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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Museum Beast redux
The NYPD harbor patrol during a routine dive to recover a cache of heroin dumped into the Harlem River, snag the headless corpses of two individuals. Through extensive analysis it is determined that one of the bodies is that of a young, beautiful and wealthy Manhattan socialite, Pamela Wisher, who has been missing. The other skeletonized remains appear to be hideously...
Published on July 27 2002 by Cory D. Slipman

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as STILL LIFE WITH CROWS
I became a Preston/Childs fan after reading STILL LIFE WITH CROWS. I'm still impressed with how simpatico these two guys are.
Anyway, I wasn't aware that this was a series and now that I've read another one, working my way backwards, I'm not as impressed.
First off, there are too many featured characters in RELIQUARY. FBI agent Pendergast doesn't even show up...
Published on Jan. 19 2004 by Dave Schwinghammer


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Museum Beast redux, July 27 2002
By 
Cory D. Slipman (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Reliquary (Mass Market Paperback)
The NYPD harbor patrol during a routine dive to recover a cache of heroin dumped into the Harlem River, snag the headless corpses of two individuals. Through extensive analysis it is determined that one of the bodies is that of a young, beautiful and wealthy Manhattan socialite, Pamela Wisher, who has been missing. The other skeletonized remains appear to be hideously deformed, with thickening and twisting of the lower extremities. The medical examiner immediately calls in Dr. Margo Green, a curator of the Museum of Natural History and Lt. D'Agosta of the NYPD to help in the identification. Before long they are joined by NY Post reporter William Smithback and the cerebral and mysterious Special FBI Agent Pendergast. The cast of heroes that solved the case of the Museum Beast in The Relic is now re-assembled.
Analysis of xray and medical records of the distorted and unidentified corpse soon leads to the discovery that they are the remains of Dr. Greg Kawakita, a brilliant research biologist and former colleague of Margo Green. They cannot however decipher the cause of the skeletal deformities. Simultaneously, it is revealed that there has been a rash of murders involving homeless people who have sought refuge in the deep subterranean levels of railroad and service tunnels beneath Manhattan. With the help of Sgt. Hayward, an expert in homeless underground communities and Pendergast, our heroes recruit the help of Mephisto, the leader of a large group of homeless who live beneath Central Park. From him they learn of the "Wrinklers", denizens of the Devil's Attic, the deepest of underground recesses and a group he feels is responsible for the decapitations of the homeless. There seem to be similarities between the Wrinklers and Mbwun, the half man half reptile Museum Beast who is fond of consuming the hypothalamus of the human brain.
Green and D'Agosta track down the previous whereabouts of Kawakita and find his fire ravaged high tech laboratory. He had been genetically synthesizing the Museum Beast lily, the preferred food of Mbwun. Kawakita had been consuming the lily extract and has transformed into a Mbwun, explaining his deformed skeleton. He had been supplying a group of drug consuming homeless with lily extract. Could he have created a tribe of Museum Beasts who were ravaging the city and perpetrating these sickening beheadings?
Preston and Child proceed to tell a white knuckled, suspenseful tale of the mystery of these heinous murders in their usual superb fashion. Reliquary did not create the bewitching spell of The Relic but was an excellent read nonetheless.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as STILL LIFE WITH CROWS, Jan. 19 2004
By 
Dave Schwinghammer "Dave Schwinghammer" (Little Falls, Minnesota USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Reliquary (Mass Market Paperback)
I became a Preston/Childs fan after reading STILL LIFE WITH CROWS. I'm still impressed with how simpatico these two guys are.
Anyway, I wasn't aware that this was a series and now that I've read another one, working my way backwards, I'm not as impressed.
First off, there are too many featured characters in RELIQUARY. FBI agent Pendergast doesn't even show up until well into the story; yet we have Dr. Margo Green; police lieutenant D'Agosta; Dr. Frock; Smithback, the reporter; Simon Brambell, the medical investigator; Snow, the diver; Hayward, the female police officer; plus a host of minor characters who have their own perspectives just before they're dusted by the wrinklers. It's hard to know for whom to cheer and there's too much distance between each account. It's often necessary to page back to see where they were when last encountered.
