Book Review: Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

This book is the first of the Pendergast series, and it was initially published in 1995 by Tor Books. According to several sources, this book has sold over a million copies to date.

This book isn’t just about Special Agent AXL Pendergast of the FBI New Orleans Office. There’s a small cast including a Journalist for the Times, a graduate student working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and several others. I especially like Lieutenant Vincent “Vinny” D’Agosta of the NYPD and the very interesting Pendergast.

The story is about an ill fated expedition into the rain forests of the Amazon Basin where one of the researchers was looking for a tribe said not to exist. Finding signs of them, he and several of his party members followed the signs and, things didn’t go as planned.

Fast forwarding to the present, the American Museum of Natural History is preparing for a huge exhibit called “Superstition” to open in grand style. Unfortunately, two young boys are found dead in one of the many stairwells in the museum, and the place is locked down by Lt. D’Agosta. Not long after, a very singular man appears dressed in a black suit, and he eventually introduces himself as Special Agent Pendergast of the FBI.

With a distinctly Southern accent and gentlemanly manners more suited for the late 1800s than for modern New York, Pendergast is interesting, amusing and irritating in turns – both to the reader and to his fellow cast in the story.

“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.” – Special Agent Pendergast The Relic.

I won’t spoil the book for you – I have better manners than that. I do recommend this book highly, and I ask that you don’t take my word for it. Check the book out at the library or find a copy cheap at a thrift store(you can always donate it back or give it away later) and read it for yourself.

This is a well paced story with the right blend of thriller, horror and murder mystery with some history thrown in to spice things up a bit. The cast of characters have their own little side stories as well, and I think this adds to the story rather than detracting as many critics have claimed. There is a reason for all the little side trips, but I’ll leave that for you to figure out for yourself.

I give this a 5 out of a 5 rating.

Also, this book is available in all forms including audiobook so I hope you find a way to enjoy it.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Taking Virtual Tours

Since I’ve been stuck at home, I’ve been on Facebook more than normal. I’ve seen numerous posts with links to sites providing virtual tours of places. I checked out on today called Adentures in Familyhood which you can check out here.

This site has lots of kid friendly stuff which would be great if I were cooped up with a kid or two, but I’m not so I didn’t pay much attention to any of it. Still, it’s free so you should check it out if you have kids in isolation with you, or any time you have kids with you at home.

The tours are split up into groups, and there are at least three links in each group. At the end of each group are activities for you and the kids to do to help them learn and discuss what they saw on the tours.

The Louvre has three galleries in their virtual tour selection, and I really enjoyed visiting Le Petite Gallerie. It has an exhibit going on which includes sculpture and paintings by three of the old masters. The quality of the camera work is that of a professional movie! It was as if I was there. The moves between rooms as well as the 360 degree camera views are seamless. Lighting was fantastic too. I was so pleased with how it all looked, it was almost better than getting to see the exhibits! I can’t wait to get to Paris to see the Louvre myself!

I also checked out the Monterey Bay Aquarium virtual tour. It has several cams showing off their aquatic offerings. I watched the Kelp Forest cam for a while, and I liked how clear the picture was. Would’ve been nice if the view had been more focused on one window into the area thought. It was pulled back to show several panes of the aquarium, and I’m sure when people are around, the view is blocked.

There was an offering from Google as well. I got to see Pompei! It was a static virtual tour from ground level, but it was still better than nothing. I was able to move around in a 360 degree circle and move to other parts with mouse clicks. The picture quality was great too. I really enjoyed the tour. This is another place on my bucket list of places to visit when I can.

The last tour I went on was to the San Diego zoo. I checked out quite a few of the animal cams they have up. They’re all live but right now, they’re unmanned. This means you might not see an anumal when you check out the cam. I got to see penguins swimming, and condors moving about so it was worth checking out.

I’m going to be checking out more virtual tours when I can. Anything to keep myself busy and distracted… Feel free to share any virtual tour sites you know of!! I’ll be eternally grateful!!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!