Read Relics by Tim Lebbon Online


There's an underground black market for arcane things. Akin to the trade in rhino horns or tigers' bones, this group trafficks in mummified satyrs, gryphons' claws, and more. When Angela Gough's lover Vince goes missing, she sets out to find him whatever the risk. She learns that he was employed by the infamous London crime lord Frederick Meloy, providing bizarre objects bThere's an underground black market for arcane things. Akin to the trade in rhino horns or tigers' bones, this group trafficks in mummified satyrs, gryphons' claws, and more. When Angela Gough's lover Vince goes missing, she sets out to find him whatever the risk. She learns that he was employed by the infamous London crime lord Frederick Meloy, providing bizarre objects beyond imagining. Descending into the city's underbelly, she uncovers a deadly side to the black market. It might have claimed Vince, and Angela may be next. Gripping supernatural terror launching a new trilogy by the acclaimed author of Coldbrook (distinct, unique, and absorbing), The Silence (truly addictive), and the Alien-Predator Rage War. Tim Lebbon's RELICS opens a darkly beautiful glimpse into another world, one lurking in the shadows, hovering at the corner of the eye. If Anne Rice and Clive Barker had written a story together, it might have looked something like this novel: richly imagined, fantastical, yet grounded in the grit and reality of modern-day London. I look forward to the wonders and terrors yet to come. --JAMES ROLLINS, New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Labyrinth A magical, perilous drama full of characters who live and breathe, darkness you can feel... --Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Ararat "Tim Lebbon is an immense talent."--Joe R. Lansdale, creator of Hap and Leonard...

Title : Relics
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781785650307
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Relics Reviews

  • Paul
    2019-04-10 11:15

    between 3 & 4 stars. I've now read a handful of books by tim lebbon, and each one I think, "this'll be the novel that launches him into to elite it genre writers". I thought that with Coldbrook, and was certain this would be the one. however this didn't quite reach the lofty requirements to launch Lebbon into the elite close but so far, a decent but not excellent novel.

  • Laura Hughes
    2019-04-19 10:23

    Relics is an urban fantasy thriller, with a killer climax and some smart twists on classic myths and legends. A few more twists on tropes and characters, too, would have made it much more recommendable; as it is, it’s relatively fun, harmless pulp that most fans of fantasy and horror will probably enjoy.

  • Marius Paulsen (Antari-kun)
    2019-04-03 09:11

    everything felt ok to me, it wasn't fantastic in any way but i liked the premise and the writing is good. hopefully will read more of lebbons work to see if i like it more than this. urban fantasy has always been a hit or miss for my own sake and this fell kinda flat for me unfortunately.

  • Jane Stewart
    2019-04-18 07:30

    2 ½ stars. I was not surprised or delighted. Things were predictable and done before.I loved The Hunt by this author under the name T J Lebbon (aka Tim J Lebbon). I read that he was doing a sequel to The Hunt. This was his next published book so I bought it hoping it was as good or maybe it was the sequel. Sadly “Relics” is not the sequel. It’s a different genre, fantasy and written under the name Tim Lebbon. Also it wasn’t as good.STORY BRIEF:Relics has a large collection of fantasy magical creatures like satyrs, nymphs, fallen angels, witches, and weird things. Some bad guy humans know about them and collect their body parts. Vince and Angela are humans in love. They get drawn into this world. A couple thugs are trying to kill Lilou a nymph. Vince kills the thugs which save’s Lilou’s life. He is knocked unconscious so she protects him and hides him in a safe place. Angela searches for Vince and meets more of these creatures.REVIEWER’S OPINION:I was pleased that there was a happy ending for Vince and Angela. But the story did not delight me. It felt TV-ish. Bad guys kidnap and beat-up good guys. Good guys fight the bad guys. There was no interesting relationship development. No interesting events or unusual smartness. I wanted it to be over.DATA:Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: strong. Sexual content: a few references to people having sex but no details shown. Setting: current day London, U.K. Copyright: 2017. Genre: fantasy fiction.

  • The Grim Reader (
    2019-03-27 14:32

    ‘Relics’ might just be my favourite Tim Lebbon novel yet! It is a book that has elements of crime, urban fantasy and even horror, and I strongly feel that ‘Relics’ is destined to become one of my favourite reads of 2017.The two main characters are Angela and Vince. Angela and Vince are a loved-up couple living in central London. When Vince mysteriously disappears from work one day, Angela goes in search of him and in doing so she uncovers Vince’s “other life”. There is an underground black-market for strange relics, odd and extremely rare pieces of the past, a magical, unbelievable past. Are they real or purely a work of fiction? How long has Vince been a part of it? What else is he hiding from Angela? These are all questions that Lebbon throws at the reader early on. I won’t say anymore about what this book is about because it would spoil the surprise, but whilst ‘Relics’ may start out as a kind of crime thriller it soon takes off in a completely different direction, and one that this reader had a truly wonderful time with.‘Relics’ is a real mash-up of genres, and it works brilliantly. At times I felt there were comparisons to Neil Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere’, whilst elsewhere there were even hints of the classic ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ by C. S. Lewis.Angela is a great character; strong when she needs to be, but at times fragile and confused. Vince, too, is well fleshed out; a kind of Indiana Jones, but perhaps not quite as brave. The book is filled with other incredible characters as Angela and Vince enter a world of strange creatures and vile people. Some of these characters are painted in grey, in that you are never really sure whose side they are on, and after all, some of them have a lot of money invested in these relics! The dialogue is great, too. Some very quotable passages particularly from the “other” characters.I went into ‘Relics’ not having read the synopsis. I loved the cover art and Tim very rarely disappoints. I devoured this book over three nights, always looking forward to re-entering the strange and magical world that Lebbon has created. I’m going to keep this review nice and short but I’d strongly suggest if you’re a fan of either of the books mentioned then I think you will adore this, but do as I did and try not to read any spoilers, for magic awaits!