Also, maybe I'm too much of a left-brainer but I didn't believe those wrinklers for a second. These two guys seem to be obsessed by monsters and the underworld. In STILL LIFE WITH CROWS it was a cave bigger than the Carlsbad Caverns and a Kong character with the mind of a baby. In this one it's the underworld beneath New York City and a collection of genetic monstrosities.
The most interesting aspect for me was the author's note at the end of the book. I knew there were a lot of uncharted abandoned tunnels beneath NYC but not thirty stories. As many as five thousand "houseless" have lived there; they form their own communities and communicate by tapping on pipes. Even more remarkable is the authors' claim that the Astor Tunnels actually did exist. THE MOLE PEOPLE by Jennifer Toth is a factual account of the homeless beneath the city.
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5.0 out of 5 stars terrific thriller with memorable characters and settings, July 6 2003
By 
audrey (white mtns) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reliquary (Mass Market Paperback)
One imagines there are inherent difficulties in collaborative work, but Preston and Child are so successful that one hopes they've found some mutually satisfying solution, so that they never stop! RELIC was a fine thriller, set in the NY Museum of Natural History, a dark labyrinth of curious objects. This time the pivotal scenes take place below New York City, in the dark labyrinths of subway tunnels, sewer drains and abandoned egresses, while the characters are the same. This is a true sequel, so do yourself a big favor and read RELIC first. You'll find the same main characters: anthropologist Margo Green, FBI Special Agent Pendergast, police lieutenant D'Agosta and reporter Bill Smithback, and it's nice to see them because they're all interesting and intelligent characters. A new character is introduced, Sargeant Hayward, who is also intelligent and cynical about her idiotic and sexist superiors. She gravitates toward our group, in a sort of Ayn Rand meets Stephen King way.
This time out someone or something has been killing homeless people, and our protagonists must learn about and enter the frightening depths below The City. The plot intensifies as they realize that one of the victims is someone they knew during the events of the first book.
My only complaint is that the book took a while to get going, for me at least, and really only took off after page 100, when Pendergast showed up. From there it is a superb thriller, and I stayed up to finish it until 4 am, turning pages quickly, interested in all the story threads as they played out and converged.
Masterful, intelligent and thrilling, this is a great read -- but read RELIC first!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Made me sweat, Part II, April 19 2003
By 
S. M Marson (Lumberton, NC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Reliquary (Mass Market Paperback)
I have read several works of Preston and Child in the following order: THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, MOUNT DRAGON, RELIC and RELIQUARY. All of these are wonderfully written stories, but I think it is critically important that one reads RELIC first, followed by RELIQUARY and then THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. I read THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES first and regretted it. Perhaps we need a federal law requiring warning labels on such novels?
In RELIQUARY, all the main characters who survived in RELIC converge to uncover the hidden causal factors that explain their encounter in the museum. As I stated in my review of RELIC, it ends with "a knock on the door." RELIQUARY does not begin by identifying who knocked on the door, but only toward the end of this second novel does it become clear who (or perhaps more accurately "what") knocked on the door. For those of you who read this review, I hope I am able to convince you to read RELIC first.
Each time I read a novel by Preston and Child, I become more amazed that two authors are able to coordinate their efforts to write with such a penetrating style. The integration of science and technology provide a great backdrop. In all of their books, I become so engaged in the storyline, I forget where I am. I have gotten lost in all of their novels and am looking forward to finding another to read!
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4.0 out of 5 stars GO, READ IT NOW!!, Nov. 23 2001
This review is from: Reliquary (Mass Market Paperback)
If you haven't read 'Relic' yet, this review won't mean as much to you. Still, 'Reliquary' is an amazing addition to Preston and Child's growing library of masterpieces-- not QUITE as good as its prequel, but a harrowing read nonetheless.
