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Relic (Pendergast, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – December 30, 2003

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Relic (Pendergast, Book 1) + Reliquary (Pendergast, Book 2) + The Cabinet of Curiosities (Agent Pendergast series)
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Editorial Reviews Review

A series of bizarre and brutal murders is taking place in the halls of the New York Museum of Natural History, only days before a massive exhibition is set to open. Margo Green knows that the killer is something not human, something that's not even supposed to exist. Where did it come from, how did it get into the museum, and how can it be stopped?

From Publishers Weekly

A monster on the loose in New York City's American Museum of Natural History provides the hook for this high-concept, high-energy thriller. A statue of the mad god Mbwun, a monstrous mix of man and reptile, was discovered by a Museum expedition to South America in 1987. Now, it is about to become part of the new Superstition Exhibition at the museum (here renamed the "New York Museum of Natural History"). But as the exhibition's opening night approaches, the museum may have to be shut down due to a series of savage murders that seem to be the work of a maniac-or a living version of Mbwun. When the museum's director pulls strings to ensure that the gala affair takes place, it's up to a small band of believers, led by graduate student Margo Green, her controversial adviser and an FBI agent who investigated similar killings in New Orleans, to stop the monster-if the culprit is indeed a monster-from going on a rampage. Less horror then action-adventure, the narrative builds to a superbly exciting climax, and then offers a final twist to boot. With its close-up view of museum life and politics, plausible scientific background, sharply drawn characters and a plot line that's blissfully free of gratuitous romance, this well-crafted novel offers first-rate thrills and chills. Film rights optioned by Kennedy-Marshall Productions; audio rights to Brilliance Corp.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (January 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812543262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812543261
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (884 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

216 of 225 people found the following review helpful By B. Larson on September 18, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I recently decided to pick up the first book written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child and give it a go. I am a huge fan of these two, and for some odd reason, I never picked up The Relic. No I am mad at myself for not picking it up earlier.
Having read Reliquary and all of their other books, I had the basic story line of The Relic down before I opened the cover, so I was not expecting much. Well, I was wrong, this book is filled with incredible action, and details that keeps it moving at such a fast pace.
One mistake leads to another, and things just keep moving. I enjoyed meeting Agent Pengergrast for the first time, and I though the other characters were developed very well.
All in all, this is the first Preston Child book, and it is still the best, Cabinet of Curiosities comes in a close second! This book is highly recommended!
Also, if you have seen the movie, pick up the book, there are so many differences that it is almost a whole new story!
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109 of 115 people found the following review helpful By S. M Marson on April 6, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read several works of Preston and Child. I have read their works in the following order: THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, MOUNT DRAGON, and RELIC. Currently, I am reading the follow-up to RELIC - a novel entitled, RELIQUARY. I made one big mistake by reading Preston and Child's THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES prior to reading RELIC. Some of the characters in THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES can be found in the RELIC. If I explain the reasoning for my mistake, I will ruin the intrigue of the central plot of THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. Thus, I will offer no explanation, but rather just ask you to trust me: read RELIC and RELIQUARY prior to reading THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. RELIC ends with, "there is a knock on the door." This leads into the next novel RELIQUARY.
I cannot express my delight of reading Preston and Child. There is an intensity of their writing that induces me to forget that I am reading a book. When I am involved in reading their novels, my mind travels with the characters in the novel. I find myself sweating and sitting on the edge of my chair. Their writing is quite astonishing. In addition, they bring in technology and the anthropological/biological sciences in a remarkable manner. That last time I took a biology course was in the 70's. Although I didn't believe this while I was in college, I certainly had a great biology professor. I had to employ my basic of knowledge of biology to comprehend the storyline. My biology course not a waste of time.
I will continue to read Preston and Child, but will make sure I'll read them in order of their publication dates. I give you the same recommendation.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Greg Hirst on December 22, 2003
Format: Library Binding
I don't give out 5 star reviews lightly, but in this case I do not hesitate much. Generally, 5 stars is reserved for "imporant" or "artful" fiction, but this book is simply a masteripiece and the crown jewel of monster fiction.
We've ALL read books where someone wanders off into the darkness and gets maimed, and most of the time in some pretty vivid, arresting descriptions. But were we ever really frightened. Did we feel not just tension, but a plummeting, primitive fear?
RELIC certainly provides that, but never before have I been so frightened for characters that I didn't really care about. I admit that I am not a huge fan of this science-laden gibberish mingled with action, but it is quite clear that Lincoln and Child have a solid understanding of horror.
Perhaps there is something about their diction, which despite its sometimes convoluted, scientific nature, is always quick and flab-less. Perhaps it is that they have finally touched upon the haunted museum idea. Perhaps it is because despite the science and complicated passages, they still allow the book to boil to down to basic monster fiction.
And it works. Boy does it ever work. I can't remember ever REALLY being uneasy and frightened reading a book, but RELIC is a lean, visceral and frightening book, harrowing and gruesome. Read it.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 25, 1997
Format: Paperback
I read Relic over three months ago, and it is still fresh in mymind. This book is great! Preston and Child show themselves to be apowerful emerging force in the thriller/sci-fi field. The setting for the story (the American Museum of Natural History in New York City) is realistic and frightening at the same time. Several scenes make good use of the museum's dark corridors and lonely exhibitions. The character development throughout the story is superb, and you actually find yourself cheering for some characters, and heckling others. My personal favorite is the ever-so-cool (almost Holmesian) Special Agent Pendergast. The plot is interesting, and yet equally as terrifying. It is not the gore that will scare you, but Mbwun, the creature itself. This thing is something out of a nightmare! The descriptions of this thing are so detailed that, in the darkness, you will find yourself listening to hear the tread of those stealthly feet, smelling the air to detect that pungent, goatish odor, and straining your eyes to see that looming shadow against shadows and those feral red eyes that announce its presence. Perhaps the greatest surprise of the entire book comes in the epilogue when..., well, if you want to find out, you are going to have to read the book yourself. Truly, this book has everything a person could hope for in a novel. So read Relic, and you will never look at a museum the same way again.
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