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!!