All our old friends come back; the intelligent and determined Margo Green, the brilliant Dr. Frock, the charming yet enigmatic Agent Pendergast, the touchy but good-natured Lt. Vincent D'Agosta, and the witty, sarcastic Bill Smithback return in this horrifying nail-biter of a story. While having a new threat introduced to the plot, it still resonates with the evil danger of the first book, and the reassuring presences of its familiar characters give you incentive to read, and find out if they come out okay.
Packed with plenty of action, horror, frequent bursts of wicked humor, and plot twists enough to knock you out of your chair, 'Reliquary' is a must-read for everyone who read the first Museum Beast best-seller, and a soon-enough read for those who haven't read 'Relic' yet. Either way, you MUST get your hands on this book. The only-- ONLY reason I didn't give it five stars was the fact that our sophisticated Southern gentleman, Agent Pendergast's first name still remains a mystery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe Not Quite as Good, but Awfully Close, June 18 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Reliquary (Mass Market Paperback)
It would have been nearly impossible for "Reliquary" to live up to the fame of its predecessor, "Relic." But to this reader, it came very close. The authors start the story about a year and a half after the "Museum Beast" event They keep most of the same great characters from the first book: D'Agosta, Agent Pendergast, Margo Green, Dr. Frock, and Bill Smithback -- and introduce two well-drawn new characters: Sgt. Laura Hayward and Mephisto, mysterious, charismatic leader of an underground society. Some of the original characters, more than others, are still feeling fallout from the events of "Relic." This time, however, the action is centered not in the New York Museum of Natural History, but in a fantastic underground world of the homeless and society's outcasts below the streets of New York. The two books are linked by the fact that the creatures of "Reliquary" are different, yet definitely tied, to the Mbwun monster of "Relic." Besides the usual gruesome attacks and tense action sequences, highlights include the dark, dank atmosphere of the underground world, intriguing information about the underground society, much of it fact-based, an interesting sub-plot involving the ugliness of class prejudice, and twists to this story that make us look at two of the original characters in a new light. I also highly recommend the very well-read unabridged audiotape.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the average thriller, but hard first act to beat, Jan. 16 2001
By 
J. Levine (Santa Monica, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Reliquary (Mass Market Paperback)
"Relic" was a fantastic thriller: smart, engaging, suspenseful. "Reliquary" tries its very best to live up to the standard set by "Relic" but can't quite manage it. Had this been a stand-alone novel, it would have rated 5 stars, but I couldn't give it that score here in comparison to the first book.
"Reliquary" takes up about a year after "Relic" ends and all of the survivors make an appearance here. Once again, gruesome murders are occuring in New York, only this time they are not confined to a single location. Some investigation leads our heroes underneath the city, where entire communities of homeless live in the abandoned tunnels. Lots of good suspense and shocking violence later, there is a satisfying ending with all loose plot ends tied up.
