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Reliquary (Pendergast, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – July 15, 1998


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (July 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812542835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812542837
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 10 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (429 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The netherworld of New York City?its subways, aqueducts, sewers and the homeless who inhabit them?proves as shuddery a setting for the authors' latest scientific monster mash as the American Museum of Natural History did for their bestselling Relic, to which this is the sequel. In the earlier novel, Mbwun, a ferocious creature that seemed part reptile, part human, rampaged through the museum killing people. The sequel, set 18 months after Mbwun was destroyed, opens with a police diver finding the headless bodies of two people apparently killed by underground cannibals. The corpses are sent to the museum's lab for analysis, which brings a number of returnees from Relic?burly homicide cop Vincent D'Agosta, anthropologist Margo Green, New York Post crime reporter Bill Smithback?to the case. They're soon joined by the novels' Sherlock Holmes figure, the irresistibly cool Special Agent Pendergast of the FBI. Forays by these principals into the kingdom of the Mole People (underground homeless), plus some forensic breakthroughs, point to a race of mini-Mbwun at work in an escalating series of savage killings that incite the city's upper crust to civil disobedience. The city's answer, to flood its nether vaults, turns out to threaten a global catastrophe that only Pendergast and company, aided by Navy SEALS, can avert. The story's "surprise" ending makes as much sense as ketchup on popcorn, and the entire novel has a desperate air about it as the authors stuff it with complications and, by pitting the homeless against the swells, try to create a kind of Decapitation of the Vanities. It's high on suspense and tremendous fun in parts, though, especially when exploring the city's nightmare underbelly. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternate selections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

The curator of the Natural History Museum rejoins police and the FBI as they attempt to solve horrific murders. A frightening sequel to The Relic, it's a terrific read on its own.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Douglas Preston, who worked for several years in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, is the author of the acclaimed nonfiction works Dinosaurs in the Attic and Cities of Gold, and the novel, Jennie. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

The characters are interesting and well developed.
Michael A. Newman
If you read this book before "The Relic", it will definitely ruin it for you.
Dennis Margel
This is the second time I have read this book, the first time year's ago.
Kindle Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jana L. Perskie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Members of New York City's Police Scuba Squad discover two headless skeletons, one of which is hideously deformed, in the Humboldt Kill, aka "Cloaca Maxima, named after the great central sewer of ancient Rome" for obvious reasons. NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta is called in to investigate the who, why, what, where, etc., of the decapitated corpses, and discovers a link between them and a series of murders plaguing the city's underground homeless population. The violent deaths of the anonymous "houseless," the so-called "mole" people, have not been a priority for the powers that be, but when one of the corpses is identified as that of a wealthy socialite, priorities change fast!

The inability to discover the identity, or the species (?), of the unusually malformed skeleton, leads Lt. D'Agosta to enlist the aid of his old friend, anthropologist Margo Green, an assistant curator at the New York Museum of Natural History, and her former professor and mentor, the retired scientist Dr. Frock. FBI Special Agent Prendergast hooks up with the Doctor, the Lieutenant, and the professor, and they are later joined by journalist Bill Smithback. After finding some fascinating new evidence, the team attempts to discover if there is a link between the mole people's brutal murders, the two skeletons found in the Kill, and the Museum Beast incident of the previous year. It is important to note that "Reliquary" is the sequel to "Relic," and though this reads well as a stand-alone novel, it has strong ties to the first book in terms of plot, and characters. Green, D'Agosta, Prendergast, Frock and Smithback all worked together on the Museum Beast case. Enough background information is woven into this storyline so that one need not be familiar with "Relic" to enjoy this book.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 11, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Reliquary grabs you at the start and holds on for dear life until the last 50 or so pages. Please understand the whole book is great, but the ending appeared to be a bit contrived, almost as if the authors were tired and said "Let's just end this thing."

I would recommend this book to anyone who is an adrenalin junkie ( and who isnt really). Not a book to be read at night or while alone. You will hear strange scrambling noises and
smell goatish odors.

Douglas and Childs have not received the recognition they so richly deserve. I know everyone says it, but they did create something to compete with Jurassic Park and then when they wrote this sequal, unlike Crighton and his The Lost World, they did bother to put in time and effort to keep their fans enthralled and scared witless.( Except for the end.) But hey, even with the ending being a bit disappointing the rest of the book is worth the cost of buying this book in hard cover and then after reading it, paying the extra charge on your light bill, because you wont dare turn off the lights for days.
Buy it!!!!! Read it!!!!!! Scream for the movie!!!!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Thriller Lover VINE VOICE on July 23, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Recently, I read an interview with Douglas Preston where he commented that RELIQUARY was probably the least successful of the "Agent Pendergast" books that he co-writes with Lincoln Child. After reading this book, I'm inclined to agree with him.

RELIQUARY is the second Pendergast novel and a direct sequel to the first book RELIC. It pretty much re-introduces all the major characters of THE RELIC and many additional ones. And this is the major flaw with RELIQUARY: there are simply too many characters and plot threads in this book, which don't really tie together in a satisfaying manner.

There's also a "been there, done that" quality to RELIQUARY that makes it a rather tiresome read. Preston and Child reuse many of the plot devices from THE RELIC, and there is little in this novel that is particularly original or inspired.

And most importantly, Pendergast only plays a supporting role in RELIQUARY, and the novel suffers in every scene where he is absent. Characters like Margot, Smithback and D'Agosta are simply not interesting enough to carry scenes on their own, and all of the other supporting characters are either too bland or cartoonish. I think the smartest move that Preston and Child ever made was to elevate Pendergast as the central character in this series, starting with the next entry, CABINET OF THE CURIOUSITIES.

That being said, I didn't hate RELIQUARY. It's a decent adventure story, and there's no denying that Preston and Child are very intelligent writers. Still, this is far from their best effort, and I wouldn't recommend this to anybody as their first Pendergast book.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By carolyn on December 11, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As the sequel to "Relic" this is also fast paced and has information that makes me want even more information, about the underground of New York City, the history of it, and the way it relates to us on the verge of a new millenium. The main characters could be fleshed out more, but they are still more developed than the average "thriller" cast. And most readers will be able to relate to the bureaucratic nonsense and enjoy the justice served to most of the worst offenders. Most of the writing is fast paced and the opening scene is unbelievably graphic, brilliant considering it takes place in total darkness, under water, muck, and sewage of New York water ways. That scene alone left me with a case of claustrophobia. There are characters to love and ones to hate and ones that you only know exist, but have no idea who or what they are until too late. This is a great escape book, you want to use it to escape, but when you've finished you're glad to escape back to the real world as we hope we know it.
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