Relic

Authors: Douglas Preston & Lincoln Childrelic
Publisher: Tor
Date: 1995
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
ISBN: 9780812543261
Price: 7.99
Number of Pages: 468
Available Formats: Hardcover, paperback, E-Book, Audio

Rating Scale: 5Q, 4P

Links to Author’s Website and Interviews

http://www.prestonchild.com/

http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com/2009/05/interview-with-douglas-preston-and.html

Links to Reviews

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/douglas-preston/relic/

http://www.ew.com/article/2012/09/15/weekend-book-pick-relic-by-douglas-preston-and-lincoln-child

Reader’s Annotations

A monster is loose and no one is safe.

Plot Summary

This story takes place at the New York Natural History Museum, where grisly murders are beginning to take place. The first of which are two boys that have been brutally murdered, with their hypothalamus ripped out. This draws the attention of the police department, led by Lieutenant D’Agosta. The FBI also gets involved, as agent Pendergast begins to lead the team. Margo, a botanist at the museum, begins to get involved and suspects a connection between the murders and a shipment from the Amazon. Despite the murders, the museum goes ahead with the big debut of their supernatural exhibit but things quickly turn for the worse when more bodies are discovered.

Critical Evaluation

I think this is a fantastic book. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. It did have some science background thrown in, but it didn’t bother me that much. People often compare this to Michael Crichton, but I think this book does a better job of balancing the more science-heavy aspects with the suspense and horror of the story. The last quarter of the book is one of the most exciting final acts I’ve read in a long time. While the characters aren’t as well developed as I would like, I think the story more than makes up for this. The monster is also really unique and the twist at the end was well-done and interesting. I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Appeal Factors

Fast-paced, suspenseful, gritty

Read-alikes

Contest by Matthew Reilly
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Awards & Lists

Garden State Teen Book Awards (New Jersey): Fiction (Grades 9-12)
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults: 1996

Discussion Ideas

• Discuss the character of Whittlesey and his transformation.
• Discuss the twist ending and why the authors chose to have the audience learn about it and not the characters.

Justification of Selection

I was interested in reading something suspenseful and a little adventurous. This book, although a little more horror than I wanted, immediately caught my eye. The premise sounded creepy and a lot of fun. I liked the idea of it being set in a museum.

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Say Goodbye

Author: Lisa Gardner
Publisher: Bantam Bookssay
Date: 2008
Genre: Suspense
ISBN: 9780752872056
Price: $7.99
Number of Pages: 360
Available Formats: Hardback, Paper back, E-book, Audio

Rating: 4Q, 4P

Links to Author’s Website and Interviews

http://lisagardner.com/

http://books.usatoday.com/happyeverafter/post/2012-03-11/interview-lisa-gardner-catch-me/645327/1

http://www.bookreporter.com/authors/lisa-gardner/news/interview-071708

Links to Reviews

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-553-80433-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/say-goodbye-lisa-gardner/1100158713?ean=9780553588095

Reader’s Annotation

Killers aren’t born — they’re MADE.

Plot Summary

The story centers on Kimberly Quincy, a pregnant FBI agent. Her husband, Mac, wants her to settle down due to the pregnancy. Unfortunately, however, a case comes in that she begins to become obsessed with. She meets Delilah Rose, a hooker who is also pregnant. Delilah tells her about a killer that been kidnapping and possibly killing hookers in the area. Kimberly also meets another agent named Sal Martignetti, who has been investigating the case. Kimberly begins to receive mysterious calls about the case, which furthers her obsession. As she investigates the case, she begins to realize that nothing is what it seems and that she may be in the crosshairs of the most dangerous serial killer she has ever faced.

Critical Evaluation

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. However, at the same time, it was one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read. There are graphic depictions of little boys getting sexually abused. There’s also a lot of discussion about spiders, which I have a fear of. This is not to discredit the book, as it’s very well done. The graphic material isn’t gratuitous, but it is emotionally exhausting and difficult to get through in one sitting. I thought Gardner did a good job in conveying the idea that killers are made, rather than born, as she chronicles the progression of an innocent boy’s journey into psychosis.

Appeal Factors

Fast-paced, suspenseful, disturbing

Read-alikes

Stay Close by Harlan Coben

The Fifth Victim by Beverly Barton

A Perfect Evil by Alex Kava

Discussion Ideas

  • Discuss the theme of creating monsters.
  • Discuss Kimberly as a character and how her pregnancy affects the story.

Justification of Selection

I have always been interested in stories about serial killers and I have hear some great things about Lisa Gardner, so I decided that I should try her out for this assignment. I’m very glad I did, because while this was one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read, it was also completely engrossing and well done.