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Relic (Pendergast #1)

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4.02  ·  Rating details ·  80,394 Ratings  ·  2,860 Reviews
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 G
...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Tor Books (first published 1995)
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Sean Gibson
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I really want a hot dog.

I don’t care that it’s filled with crunchy bits of pig hoofs or that it’s encased in a horse’s transverse colon or even that it will provide enough sodium to last me for the next 75 years. I just want to bite into that thick, juicy tube o’ meat and let the uniquely succulent flavor of indulgence course through my veins even as it drips greasy trails of superfluous yumminess down my chin.

That’s kind of how I feel about thrillers. I don’t read them all the time,
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Jeffrey Keeten
”Every sixty to seventy million years or so, life starts getting very well adapted to its environment. Too well adapted, perhaps. There is a population explosion of the successful life forms. Then, suddenly a new species appears out of the blue. It is almost always a predatory creature, a killing machine. It tears through the host population, killing, feeding, multiplying. Slowly at first, then ever faster.”

 photo relic-creature_zpsnthpiyxn.jpg

The Amazon has always been an attractive source for exploration for the scientific commu
...more
Sarah
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book that was so intense and absorbing in some areas you were reading so fast, and you thought, ''did I read all of that part ?'' This is one of those books.
I have to thank Matthew for his recommendation on this one.
This was an enjoyable thriller read for me. Since I had worked before in an Art Museum as security personal and then curator, I could place myself in that atmosphere.
It was a great thriller with different twists
I can't wait to read more from these authors
This is
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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
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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.
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Ginger
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, library-book
I loved Relic and definitely plan to read more books in this series. Relic was entertaining and suspenseful from the beginning to the end! It was totally riveting and the tension just builds and builds. I literally could not keep turning the pages fast enough.

What I loved about it:

The creature was intelligent, cunning and scary enough to freak you out! And the mystery behind the origin of the creature was well thought out.

The setting of the dark chambers of the museum was fantastic for a creatur
...more
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten* by: Steven, and Seanish
3.5 stars rounded up because I liked the characters.

Well... I started this in 2016, so it counts! Bahahaha. Slammed the last 40% last night when I got home (most of it) and finished the Epilogue this morning. Woof. Talk about action and pacing... and that revelation in the last few pages! Yikes!

Starting this, I felt like I was reading a Jurassic Park knockoff. Not in a bad way, but it was all super-sciencey and talked about a prehistoric creature from the Amazon. The museum setting was fantasti
...more
Matthew
A good mix of science and suspense. Reminds me of Michael Crichton. Very thrilling - lots of good twists that I did not see coming.
Willow
Nov 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Jaya
I've never rode a rollercoaster because am too chicken to ride one. While reading this book, I said to myself, "Is this is how a rollercoaster ride would feel? The extent of thrill boderdering on... horror?"
What an adrenaline rush has been, this ride I mean read! :D
Enough said. I am off to read the sequel(s).

Rebecca McNutt
Relic is a perfect example of the vast sea of things that the human mind doesn't know, and of fear and panic over a monster unseen. Gripping, violent and frightening, this book is disturbing and unsettling but very well-written.
Bill
Jan 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
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.
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
RELIC is the book that launched the brilliant Agent Pendergast series. As with all Preston/Child books, this one offers plenty of science, adventure, and mystery. The Pendergast series is a testament to genuine genius on the part of these two amazing authors.
Olivier Delaye
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Some books come into your life exactly at the right time for you to welcome them with open arms. This is one of them. I wanted fast-paced action, and I got it. I wanted half-real/half-madeup pseudo-science kind of a la Crichton, and I got it. I wanted scary, and I got that by the bucketload. I wanted at least one great character to get to know and care about and have fun hanging out with, and I got him—I mean, Pendergast is amazing and his personality is so endearing I’d have a hard time finding ...more
TS Chan
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
3.5 stars.

Relic marks a promising start in my attempt to read more crimes/mysteries/thrillers aside from Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon books.

This novel has all the necessary ingredients to satisfy the requirements of a page-turning thriller. Set in the massive New York Museum of Natural History, the element of horror around the gruesome and brutal killings has just the right atmospheric tone to make the narrative creepy enough without being too cheesy.

The story started with two separate Prologues
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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 acc
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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

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

When I was a young horror-watching gal, I used to watch Relic. I didn’t know it was based on a book, but I enjoyed its fun monster movie gimmicks set in a conveniently too-dark museum. The past few years I’ve seen mention of these authors, and even had an unread book of theirs donning my shelves, yet I knew nothing about them. I wasn’t sure if they wrote horror, mystery, but knew I’d figure it out eventually. (edited to note
...more
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
kartik narayanan
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Whew! I just finished Relic and it was mind blowing. The pacing and atmosphere make this an intense read like nothing else. The story is simple & straightforward - in the words of Hudson (Aliens), its a bug hunt. But what a bug hunt. I am still getting over it.