  • Tim
    2019-04-01 11:26

    Warning: I almost didn't write this review. I dislike focusing on the negative, which is why up till now I skipped reviewing 1 star books that I finished. My disdain for this book is enough to alter that. Snark and sarcasm will ensue. This had a really nice epilogue which made me quite curious as to what came next… or at least it did, until I remembered how much of a mess most of the book was, then I promptly bludgeoned that curiosity, hoping to wound it enough to keep it far away. The book commits one of the greatest sins an urban fantasy novel can... it's dull. Beyond that I have a laundry list of complaints: the characters are ridiculous, the author seems to love to describe the majority of characters as “fit” (over 50% of the named human characters get that description upon introduction, sometimes it’s even voiced by a character) and everything in it has been done before and better. It’s like a greatest hits album, where your favorite songs are covered by a different band; there may be the occasional interesting spin, but the lack of creativity gets dull. We have our gentlemen mobster who everyone talks about being so bad, but we're never shown this to be the case and instead just comes off as helpful, we have our mysterious magical organization with extremists wanting to reveal themselves to the world, we get the researcher who has dedicated his life to understanding magical creatures but has been labeled a joke by his colleagues... we have a lot of characters, but we don't need to focus on them or make them interesting by giving them an actual personality. Being a cliche is enough for us. We’ve seen it all done before, but with more personality and better writing. The book takes a very workman like approach to prose. It never gives too many descriptions or details to set the world, yet the world never feels too mysterious as he goes to great effort to make sure the delicate reader is never too confused about anything (the mystery plot that is set up early on, fear not gentle reader, through the use of multiple narrators, we will be sure to show you who the villain is so quickly so that none of the antagonist's lies will confuse you!)I’m reminded of when I saw the movie Jack Reacher. The film starts with showing the murderer in the opening scene. Jack is then called in to investigate whether or not an old friend of his was the killer. Any tension that could have been gained from questioning if his friend was the real murderer is negated by the OPENING. I don't know if it's the same in the book, but as a filmgoer it annoyed me then and it annoys me now. What is the point of setting up a mystery, but quickly giving ALL the details so quickly that we as the readers/audience just have to sit and twiddle our thumbs while the characters catch up with us? In this case it feels like the author liked one of the characters so much that he didn't want to taint our view of him with that pesky ambiguity. Let’s break out the spoiler tag for this one. (view spoiler)[So, Vince has been lying to Angela about his entire life since their relationship started (and we can see he did the same with his last girlfriend as well). Questioning your relationship upon learning that the person you loved has been playing a character since you first met seems to be the correct course of action... right? Of course not! Their love is a lovey love that’s super lovingly lovey, so we can’t have you thinking that Vince is a bad guy, so here is obviously obvious villain, and then we’ll have Vince show you he’s not the bad guy in a flashback! Glad that pesky question was answered rather than making you doubt, you know, the guy who has lied to his girlfriend for years, for a moment! Sure, Angela doesn't know these things, but you, the reader do, so her complete faith in this asshole is supported, right?Also, while we're still in the spoiler tag, let's bring up the climax of the story. What was the point in setting up a plan to break into the villain's house at the end when their ruse serves no real purpose? The kin do everything, including break down most of the house and kill everyone with super strength... the few actions the humans take could have been done quicker and with less injuries by the kin. It's like one of them could have done everything and our protagonists could have just gone home a few chapters earlier and called it a night... other than being there sets up for a sequel.(hide spoiler)]One last thing before my rant has ended. While I recognize that opinions vary, I find that book decided to focus on the least interesting character in the entire novel as our protagonist. We're given criminal organizations, relic hunters, an insane satyr (view spoiler)[Who I confess is quite interesting, so of course he is quickly dispatched despite being presented with more personality than any of the other villains... or characters in general.(hide spoiler)], fairy politics, so instead we'll focus on an everygirl who has little in personality and whose distinguishing characteristics are that she's an American living in London (which could be removed with little in terms of plot changes) and that she's in love. The book starts with her giving a noir-ish opening... I expected this character to be interesting. I was disappointed. So, in closing: avoid this book. Read a good urban fantasy or horror novel... or, well, anything. There are so many better books telling a similar story. Read one that is actually worth your time.

