I first encountered Relic in 1997 when I watched the film. I remember being thrilled by the excitement and a little nostalgic for Jurassic Park, a film that had come out four years earlier. The book sort of follows the same beats, but since it has been 16 years since I saw the film everything felt new and fresh. It's a fun monster tale backed by hard science presented in a complex, yet digestible way. For this reason, along with the subject line and the detailed research I was fondly reminded of Michael Crichton.
This book is the first collaboration from the team of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (it is also the first novel to introduce Special Agent Pendergast, a recurring character in later books). Also, this is the first book I can remember reading that was written by two authors. Because of this I was drawn more towards their process than I would normally be.
From their website (www.prestonchild.com) I learned that they both work on a detailed outline before assigning sections to one another to write. Then, when they revise, they revise the other person's sections. I'm guessing that this gives the manuscript a seamless feel and allows them to catch one another's mistakes. To be honest, it seems like this process would take even more time and patience as apposed to taking the project on solo. My fear would be constantly butting my head against someone else who wants to take the story in a completely different direction.
Once or twice I have tried to collaborate on graphic novels and other mediums, but the results are both time consuming and painful. It's funny though, because on their website Preston and Child site this sort of tension as a strength. They push one another to be better writers which seems to be the ideal form of this process.
If you can't tell by now, I don't have much to say about the book other than it was a fantastic read that makes me want to pick up Reliquary, the sequel to Relic which also features Special Agent Pendergast. Any book that makes me want to keep reading after I've put it up on my shelf is what I would call a success.