Papercuts1's Reviews > Reliquary

Reliquary by Douglas Preston
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's review
Aug 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: killer-thrillers
Read from September 25 to October 10, 2011 — I own a copy

I'd heard RELIQUARY was a weak rehash of RELIC, and I was surprised that, in fact, I thought it was the better one of the two.

Sure, the theme IS a rehash - or rather a variation. But it was cleverly done, and I particularly enjoyed that RELIQUARY no longer needed the rather longish exposition that RELIC had to lead the reader through. The cast of characters already established, the action can start immediately. And it does, spiraling toward a fulminant climax that gives us Pendergast in combat gear, on the prowl deep under NYC's surface.

I could still do with less gore. The horror element is not what draws me to this series, although it undoubtedly raises the level of suspense and is well written. A guarantee for shudders and goose flesh. No, it's the characters of the series - with Agent Pendergast slowly making his way center stage. I enjoyed Margo, D'Agosta and even Smithback reuniting for the showdown while still dealing with the residual trauma of RELIC. Plus, we have a handful of new characters appear that add to the fun, the best one a female 'I take no crap' NYPD cop who stands her own ground with gusto.

It's story that is split into several threads, nicely weaving together at the end. Smithback's arc is the weakest, and the 'Take back the city' side plot still feels contrived and a little unnecessary to me, but I'll let that fly.

The overall feeling of RELIQUARY was one of pleasant suspense and horror that wasn't overdone, leaving me curious for the next book in the Pendergast series which (as I heard) finally promotes him to lead character status. Exactly where I want him.
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Reading Progress

09/27/2011 page 22
5.0% "Ghastly start: two skeletons pulled from the muck. And then familiar faces: Margo, D'Agosta, Smithback. I like how this sequel plunges right in and picks up the threads of 'Relic'."
10/02/2011 page 71
15.0% "Its SO obvious what's happening. Funnily enough, I don't mind. A few interesting new characters enter the picture. But where the heck is Pendergast?!"
10/03/2011 page 300
63.0% "Unable to put thus book down fir anything else but eye drops. For some reason, I find the sequel to 'Relic' more riveting than the original. Maybe because it's a series if small climaxes and not just working its way toward one big bang? Or because character introductions were unnecessary, plunging the reader right into the story? In any case - I'm glued to the damn thing."
10/06/2011 page 366
76.0% "Oohh... I love it when Pendergast drops the black suit, puts on Kevlar and arms up to face off with monsters. The threads are coming together in what's looking like a 100 page showdown, and I'm enjoying the ride!"

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