  • Josh
    2019-04-17 08:05

    "Mythical creatures had once existed, and there was a trade in their remains. Some of the creatures still existed, and they were hunted and killed for profit."Fusing together horror and fairy tale, Relics takes the reader deep beneath the modern world veneer and into the shadows hidden on the peripheral of normalcy. What lurks in the outer and under, is real, hidden in bedtime stories for too long, an ambitious few of the once worldly creatures want to ascend and rein supreme, replicating their presence from the 'time before'. Not all of these creatures, collectively known as 'Kin' are ready to coexist in the modern world which makes for some interesting and violent conflict throughout the spellbinding pages of the book.Vince, one of the main characters in the first installment of the Relics trilogy, procures ancient and rare artifacts for the wealthy but soon turns his back on the trade when he's tasked with killing a mythical creature by his employer. Rather than contributing to the Kin's extinction, he saves her, Lilou - a nymph who is irresistible to man and woman alike, and from their his life above the surface is thrown under the currents of the mythical, as a whole new world of monsters, beasts, pixies and fairies opens up. Relics is a great start to a new urban fantasy/horror trilogy from author Tim Lebbon. The novel quickly introduces a band of exciting and interesting characters while still managing to make them all have a place within this and the broader story. I can't wait to see what happens in the next installment due for publication some time this year (2018).My rating: 4/5.

  • Paul
    2019-03-24 14:20

    Over the last few years, authors like Mark Morris, Mike Shevdon, Tom Pollock and Liz de Jager have produced work that consistently proves that there is plenty of life left in the urban fantasy genre. The latest to add their name to this esteemed list is Tim Lebbon. Relics is the first book in a new trilogy, and I tell you what, it is an absolute corker.Have you ever been in that situation where you catch a subtle movement in the periphery of your vision? Or perhaps there is an unexpected sound in the darkness of the night. Are there things that have happened to you that just can’t be explained away? These experiences could be completely normal, you could dismiss them as nothing, but what if they’re not? What if there are beings out there in the dark. Strange creatures that are made of terror and joy and everything in between.Angela Gough leads a normal existence with her partner Vince. He deals in the property market while she work from home, completing her thesis in criminology. Things couldn’t be better. Angela is content and has come to the conclusion that Vince could well be the love of her life. Without any warning, Vince disappears. One day he is there as normal, the next he is gone. Vince’s disappearance effects Angela like a punch in the gut but she steadfastly refuses to give up on him. She wants answers regarding his departure, irrespective of what those answers might be. There is a determination to Angela’s character that shines through. Rather than just accept Vince’s loss, she takes it upon herself to investigate his disappearance. The questions that drives her – How can the one person she thought she knew, and trust, suddenly be absent without any prior warning? Why is Vince suddenly such a mystery? He appears to be leading a strange double life, and who or what are the Kin? Angela has to try to separate the grains of truth from all the rumour. Her investigations lead her into London’s criminal underbelly and a club called The Slaughterhouse. The owner, Fat Frederick Meloy, is a “legitimate business man” with more dodgy contacts and shady businesses than you could shake a stick at. Can he shed any light in Vince’s location? When it comes to Mr Meloy there is only one lesson you need to learn – never, ever call him Fat Freddie. It is only ever Fredrick. Call him Freddie and you’ll regret it.It almost goes without saying that there is more to Vince than meets the eye. Alternate chapters detail his story and begin to explain why he walked away from his old life, and Angela. Is he moved by noble intentions, and where exactly do his loyalties lie? I like this approach. Alternating the perspectives between the two leads allows the reader to get a far better understanding of the story as a whole. It also allows the author to mess with reader’s expectation which I have to admit is wonderfully evil.The Kin are made up of all manner of wondrous beings, but I don’t want to dwell on them too much. Trust me it is much more fun discovering about them yourself. There is one character though, called Mallian, who I will mention briefly. He wants nothing more than to restore the Kin to their former status. He wants them all to ascend back into glory. Spotify must have been listening because my musical recommendation for Relics is an album called Ascension by Ninja Tracks. It’s a modern, anthemic soundtrack that it is the perfect companion piece to the novel.There is a certain something about London that always manages to capture the imagination of genre authors. Our nation’s capital has been around for some considerable time and I think it makes for the perfect location when you are crafting urban fantasy. I’ve done a bit of reading about this. Turns out, recent archaeology has found evidence of bridges that data back to 1500BC and timber structures that go much further back than that. The metropolis has grown up around this history doesn’t it seem entirely possible that some myth could be in the mix somewhere as well? London becomes almost a character in its own right. Especially at night, when the Kin can move more freely around the city.As an aside, don’t think I didn’t spot your Hictchcockian cameo, Mr Lebbon. I saw you there, hiding in plain sight on the streets of London. A certain police officer had an awfully familiar sounding surname as well, now that I think about it.I’ve read a couple of standalone books by Tim Lebbon previously, The Silence and Coldbrook (both are excellent and I strongly encourage you to seek them out). Relics is something different though. This is just the first part of a far bigger story. The author has created a modern day fable that I genuinely think has the potential to become a genre classic. Relics is a pitch perfect example of urban fantasy expertly executed. The story hits narrative beats that reminded me of my two favourite novels by Clive Barker – Cabal (filmed as Nightbreed) and Weaveworld. Lebbon explores some of the same ideas as Barker, the suggestion that a secret society can survive in the shadows of a modern city, but approaches from a completely different direction. I love the thought of this, the miraculous existing in parallel with the mundane. Just imagine, if you know where to look, the beasts of legend are living among us.

