Today I’m reviewing my favorite book, Relic, written by my favorite authors, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. On the theme of favorites, the book belongs to my favorite genre, the genre of thrillers. I’d recommend almost anything written by Preston and Child, but their best work by far is Relic.
Relic is a book that feels very much like a Jurassic Park spinoff, but is much, much better. A South American expedition for plants and investigations into local legends of a mythical beast by the New York Museum of Natural History goes awry when a supposed beast lays waste to the scientists leading the expedition. The incident is forgotten as it is highly unbelievable, and nothing important seemingly arises from the whole debacle.
Years later, tragedy strikes the Museum grounds. Two young boys are found savagely murdered in the vast basements of the Museum, with parts of their brains seemingly missing, and teeth marks left by whatever killed them around their brain. Naturally, an investigation follows. The two main investigators, NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta, working alongside FBI Special Agent Aloysius X.P. Pendergast, work to prevent such tragedies from occurring again, as well as trying to uncover the perpetrator behind the crime. In a subplot, two Museum employees, Bill Smithback and Margo Green, try to find who could have committed the crime. Their work leads them to believe that no human could have done such a thing, and several ensuing brutal murders confirm their fears. Their research leads them to a startling discovery: the Museum Beast needs to comsume a certain chemical found in only two places; a rare plant, and in the human brain. Armed with this knowledge, the two work frantically to prevent the Museum from having a grand opening for a new Exhibit; however, it is too late. The Exhibit opens as planned, and several people are trapped in the Museum as a hungry monster prowls the grounds for food. Pendergast and D’Agosta work to save the trapped civilians while Margo hatches a plan to trap the Beast and kill it. It all winds down to an absolutely thrilling climax, with an unforeseeable twist ending.
This book is beautifully written. From the very first page it reeled me in, and never let me go. The characters are extremely well developed (Pendergast and D’Agosta become the loveable stars of the Pendergast series, with frequent cameos by other characters in this book). Speaking of characters, the character of Pendergast is simply wonderful; I’ve yet to see another character in any other book who is so unique yet endearing to the readers. He gives Sherlock Holmes a run for his money in every novel he appears in. (Furthermore, they put in an absolutely HUGE twist to his character in their latest Pendergast novel, Two Graves… read the books and find out what it is)! The plot of the novel is also great; the last fifty or so pages of the book were the best fifty pages I’ve read in any book. All in all, there is nothing I didn’t like about this book, and for that reason it holds the title of being my favorite book.
Preston and Child are amazing authors. Almost all of their Pendergast books are stunning, with the exception of Wheel of Darkness (which, when compared to other respectable authors, wasn’t even that bad). I definitely recommend reading all the Pendergast books, even though none of them are as great as the first one, Relic. They also have a couple stand-alone novels, which aren’t too bad, but they don’t compare to the Pendergast series. There was a movie made on Relic, but I heard it wasn’t great (they took out Pendergast’s character completely; it’s like having a Harry Potter movie without Harry Potter). Finally, the two authors have recently started a new series, the Gideon Crew series. The two books so far have been okay, but not like the Pendergast series. Some people may prefer this series though, as it is much more reaslistic than the Pendergast series. I love the thrillers though, so I stick to the Pendergast series.
These authors are golden, their writing quality is unparalleled. They also have a great sense of humor, I think it’s worth going through their website; there’s even a section dedicated to those who hate the authors (see Rogues Gallery), though I don’t see how it’s possible.
In conclusion, I’d rate Relic 11/10. No, that doesn’t even do it enough justice. This book’s greatness can’t be understated. If you’re a thriller fan like me, this novel is the Holy Grail of thriller fans. If ever I had to give advice on books, I would say no more than this: read Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child; you will not be disappointed.