That feeling you get from exploring a good story. A bookish podcast discussing and reviewing books and films as I journey through my ever growing TBR backlog and watchlist.

Relics by R.D. Shah

A mystery surrounding the Catholic Church. Ancient puzzles to be solved before assassins can stop the former Priest now turned Professer and hero of this story. Hidden histories long thought to be myths. Religious truths set to be revealed. And a thrill ride of danger and mystery in page turner fashion. No, this isn’t a review of Dan Brown’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’, but it sure feels similar doesn’t it?

Title: Relics
Genres: ,
Page Count: 384
Published: 03/20/2013
Categories: ,
While a new Pope is inaugurated, a fellow Catholic Priest hangs himself on a nearby balcony for the world to see, setting off events that drag Professor and former Priest Alex Harker into a mystery as old as the church itself. Can he survive this secret war for religious power and solve the puzzle left by his deceased friend before the world is irrevocably changed?

I’ll be totally honest with you here – this is NOT a book I would have ever purchased or decided to read on my own. It’s not that I’m against this type of book, just that based on the description it sounded SO MUCH like a direct knock off of ‘The Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown that I figured if I wanted to read that story again I’d rather get the original from Dan Brown.

However, my wife bought this at random off a shelf as a gift. Yes, at random. She closed her eyes, pointed a finger at a bookshelf at Costco or Sam’s Club, and this book is what she landed on… and since it was a gift I had to read it. I mean, she didn’t force me to read it or anything, but it would have been rude not to.

Plus, the idea of someone choosing a book totally at random and giving it to you as a gift is kind of fun. Sure, you may end up with a lot more stinkers than loves potentially, but it IS a fun journey in the spirit of exploring stories.

All that to say that this adventure was what I would call a moderate success.

I didn’t hate this book – also didn’t love it. It was just ok for me, though your mileage may vary.

So here’s the skinny on this one:

  • It feels like a direct knock off in SO many ways. Yes there are differences but overall the FEEL really vibrates with that Dan Brown Da Vinci Code energy.
  • The mystery, while very predictable in parts, DOES manage to hold onto a few surprises that by the end of this story leave you feeling like you just made a trip to Bonkersville in how out there the author pushes this story.
  • There is a lot of action, a lot of movement from place to place, and a lot of violence and backstabby betrayals.

While this feels so incredibly close to what Dan Brown did with The Da Vinci Code, Relics and R.D. Shah manage to take that story and crank it up to eleven when it comes to the action, violence, brutality, and high stakes mystery. At about the halfway point, you quickly realize that you better buckle up because there’s a lot of mayhem to come as Harker attempts to solve the mystery laid out by his now deceased friend, the Priest that hung himself in public view during the new Pope’s inauguration.

It’s a popcorn flick of a mystery/thriller novel that is all about the twisty plot and big religious puzzle storylines. Not much in the way of character progression or world building. Frankly, it tells an interesting story… at least slightly interesting and most of the action scenes feel fairly well written.

IF you can separate yourself from The Da Vinci Code(or maybe haven’t read it or watched the film) you’ll likely get a lot of enjoyment from this suspenseful thriller. However, there’s a strong chance you’ll be mentally comparing the two through at least the first half of this book and as such you’ll probably find it’s kind of a re-telling of a story you’ve already tackled… and it’s not a unique enough re-telling to make most want to keep pushing through. While it IS a fairly fast paced read, I think I’d just recommend grabbing Dan Brown’s book instead. Though this DOES bring a bit more violence and mayhem to it’s suspense/mystery twist at the end.

The call is yours, like I said, I didn’t hate it, didn’t love it… I don’t highly recommend it but wouldn’t tell you NOT to read it either.

But I won’t be reading it, or anymore from this series, again.

Relics by R.D. Shah gets 2.5/5 stars(2 stars on Goodreads)

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