  • The Grim Reader (
    2019-03-27 10:15

    ‘Relics’ might just be my favourite Tim Lebbon novel yet! It is a book that has elements of crime, urban fantasy and even horror, and I strongly feel that ‘Relics’ is destined to become one of my favourite reads of 2017.The two main characters are Angela and Vince. Angela and Vince are a loved-up couple living in central London. When Vince mysteriously disappears from work one day, Angela goes in search of him and in doing so she uncovers Vince’s “other life”. There is an underground black-market for strange relics, odd and extremely rare pieces of the past, a magical, unbelievable past. Are they real or purely a work of fiction? How long has Vince been a part of it? What else is he hiding from Angela? These are all questions that Lebbon throws at the reader early on. I won’t say anymore about what this book is about because it would spoil the surprise, but whilst ‘Relics’ may start out as a kind of crime thriller it soon takes off in a completely different direction, and one that this reader had a truly wonderful time with.‘Relics’ is a real mash-up of genres, and it works brilliantly. At times I felt there were comparisons to Neil Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere’, whilst elsewhere there were even hints of the classic ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ by C. S. Lewis.Angela is a great character; strong when she needs to be, but at times fragile and confused. Vince, too, is well fleshed out; a kind of Indiana Jones, but perhaps not quite as brave. The book is filled with other incredible characters as Angela and Vince enter a world of strange creatures and vile people. Some of these characters are painted in grey, in that you are never really sure whose side they are on, and after all, some of them have a lot of money invested in these relics! The dialogue is great, too. Some very quotable passages particularly from the “other” characters.I went into ‘Relics’ not having read the synopsis. I loved the cover art and Tim very rarely disappoints. I devoured this book over three nights, always looking forward to re-entering the strange and magical world that Lebbon has created. I’m going to keep this review nice and short but I’d strongly suggest if you’re a fan of either of the books mentioned then I think you will adore this, but do as I did and try not to read any spoilers, for magic awaits!

  • David Agranoff
    2019-04-12 09:19

    Two years ago Tim Lebbon's The Silence was my favorite read of the year. I was already a fan of his work, and I decided to pick this book up off the new releases shelf at the library on the strength of that experience. I went into Relics totally cold. I read nothing about it, not even back cover completely cold. I am not sure if I had read those things if I would have been super interested. That said I am glad I read this book, and even though I did not dig it as much The Silence I think it is a good novel.Relics is a weird crime, urban and dark fantasy story that has elements of horror. There are many elements that Lebbon is weaving into this story which sets up a continued story. The main character Angela is a academic who is thrust into this work of poachers when her boyfriend Vince disappears and the search forces her into a secret life he was living.These poachers are not selling tusks or rhino horns but parts sometimes living, sometimes long dead of mythological creatures. The underworld of creature hunters is by far the more interesting aspect of this novel. The criminal underground of monsters hunters was far more interesting than Angela who is out main point of view. Don't get me wrong in the 70 pages I was very invested in her search and mystery for her lost Vince. Once we actually start to solve the mystery the underground of mobsters and monsters eclipse Angela and that is somewhat of weakness in the narrative. The criminal underground is fasinating and the mythological creatures even more so. One thing I really liked is how the story built to the revalations and yet the book ends with hints of much more to come. I bet many of the reviews on line that are positive will focus on the ending. While I was certainly not completely sold on this novel/or story universe the ending was as perfect set-up. Lebbon's powerful ending perfectly sets up a far more interesting second chapter. In many ways when I closed the book it felt like I was reading a prequel. I don't know how to explain it any other way. I really liked, but didn't love this novel. That is OK, because I am glad I read it. I suspect the second book will be awesome and the fact that I want to read is the best thing I can say.

