Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

by Michael Alderete on 5/12/2007 · 5 comments

Relic Relic, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, is not a new book. It’s the first in a connected series of novels that features or involves Special Agent Pendergast, and was originally published in 1994. As an audiobook, it was only published on cassette, and has long been out of “print.” This new MP3 CD edition, released in March, is what I hope is the first of the authors’ back catalog being re-issued in modern formats.

You can read the synopsis at Amazon.com; my summary: it’s a terrific novel, and a great spoken performance. I especially enjoy the character of Agent Pendergast, who seems to be the authors’ favorite character. He is a delight. Rochelle and I listened to The Cabinet of Curiosities, which also features Pendergast, before we realized that the book had others that came prior, and was abridged. In spite of that, we were gripped the entire time we were listening, and didn’t mind the traffic we were in much at all.

To date there are seven published novels featuring Agent Pendergast, with an eighth on the way later this year:

  1. Relic
  2. Reliquery (print only)
  3. The Cabinet of Curiosities (abridged)
  4. Still Life with Crows (abridged)
  5. Brimstone (abridged)
  6. Dance of Death
  7. The Book of the Dead
  8. The Wheel of Darkness

Preston and Child are a great writing team. The later novels by the duo have been best sellers, and have also done extremely well in audiobook format. I believe that’s why Relic is being re-released at this time. If Relic’s publication is an indication that the other books will be issued in digital and unabridged formats also, then I’m very, very excited.

Ken Reiss July 20, 2007 at 4:52 pm

I’m on an audiobook group on Yahoo (SoundsLikeAMystery) and we’ve had quite a discussion about this series and trying to figure out the correct order. Does Relic really need to come before or is it really part of another series with an appearance by Pendergast? Also, most of the others in the series HAVE been released in unabridged by different publishers.

Alderete July 21, 2007 at 1:00 am

@Ken: Relic is the first novel written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. It is the first novel with Agent Pendergast, and the first novel in any series they’ve written. You can get more information at “the official Preston Child web site”:http://www.prestonchild.com/books/index.html.

As for the audiobooks, I have not found Reliquery, Cabinet of Curiosities, Still Life With Crows, or Brimstone in unabridged audiobook format. If you know differently, I would be thrilled to get information about sources for those books.

sarah October 18, 2007 at 7:45 am

here is the list according to the publisher. I emailed them because I wanted to start from the begining. The Relic Mount Dragon Reliquary Riptide Thunderhead The Ice Limit The Cabinet of Curiosities Still Life with Crows Brimstone Dance of Death The Book of the Dead The Wheel of Darkness

It appears you had missed some in your list. Hope this helps!

Alderete October 18, 2007 at 8:11 am

@sarah: Yes, that’s the full list of the author’s books that are loosely connected. That is, there are common characters and minor plot points across all of them. The list I gave above is specifically of the books in which Agent Pendergast is a major figure.

If you’re looking for the most complete list, yours is a little better, but you’ll want to add in a few of the novels written by the two authors singly (that is, each have written novels on their own, as well as together), such as Tyrannosaur Canyon, which (my wife tells me) also include some of the common characters. “This list at Amazon.com”:http://www.amazon.com/simple-guide-Douglas-Preston-Lincoln/lm/MDVQ395SQJGQ/ref=cm_lmt_srch_f_2_rsrsrs1/002-5856972-8450434 purports to put some of those into the sequence, but I’m not sure if I trust it, as the author has clearly left it incomplete, only numbering Pendergast novels 1, 2, and 6!

Chris March 1, 2008 at 2:34 pm

I ran accross The Book of The Dead at an airport bookstore right when it came out. I LOVED IT! At the end of the book, Preston and Child do a great job laying out the order of the Pendergrast series with a few comments. That got me hooked. I have read Relic, Reliquary, The Cabinet of Curiosities, and Still Life With Crows. I have a few more to go but have truly enjoyed the series. I have heard great things of some of the non-Pendergast books as well. They have been all great reads but would have to say that The Cabinet has been by favorite. The Sherlock Holmes threads here and there are a nice touch as well.

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