, horror and science fiction.
Linette
Jurassic Park meets Night at the Museum.
This is a good solid book, but the plot was too predictable, the characters often not a lot more than stereotypes.
Having said that, it was still pretty good and I liked it. I will read the next in the series.
Jerri Brissette
What I learned from this book is that I can almost be frightned by a book after all. There are certainly some breathtaking, biting my nails, moments in all of the series about Pendergast. I will most definitely be re-reading these.
Tracey
This pretty much had every thing except romance, oh and sex. But still great fun. And the best part was the serial killer/beast on the loose.
Jess Cattanach
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I went into it not really knowing what is was about: someone here on Goodreads had recommended it to me, I made a mental note to check it out, and when I saw it for $5 on an Audible sale I thought, why not? Best decision ever.

I suppose I was expecting a stereotypical cop-murder-detective story, maybe with better than average writing to explain why it was suggested to me. I was very wrong there. As the story unfolded, other elements showed th...more
Stephanie Dotson
I am the biggest fan of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I have read several of the Pendergrast novels out of order and have loved them all. This is the first book of the series, so it was neat for me to be able to read about the beginning of the characters I have grown to love.

As for the book, it was the typical mystery thriller. It followed the same format as all the others, but I don't mind. That's why I keep coming back to them. It always seems that by ten pages in, I'm hooked. I have to...more
Nancy Oakes
The Relic is a fun and suspenseful story that is set at the Natural History Museum of New York, yet begins with an expedition to find a tribe known only through myth. Explorers are seeking the remnants of a lost tribe, then change their mind and begin to seek the tribe itself, as it looks like the tribe is still around. Specimens are crated up and returned to the US, specifically to the above-mentioned museum, where later, all hell begins to break loose. Savagely-attacked bodies begin to appear...more
Michelle
Oh my…but this was enjoyable! Lately I feel like I've been lucky in my random picks. I've seen the Preston/Child novels before, but I'd never taken the time to read a summary or review of anything they'd written. I am so glad that my spur of the moment choice to check this out turned out well.

So what makes this a treat?

1. It's pseudo-intellectual without Dan Brown's/Robert Langdon's heavy handed professorisms. The characters are smart folks, but you don't feel a lecture coming on every few pag...more
Josh
Creature stories are one of my guilty pleasures and Relic is the perfect entree. the novel is the earliest work of the partnership between Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and is certainly representative of much of their work: a mixture of horror, crime, and the supernatural. Although considered a techno-thriller, Relic leans more toward the horror category in my opinion. It is nonetheless a fun, quick read.

After years of rumors, and just days before the opening of new exhibit on superstition,...more
Chris
This book was ok, I have never seen the movie and I found this on one of the Horror lists or in the recommendations section. Anyway, I was looking for a good scare and many of the reviews said this was a great choice. Either I have become to accustom to horror novels or my expectations exceeded the work, because to me it was an adult version of Night at the Museum. Maybe since I read this as an audio it was missing some of the power it might have had if I read this in book form.

The story had a...more
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Are the rest of the Pendergast books worth a read? 39 223 Aug 26, 2013 04:34PM  
Pendergast Task F...: the mentalist 1 30 Nov 30, 2011 03:14PM  
  • Utopia
  • Subterranean
  • Stinger
  • Meg (MEG, #1)
  • Pulse (Chess Team Adventure, #1)
  • Primeval (Event Group Adventure, #5)
  • The Vault (Tyler Locke, #2)
  • Midnight Mass
  • The Criminal
12577
Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1956, and grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley. Following a distinguished career at a private nursery school--he was almost immediately expelled--he attended public schools and the Cambridge School of Weston. Notable events in his early life included the loss of a fingertip at the age of three to a bicycle; the loss of his two fr...more
More about Douglas Preston...
The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, #3) Reliquary (Pendergast, #2) Brimstone (Pendergast, #5; Diogenes, #1) The Book of the Dead (Pendergast, #7; Diogenes, #3) Still Life With Crows (Pendergast, #4)

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“What we have here is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” 13 likes
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