  • David Harris
    2019-04-08 15:15

    I'm grateful to Titan Books for an advance copy of this.I found this a refreshingly different take on urban fantasy. Yes, we're in the heart of the city, and, yes, there are mythological creatures around, but there's no magic - that died years ago - and it's largely, the "monsters" who are the victims here, subjects of a merciless trade in body parts... and worse. So the book's suffused, almost, with a conservationist sensibility: the nymphs, angels, pixies and so on are the last of their kind, hunted almost to extinction and clinging on in dark corners and secret hideaways. That gives the whole book a distinct focus and a shape, as well as reversing the usual assumptions that something nasty's out there, waiting to eat us.It's an intriguing premise, and Angela is an intriguing - an appealing - hero, drawn into a strange world with rules she can't understand when her boyfriend doesn't come home one night. Looking beyond the obvious explanation, Angela sets out to find him, rapidly getting into a world she never knew existed - a world of little known underground tunnels, of shadows in alleyways, of crime dens in Soho backstreets, strange, shrivelled creatures packaged up for delivery and most of all, of supremely creepy villains. Angela's resourceful and she puts her knowledge of crime to good use, but will it be enough to bring success in her search - or even allow survival in the world of Fat Frederick (NEVER shorten his name!) let alone that of Mary Rock?Lebbon tells a violent, tension-filled story, the action pretty much continuous - but he also finds time to bring in some nice portrayals of London - the summer London that's almost like an outdoor room, crowds moving comfortably through the parks and streets, oblivious to the seedy yards, abandoned buildings and shadowy watchers... It's all very real and also very readable. And that relaxed, comfortable London is only a mask, a mask that slips in the most gore spattered finale that I've read in ages.Of course there is a little more to the book than cruel humans hunting down Kin, and I sensed that Lebbon was setting up some tensions among the latter for future books - which I devoutly hope will follow soon - but on the whole it's straightforward, though a couple of characters play an ambiguous role - and even Vince turns out to be less innocent than you'd think.A good, gripping read. I'd strongly recommend you get in on this series at the beginning.

  • Ginger Nuts
    2019-03-26 13:18

    We all have secrets that we keep from our loved ones, it's just human nature, but when Angela Gough's fiance Vince's secret life threatens their idyllic life together Vince has to go into hiding, leaving only an enigmatic note as the only clue as to what has happened to him. Angela embarks on a quest to find her lover. A quest that will bring her into contact with the secret world that stands in the sun sheltered place, where she will see the face behind the face of a London far removed from the one we know. While Relics by Tim Lebbon may sound like a typical Urban Fantasy, with secret worlds existing side by side with our mundane world, a world where the denizens of the Fae cross our paths unbeknownst to the general populace. It may even share the same setting as the Rivers of London or the London Falling series, but Lebbon's unusual mix of a love story, mythical creatures and the seedy underworld of human crime syndicates marks this book as something rather special. In many cases, prologues can be annoying or serve little purpose, hover the prologue to Relics, with its wink to a well-known genre writer, is a wonderful hardboiled way to start this novel, despite the fact that it gives away the fact that Angela survives the following story. read the full review here

  • Fiona
    2019-04-05 07:28

    I really went back and forth on this one - I love the stories Tim Lebbon comes up with, but I don't ever fully sink into his writing like I can with some authors, I always know I'm still reading. Relics was a bit slow to get off the ground, but with the help of some solid characters (view spoiler)[Who could have known Fat Freddy would turn out to be one of my favourites...along with Cliff <3 (hide spoiler)], it worked it's way up to a really solid last quarter/ending.

  • Ami
    2019-04-16 11:28

    When her boyfriend, Vince, goes missing, Angela, an American criminology student, discovers he is part of the criminal black market underground for arcane things- gryphons, faeries, goblins, and other fantasy creatures. As the trail leads her deeper into London’s dark side, she crosses paths with a crime lord whose life is dedicated to collecting such relics. Then she finds out that some of these relics aren’t as ancient as they appear. Some of them are a live.Wow. This book was so..... BORING. There were a few spots here and there where your interests were peaked, but then it was quickly squashed by soul sucking boredom. I was really disappointed. I have heard such great reviews of this author. I assume his other books are better? These characters were not very interesting and never really felt a connection with any of them. :/ just about everyone was described as “athletic”. Seriously. And Vince had been lying to Angela, about some kinda big things, since they met, AND that he is in the criminal underworld.... but, are we angry or upset with this man we now know very little about? Nah. Why would we be upset our whole relationship is built on lies? Clearly their love is a special snowflake and nothing can tarnish that kind of love. Honestly, a little over half way through the book and I didn’t care if Vince was alive or dead or what twists there were or anything. I just wanted it to end. So. Slow. -.-

  • Andrea
    2019-03-31 11:29

    I was going to go with a 3.5 but that felt too mean for a book which while certainly not wrapping me in a cocoon of intrigue did keep me enjoying it long into the long nights of toddler rotavirus. It's not really what I went into the book expecting as I had been sold it as a horror novel and while it had some slightly horrifying moments its bulk lies in urban fantasy and that it does well. Introducing a new husband and wife team and a host of supernatural creatures. I just wish it had more oomph as it felt as though the book was really struggling in the final third to find a storyline to continue and so the pace jumps around a lot and leaves you as the reader feeling slightly unsatisfied.Perhaps more of a McDonalds value meal sort of full rather than your favourite dish on a rainy sunday afternoon sense of satisfaction.

  • Luke Walker
    2019-03-29 07:24

    A fair bit lighter than a lot of Lebbon's work and more in the Neil Gaiman area than outright horror, (although with a satisfyingly bloody scene that I won't spoil), Relics is a great deal of fun. I'm always a fan of the 'real' world meeting the world of the fantastic so in this case with nymphs, fairies, goblins and more running around the London hardmen, I can happily recommend Relics. Looking forward to more in this series.