Ultimately, what made "Relic" great is the blend of action, science, and suspense. "Reliquary" has the action and suspense, but the science isn't as prevelant and the book suffers slightly for it. Still and all, a great read which I heartily recommend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Reliquary lives up to the name of its prequel..., Jan. 4 2001
By 
Ryan Altick (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reliquary (Mass Market Paperback)
After reading Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's original, The Relic, (which was perhaps the greatest book I've read to date) I thought I'd never be able to wait until their anticipated sequel, Reliquary. The wait was definitely worth it. Reliquary delves into modern day New York, yet with a twist, it raises the awareness of the reader that their truly are people living under us in the sewers and subways. It starts off about a year after the apparent deceased Mbwun has been destroyed. The main character from The Relic, Dr. Margo Green also stars in Reliquary. After a string of murders occur in a busy New York subway system once again Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta is called in to look over the case. The strange part is, the fashion in which these murders occur, appear to be in the same way in which the Mbwun museum murders happened... From there on, Lieutenant D'Agosta once again needs Margo's help to solve the case. The positives of this book really make it unique and special. The two author's use of cliffhangers at the end of every chapter helps grabs the readers attention and force them to read on until they find out what actually happened. Yet the smart thing that they do is not tell you for a while, only after a new situation arises, causing the reader to eventually never be able to put down the book, as in this case. "She pushed open the door and stepped inside. For a moment, silence settled over Belvedere Castle. And then the screams began: ululating, rising louder and louder as they rent the soft summer night." The only negative I have on it, is its similarity to the original, and its complexity onto the issue of just what exactly the Mbwun beast is. But these are far outweighed by its positive way of being able to keep you reading. Its a book that anyone interested in a little thrill should pick up.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good...but NOT as good as the FANTASTIC 'Relic', Nov. 20 2000
This review is from: Reliquary (Mass Market Paperback)
After reading 'Relic' I couldn't WAIT to read anything by Lincoln & Child--ANYTHING. With 'Mt. Dragon' they served up a pretty good and scary story about a Bio-Lab in the desert that was actually really fun to read and to recommend to my friends as well. Then came along 'Reliquary' a SEQUEL to one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITE thrillers. I nearly cried knowing they had seen fit to fill that void in my reading mind...unfortunately 'Reliquary' wasn't nearly as entertaining as 'Relic'. I absolutely HATE saying that since Lincoln & Child have become two of my favorite authors. At one point I actually stopped reading this book, which was 100% different than my experience with 'Relic' because I couldn't get ENOUGH of that book. It pains me that I have profaned these two incredibly talented authors, but aside from what this may do to their feelings, I'd be lying to myself and others if I gave this book the highest rating that it could get, and as good as it actually IS, it just wasn't as compelling as 'Relic'. If you enjoyed the original, you pretty much owe it to yourself to read it and judge for yourself (I have a friend who insists it is better than 'Relic') because I am not the voice of everybody. I must admit that I have enjoyed EVERYTHING I have read by Lincoln & Child, including 'Reliquary' and found that 'The Ice Limit' was one of my favorites (the ending is a total shocker--TRUST me). All in all if you are looking for some action/adventure novels that are a cut above the rest out there, Lincoln & Child fits the bill. Give 'em a try and if you haven't read anything by them, do yourself a treat and read 'Relic' TODAY. Simply put a fantastic novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the museum.., July 16 2000
This review is from: Reliquary (Mass Market Paperback)
"Relic," a dark, twisted tour through a museum stalked by terror, is a book one would imagine would be difficult to follow. Does "Reliquary" do this successfully? Yes... to a point.
This time, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child take us on a horrifying subway ride, past underestimated homeless "moles," a rabbit's warren of black tunnels, and a frightening continuation of the first book's monster story. "Reliquary" is a relief in that it doesn't suffer from "sequelitis," that "deja vu all over again" feeling that most sequels seem to have. There's no rehashing of the original story, here. "Reliquary" goes where "Relic" was afraid to, and with enjoyable results.
My quibble with "Reliquary" is that it isn't quite as tight as "Relic." The plot seems to meander a bit more, and I prefer the museum setting of the prequel. The writing, however, is top-notch (as expected), and it's a sign of the writers' talents at characterization that I felt as though Margo, Smithback, Pendergast, and the rest of the returning cast were old friends of mine. The authors hint at a promise that these characters will feature in future books, and I would love that. I look forward to it.
All in all, "Reliquary" is a satisfying and worthy sequel to "Relic." Given some of the plot twists and differences between "Relic" and its unfortunate silver screen adaptation, it appears that Paramount couldn't make "Reliquary" into a movie without running into some serious continuity errors. Of course, looking at the first film, it doesn't seem like Paramount was very concerned with that to begin with, so I'll just have to hope that they don't get their grubby mitts onto "Reliquary." The world doesn't need another movie like Paramount's "The Relic." More books from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, however, are more than welcome. :)
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Reliquary
Reliquary by Lincoln Child (Mass Market Paperback - July 15 1998)
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