I have seen the movie before and it is quite forgettable. The book is way better - in terms of characterization, the dialogues as well as the sense of creeping dread one gets as the book progresses.

In conclusion, it is a great read. Go
...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
I have a confession to make! Do not judge me too harshly. Although I enjoy reading classic literary novels, and respectable Pulitzer Prize and Booker Prize award-winning books, and challenging books that are taught in Great Literature classes, and informative topical non-fiction - I also am a fan of the Silly Saturday SyFy horror movies! I watch them all day and into the night! (Ok, ok, I look away a lot.) The traditional classic horror scenarios of being trapped and hunted down one by one on a ...more
Kimberly
**re-read** (third time) CD special S/L edition. My first Preson/Child novel--the one that started it all. Still a favorite after all these years!
Marie
Re-read for the second time. I had forgotten how much action there was in this book as I hadn't read it since its first publication in 1995, when I was introduced to Agent Pendergast.

The first part of the book starts out a little slow as it provides the back drop for the story and then the last half of the story the action begins.

What better way to spend the day at a museum without a care in the world until you find out there is a creature loose in the place and no one knows where it could be
...more
David Sven
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
Scott
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well, I couldn’t put this down. I liked it. It read very differently from Riptide, which I loved so perhaps there were some unwarranted expectations? At times I found myself bored, reading as a chore. At times I found some dialogue and character introspection “cheesy”. However, the last 150 pages or so made it all worth it. There was excitement and fear, comradery and disdain. I am looking forward to getting to know Pendergast better through the rest of the series.
Mark
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Solaris
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Scary. Yep, freaked me out as much as the movie. Book managed to keep me guessing who was going to survive and who was going to be lunch.

Brainy filler (pun!)--I loved the backstory, setting, scientific explanation and detail for everyting. The anthropologist in me was purrrrrrrring like a kitten.

A bit long-winded, but very good.

Relic would have gotten 4 stars, but one of the supporting protagonists was a big game/ trophy hunter. So I'm gonna do that thing where I don't support the book and dock
...more
Felicia
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
William
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror-fiction
I was in the mood for some monster mayhem, and THE RELIC has long been a favorite movie, so I finally got round to the original book, and I'm glad I did.

It's a fine example of the genre and reads a bit like an extended monster-of-the-week episode of the X-Files, with some added gore and thrills. The claustrophobic nature of the museum at night is a great venue for the jump scares and the monster itself is well realized, and suitably nasty in its habits.

There's an unfortunate sag in the middle 'w
...more
Natasa
Totally a 5* book for me. It has all i could ever want, science babble (not that I understand a lot but I do learn a lot of new facts), tension/suspence, great characters all developed individuals etc. It's been a few days since I've read it which is a shame as my review would probably be a bit more emotional. I'm off to book 2 right now and it seems that's a great ride as well :)
erin
Jul 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
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Horror Aficionados : June 2018-CREATURE FEATURE READ-The Relic 138 281 Aug 14, 2018 04:54PM  
Play Book Tag: Relic/Douglas Preston/5 Stars 8 13 Jun 23, 2018 05:49AM  
Around the Year i...: Relic, by Douglas Preston 2 12 Apr 19, 2017 06:12PM  
Pendergast Task F...: Main Character 1 15 Apr 03, 2017 04:47PM  
Ask Preston & Child!: Old Topic Renewed: Pendergast Actor 11 33 Mar 15, 2017 02:43PM  
Gore and More: Relic - RTA - abandoned. 5 37 Jun 12, 2016 06:08AM  
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7,223 followers
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

Other books in the series

Pendergast (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Reliquary (Pendergast, #2)
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, #3)
  • Still Life With Crows (Pendergast, #4)
  • Brimstone (Pendergast, #5; Diogenes, #1)
  • Dance of Death (Pendergast, #6; Diogenes, #2)
  • The Book of the Dead (Pendergast, #7; Diogenes, #3)
  • The Wheel of Darkness (Pendergast, #8)
  • Cemetery Dance (Pendergast, #9)
  • Fever Dream (Pendergast, #10)
  • Cold Vengeance (Pendergast, #11)

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“What we have here is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” 31 likes
“You see, when someone says “it’s impossible,’ I have this very bad habit, I can’t help myself, I immediately contradict that person in the most positive terms possible. A very bad habit, but one that I find hard to break.” 1 likes
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