  • Andy Weston
    2019-04-22 07:11

    Disappointed by this as it was far too far down the supernatural continuum line for me. I sure fans of this sort of stuff will lap it up.

  • Seregil of Rhiminee
    2019-03-26 10:05

    Originally published at Risingshadow.Tim Lebbon's Relics is an exciting reading experience for everyone who wants to read an excellent urban fantasy novel, because the author successfully combines various elements and delivers a gripping story. It's the first novel in a trilogy that promises to be an exceptionally thrilling reading experience.Because I've been a fan of Tim Lebbon's fiction ever since I first read his gripping short story collection As the Sun Goes Down, I was eager to read Relics. I had a feeling that it might be something different and I was correct. I found it fascinating, because it's a fresh combination of urban fantasy, crime fiction, thriller fiction and horror fiction. To be precise, the best way to classify this novel is to say that it's a dark urban fantasy novel with crime elements.Before I write more about this novel, I'll mention that I have a kind of a love-hate relationship with modern urban fantasy fiction. I love well written urban fantasy, but I've noticed that most authors seem to be content with delivering boring and stale novels that repeat what has been written before by other authors and - what's worst - far too many authors spice up their novels with meaningless love stories and paranormal romance elements. Because I have high standards when it comes to urban fantasy, I was pleased to notice that Relics stands out among other novels of its kind by being a refreshingly dark and hardboiled take on urban fantasy - it's a no-holds-barred feast of dark urban fantasy fiction for adult readers.Here's a bit of information about the story:- In the prologue, Angela is being interviewed by Detective Inspector Volk about murders. Angela is tight-lipped about what has happened and doesn't reveal anything.- Angela lives with her boyfriend, Vince, and loves him very much. Because they keep in touch with each other by sending messages during the day, she becomes worried when she doesn't get any messages from Vince. She tries to convince herself that there could be a totally rational explanation for the lack of messages, but she becomes increasingly worried. Then she finds a brief and strange note that has been left by Vince. The note feels final, but Angela doesn't believe that Vince could've simply left her.- Angela begins to investigate Vince's disappearance. Her investigations lead her to Fat Frederick Meloy, who is the owner of a club called The Slaughterhouse. She finds out that Mr. Meloy is also looking for Vince. Mr. Meloy tells her about his passion and shows her incredible things - relics - that he has collected. She also finds out that a criminal called Mary Rock is interested in finding Vince.- Soon Angela finds herself entangled in a dangerous world where getting killed is easy and where mythological creatures are real...This is the beginning of a fast-paced and extremely well written story that is filled with action and suspense.It's great that the narrative alternates between Angela and Vince, because the chapters and scenes featuring Vince added depth to the story. It's a pleasure to follow what happens to Angela and Vince, because the author writes expertly about both of them.The events take place in London. Although this novel shares the same location as a few other urban fantasy novels, it separates itself from its contemporaries by its multifaceted and fast-paced story. London only serves as a background for the author's unusually intriguing blend of crime and fantasy elements, because readers are introduced into a whole new world that lies hidden from humans. The author's worldbuilding is exceptionally good and his way of writing about what hides in the shadows is fascinating, because the underside is the domain of the Kin who once lived in daylight before humans took over the world.Tim Lebbon's strong vision about a secret world populated by mythological beings ranging from monsters to fairies is something to behold. He writes about such beings as nymphs and satyrs in a fascinating way. There's a sense of awe and wonder to his descriptions about these beings that is often lacking in urban fantasy fiction.In my opinion, one of the keystones in urban fantasy fiction is good characterisation. I'm pleased to say that the characterisation works well in this novel, because the main characters are interesting and the minor characters add fascination to the storyline.Angela Gough is a strong heroine and an interesting protagonist who has a first class degree in criminology and is doing her thesis. She's in love with her boyfriend, Vince, and thinks that he is the one. She's a resourceful woman who boldly begins to investigate Vince's disappearance and finds herself in a strange world where mythological creatures exist and are being hunted.Fat Frederick Meloy is a shady businessman who uses legitimate businesses as a front to his criminal empire. He's a truly uncompromising character who must never be called 'Freddie'. I have to mention that Fat Frederick Meloy is one of the most interesting bad guys I've ever seen in urban fantasy novels. The author has created a complex character whose evilness and obsession towards the relics is made flesh during the story by the author's striking writing style. Although he is evil and has done many bad and extremely nasty things, you can't help but be fascinated by his appearance and his obsession.Mary Rock is a memorable character, but I won't go into details about her, because I might reveal too much information about the story. I'll only mention that she's a powerful criminal who doesn't hesitate to kill people.One of the most important things that separates Relics from other urban fantasy novels is that mythological creatures are on the brink of extinction and have to hide their existence from humans in order to stay alive. These creatures are being mercilessly hunted and killed, because they've become victims of a brutal and highly profitable body part trade. Their body parts are sold to collectors at high price.The ending is excellent, because it's a blood- and gore-filled action feast that is unlike anything I've ever seen in urban fantasy novels. I couldn't turn my gaze away from the pages as the ending approached, because the author ended the novel in a thrilling way.This novel has a foreboding and intensely violent atmosphere that intrigued me. Because Tim Lebbon has written horror novels and stories, he expertly creates a sense of darkness and leads them into a strange world that is slightly reminiscent of Clive Barker's Cabal, which was adapted into the film Nightbreed. There's a distinct sense of darkness to this novel that deepened my interest in it and made me enjoy it.Because I loved this novel, I look forward to reading the sequels, Borderland and The Lonely. I can hardly wait to get my hands on them, because I'd like to find out what happens next. The ending suggests that the author has many wondrous sights in store for his readers.I'm a bit torn between giving this novel strong four stars or full five stars, but I'll go for full five stars, because I loved the dark story and enjoyed the characterisation. This novel spoke to me in a way that only a few other urban fantasy novels have, because it takes readers away from their comfort zones by placing the protagonist in the middle of strange happenings and violent criminals.Fans of well written urban fantasy should put Tim Lebbon's Relics immediately on their reading list, because it's a highly enjoyable novel. It will strike a chord among readers who love fast-paced, gritty and hardboiled urban fantasy stories, because it has plenty of action and the author makes sure that the story is suspenseful. I think that Relics will be of special interest to everyone who is familiar with Clive Barker's dark fantasy stories and has read Ari Marmell's Mick Oberon novels.Excellent and fascinatingly dark urban fantasy fiction!

