Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (Pendergast #1)


Relic by Douglas Preston
480 Pages

Horror/Archaeological Horror

Published January 1995

Published by Tor Books

Purchase from | Amazon AU| Amazon US | Amazon UK | Booktopia | Fishpond AU | |Book Depository |Dymocks|

My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Days out from the opening of a new exhibition at the New York Museum of Natural History, an exhibition that centres on superstition, visitors are being found murdered in the many hallways of the museum. Samples taken from the bodies are indicating that the killer is not completely human, but are the machines just getting it wrong? The museum’s director plans to go ahead with the opening and it’s subsequent party, regardless of the danger involved. Margo Green, a researcher, along with her mentor Dr. Frock, and a few others, are hard at work trying to decipher who – or what – is responsible, will they be able to stop the killer before a slew of prey waltzes right through the door?

So, when I was young, in my early teens, my family had Austar (rural town’s answer to Foxtel, we were too far out for Foxtel), and I would often stumble upon awesome as movies that I had never heard of before. Relic was one such movie. I came across it, right at the beginning and absolutely fell in love with it. Mind you, I may have been maybe 13 at the time? Anywho, it’s still up there as one of my favs. A couple of years ago, I read a book by Preston & Child called Thunderhead. It blew me away and I absolutely LOVED IT! I’m actually constantly remembering it and am hanging to be able to get to my books in storage so I can give it a re-read (don’t kill me massive TBR pile, please, I promise I’ll get to you). After I enjoyed Thunderhead so much, I decided to have a look at what else the author’s had written, and low and behold, I come across their Perndergast series. When I saw the name of this book, I immediately wondered if it was the same as the movie I’d seen all those years ago, and you know what, it freaking was. I was so overjoyed!!

This book lives up to the promise that the movie made to me. It was just as riveting, gruesome, spine tingling and gripping. I sometimes have trouble with book to movie things, as I’m sure most readers do. Normally if I’ve seen the movie first, the book doesn’t grab me as much, this one absolutely went in the opposite direction, it grabbed me and would not let go. Obviously there’s a lot more happening here because the books can always include so much more than a 1.5 hour movie can, but I enjoyed it. It explained a lot more which was fantastic.

The characters were well written, I don’t really remember Pendergast in the movie, which is odd because this series follows him, but I haven’t seen it for a long time. I really enjoyed his character however, he’s so mysterious and cool headed, and I absolutely loved the way that he handled the more difficult characters in the story, I also got a bit giddy because D’Agosta became such a big fan of watching him work with said difficult people. D’Agosta is a great character, and I’m fairly sure we see him in the next book, so I’m looking forward to it. I kinda hope he makes appearances in more because he was just a well rounded, down to earth character who just wants to get shit done, and done right. Margo was a great character as well, and I really enjoyed her, I’m looking forward to seeing her again in the next instalment (I think she’s in it…).

The story was fantastic (are you really surprised that I think this?) it’s suspenseful, gripping, gruesome, and just all round well written. I kinda like these kinds of books where they aren’t centred around the availability of mobile phones and the like because it really ramps up the suspension when their only communication in the dark, while being hunted by a monster, is a walky talky. Because I’d seen the movie, I knew about the big reveal at the end, but it still gave me a little shiver of gratification because it was just so well thought out. I feel like there is way more explanation about the Kothoga tribe and their practices in the book and I am so here for it.

I’ve really taken a liking (see loving) to what I’ve dubbed archaeological horror, and I’m really hoping the rest of the series sticks with this theme because I just adore it and I need more!! I will definitely re-read this at some point, and I’ve already ordered the next two, so I’m hanging for their arrival.

If you love a gripping book, that has intelligence, reality (and not so reality), well written characters and a story that makes you say “Oh my god!” out loud, then this is the one for you. Give it a crack, you won’t regret it.

View all my reviews

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