Relic Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The last known human searches the galaxy for companionship in a brilliant standalone novel from the legendary author of the Pip & Flinx series.
"A provocative read." (The Washington Post)
Once Homo sapiens reigned supreme, spreading from star system to star system in an empire that encountered no alien life and thus knew no enemy.... save itself. As had happened many times before, the most primal human instincts rose up, only this time armed with the advanced scientific knowledge to create a genetically engineered smart virus that quickly wiped out humanity to the last man.
That man is Ruslan, the sole known surviving human being in the universe. Rescued from the charnel house of his home planet by the Myssari - an intelligent alien race - Ruslan spends his days as something of a cross between a research subject and a zoo attraction. Though the Myssari are determined to resurrect the human race, using Ruslan’s genetic material, all he wants for himself and his species is oblivion. But then the Myssari make Ruslan an extraordinary offer: In exchange for his cooperation, they will do everything in their considerable power to find the lost home world of his species - an all-but-mythical place called Earth - and, perhaps, another living human.
Thus begins an epic journey of adventure, danger, heartbreak, and hope, as Ruslan sets out in search of a place that may no longer exist - drawn by the slimmest yet most enduring hope.
Praise for Relic:
"Foster's high-concept novel is a gripping tale of serenity amid sorrow." (World Magazine)
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 30 minutes|
|Author||Alan Dean Foster|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 14, 2018|
|Publisher||Random House Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #59,629 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#494 in First Contact Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#953 in Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,563 in Adventure Science Fiction
Reviewed in the United States on August 15, 2018
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Top reviews from the United States
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I won't comment much on the story except to say that (1) the "relic" is not an artifact -- I love SF stories where some mysterious artifact kicks off a great tale -- but actually a person who is, admittedly, a quite special person. (2) Said person isn't really all that likeable. Sorry, but I have trouble finishing a book wherein there really aren't any characters that I want to relate to, and the story moves along sort of slowly. (3) As I already said, just when the "mystery" seems about to be solved, the book ends, and with a provocative enough final sentence that huge letters seemed to appear floating in front of my eyes, saying "Stay tuned for Post-relic, the second in ALF's five-book "quintology." Overall not a terrible read, but the author could do better. And have I mentioned that I really hate being deceived into getting involved with a multi-book series without warning?
Not too damn good. Happily our hero does have friends, after a sort. Apparently in this new and improved galaxy, humanity has spread out a bit, colonized a fair chunk, and then proceeded to kill itself. The alien races that arrive on scene after were simply on the other side of the Milky Way, and it took them forever to get here.
Rusland is our lonely man, but the aliens that do find him are a help. In fact, this group of aliens takes him on a journey that changes his life forever. After finding not one, but two other living humans, Ruslan's character starts to possibly heal up after decades. But, well, you know this can't last!
I won't give any spoilers, but I will say that the book is a good, quick read. The aliens do not behave like humans, and you do hafta choke back a tear or two. The ending was, I thought, a bit too contrived, but satisfying nonetheless.
Nothing is very alien and all are very polite and keep explaining how they eschew violence because it is so inconvenient. The universe appears to be very much how living with the aristocracy in pre-world war I Europe must have been.
All through the book I kept waiting for something to happen but no luck. Lot's of sitting around talking, going to places where nothing happens, everyone admitting that they know very little about anything, , and of course complaining about bad luck without doing anything about it. And the aliens are very much like your in-laws from a different country in Europe..
And geez, 2 deus ex machina. I won't spoil what little there is here by explaining.
I would not recommend this book. I would steer you to Neal Ascher for action and Jeff Vandermeer for aliens.
"Relic" is no different.
Humanity had a nice run. It colonized, created empires, fought among itself, reached heights, but that's all over since someone uncorked the Aura Malignance which targeted only humans. All humans have been killed off except Ruslan. An alien race named the Myssari find him among the ruins on the planet Seraboth. The Myssari are plaeased to have a human specimen to unravel the mysteries of the many human colonies they and other alien races have discovered in the formerly human quadrant of the galaxy.
However, the Myssari are civilized. They recognize Ruslan's rights and want to make him happy. Ruslan's chief emotion seems to be sulking. He doesn't seem to miss humanity, which after all, was stupid enough to kill itself off. He is definitely cool to the Myssari idea of resurrecting the human race by cloning Ruslan.
In order to advance their agenda, they offer to locate legendary Earth for Ruslan. Along the way, Ruslan crosses path with another alien race that doesn't seem as nice as the Myssari. They also find some survivors.
Do they find Earth? That would give it away, but I will say that there is a particular Foster story that this story put me in mind of.
The story is nice but slow. No one seemed in any particular hurry to get anywhere. Ruslan is nice but not very motivated. The ending didn't surprise me for the reason I said. I didn't see that this was the introduction to further books, but it doesn't surprise me.
Top reviews from other countries
I was hoping for more archeology, surprise discovery by the last man in the universe. It wasn't like that. This book is about how the last man relates to the aliens who discover him and take him home to be studied. He lives a life of comfort verging on boredom. And to some extent that is the problem with this story - the lack of any tension. The aliens are so nice that even conflicts with other aliens is little more than verbal sniping.
The main surprises in the book is just how many 'last people in the universe' there actually are.
The alien technology is supposedly high as is their intelligence but they still suffer from 'village idiot' moments. Like NOT using translator devices when they were generally in use or believing cloaked intruders must have gone home.
The story is complete (although a bit rushed at the end) and there are not too many typos.
I would read a sequel.
Last man finds redemption, helped by virtuous aliens, with deux ex machina ending. Not much bounce to the ounce, and no great insights.
Perhaps the poor reviews here a examples of fiction xenophobia, are you ready to accept the concept of a multi-world earth civilization that destroyed itself with a bio-weapon?