  • Nick Cato
    2019-03-31 11:27

    One of the best gangsters-meets-monsters mash ups to date. Full review on 5/22/17 at

  • Kfdowner
    2019-04-07 14:30

    Yawn.... started great, then died a clumsy death.

  • Samuel Tyler
    2019-04-22 14:10

    Urban Fantasy is not a new genre, but in recent years it has blossomed into something that is self-sustainable, free from the genres of science fiction or fantasy. These are books about the seedy underbelly of our own world, of cities filled with secret warlocks or clandestine covens of witches. For an Urban Fantasy book to work it must have an impressive world to explore, but you cannot forget the basics of story structure and character. For example, putting an irritating character into a slightly confusing world is not the best start ….Angela sits in an interview room waiting to be deported back to the United Kingdom. In her wake she left more than a few dead bodies and more than a few mysteries that the police can’t get their heads around. It is bad enough that a house has burnt down leaving various corpses, but when the dead don’t quite look human, what on Earth are the police meant to investigate?‘‘Relics’’ by Tim Lebbon is a lesson in a good idea that is poorly executed in places. On a positive note, the world building is very good. Set in a modern London this is a city that has a secret. Unbeknownst to most of us, there are a few magical creatures still alive, hiding as they fear extinction. Some unsavoury characters know of their existence and trade in a black market of artefacts including body parts. This is the world that Angela and her partner Vince are plunged into when Vince gets involved in an illegal transaction that could cost him his life.All very promising; intrigue, action, thrills and even a Satyr. However, many of the other elements of the book do not match the main idea. Firstly, the pacing suffers as Lebbon tries to develop his characters to the point of irritation. Angela and Vince are not just a couple, but they are in love and not just love, but a forever love. The first sixty pages feel like an internal monologue of gushing thoughts.This leads to a second issue, the characters are annoying, Angela in particular. She is an academic, so is prone to over analysis, which in itself slows the book down with her extraneous details, but that is not the worst part. As the book is told from within her mind we get the full force of her patronising thoughts. For example, she does not spend much time on social media, because she lives in the ‘real world’. Thanks for being condescending, but then she spends hours musing on her studies (the real world?) She also states that although she has only visited America and Great Britain she is worldly wise because her parents are liberals and made her read a lot. Listen to yourself! Of course the blame for Angela’s inner workings being like nails on a blackboard cannot be placed at her feet, but that of the writer. Lebbon missteps several times in the book and creates someone you don’t care about who spends all the time saying how much her love is better than yours.Without the central characters ‘‘Relics’’ would have been a far better book, but also one with no direction! Therefore, we are caught in a ‘‘Catch 22’’ – promising book with poor characters, or no book due to lack of characters. A small glimmer of hope arises at the end of the book as the events here may force Angela and Vince to be more interesting in the future. However, why a book is allowed to be part of a trilogy without producing a solid first book is a modern publishing issue. Perhaps we should return to the days of writing a contained story in one book and then being rewarded with a continuation, if the original deserves it. Original review on

  • Valerie
    2019-04-09 07:16

    Tim Lebbon can be an amazing and innovative writer. After reading 30 Days of Night, Alien: Out of the Shadows; and The Rage Wars trilogy, I became a fan of his. They were cracking yarns and they are now being kept among my large collection of books which I would happily read again. Relics won’t be. I was so convinced that the author was going to consistently impress me with everything that he writes that, at the same time as paying good money for Relics, I bought (yet unread) Coldbrook, The Hunt, and The Family Man. I must have been in some kind of Lebbon frenzy after finishing The Rage Wars trilogy. I realise that a lot of people are giving Relics a high rating so this is only my point of view, of course. After struggling to get through 260 pages, I just could not read any more. The truth is, if I hadn’t seen Relics listed among his other books on Amazon, I would never had believed that Relics was by the same Tim Lebbon. The style seems so amateurish at times. It’s heavily clichéd and repetitious with unconvincing scenes, and dialogue, and characters who behave illogically. For example, one of the main characters, Angela, is writing a thesis for a doctorate in criminology and she’s trying to find her lover. She’s terrified that she is being stalked by things that bump you off in the night, so: "A car passed the street’s end, lights flaring and fading again. Music from its stereo did the same. Mumford & Sons, she thought. Great, that’ll be in my head all night now, and I’ll never—" (pg 142).She’ll never what, get to sleep because she’s busy singing that annoying little song that’s stuck in her head? And I have to mention that throughout there is overuse of the em dash (long dash) — (used by writers at the end of cut off sentences as a sign of interrupted speech, and also often used as a tool at the end of a sentence for suspension, to create anticipation in the reader. Except it didn’t.I wonder if Tim Lebbon was trying out a different style for this one. I don’t know as I haven’t read the books Coldbrook etc yet. In the sci-fi books I have read, mentioned above, I don’t remember repetition about people having sex, or a strong focus on a character having an extraordinarily long ‘cock’, ‘dick’, 'schlong’. Then we have repetition about blood, bleeding, injuries, faeces, and all the other gory, ghastly, things imaginable, ad nauseam. I suppose that was for shock/horror effect to pep up a storyline that badly needed pepping up. In fact, the whole 398 page book felt heavily padded out.

  • Chloe Smith
    2019-04-18 10:04

    All reviews can be found at’s day starts off like any other. Being a student, she spends the majority of her days writing her thesis and looking up dangerous crime lords in the hopes of providing her own opinions on crimes and criminology. However, when lunchtime passes and she doesn’t receive a text from her partner Vince (as is standard), she begins to panic. Scattered amongst the post she receives that day is a note from Vince telling her goodbye, and not to go searching for him – advice she does not heed, leading her into this new and dangerous world filled with stuff of fairy-tales, myth and legend.I think it is safe to say that, for the majority of people, it has been a dream for the creatures of children’s stories and conspiracies to truly be real. Who wouldn’t enjoy riding on the backs of unicorns, falling for a nymphs sexuality, or befriending a witch? In Relics, Tim Lebbon brings all of these to life in this alternate world where these creatures hide deep beneath London in tunnels, caves, and underground walkways that have lain abandoned for years. In this world, people collect the dead remains of these creatures as if they were antiques, or pieces of art to be coveted and admired when, in reality, it is hurting a society that has remained hidden for centuries.With Angela taking it upon herself to find the one she loves, she fails to realise the dangers she is getting herself, and those she knows, into. Blessed with a stubborn nature, but knowledgeable in how the minds of criminals work, Angela is on a mission that she cannot be deterred from no matter who gets in her way. She knows that the man she loves could not possibly be this person everyone keeps telling her about but, as she finds out more and more about what lays hidden within London, she begins to realise that she doesn’t fully know Vince, but she will love him regardless. Angela is definitely an admirable character, having the guts and the determination to jump headfirst into this task knowing little about what lays before her. With everything that she has read about during her studies, she is finally able to put the skills she has read about to use and uses her own gut instinct to determine the true nature of those she encounters, being wary of anyone new that she meets and the associations they express to have with Vince.Vince and Angela are definitely alike with him also possessing a very head-strong nature in that he will not stop until he sees Angela. He is fully aware that he is putting himself, and her, in danger but needs to know that she is okay, unable to fully believe what he is being told by his saviours, or captors. Vince is a cheeky kind of guy with a sense of humour, able to turn an uncomfortable situation into a comical one. Lebbon highlights this aspect of his personality throughout the novel; in the beginning when their upstairs neighbours wake them up with rampant sex, and later in the novel whenever Angela finds her mind straying to the man she thought he was, and knows he is. It is clear that this is something that Angela truly loves about Vince and is played on in later events as well.From the get-go, Relics plays out as a thrilling mystery/horror gripping you within the first 30 pages as you try to comprehend what has happened to Vince, and why it is happening. You want to understand, from the prologue, why it is that Angela has ended up in America in police custody believing Vince to be dead. Relics was a fun, fantastical read that just oozes with darkness as events go from bad to worse.

  • Raymond Just
    2019-03-28 15:04

    Relics is fast-paced and quite well-written. Tim's written quite a bit of horror/thriller, I wager, and there's a bit of a struggle tamping down the natural urge to make things gritty and hard-boiled in favor of something more grand, wonder-inspiring and fanciful. In places he nails it, and it just works so well. But there's always a danger when trying to place the mythical into a gritty, real-world setting. A danger that what makes the mythical so wonderful will be bled out by the mendacity of the setting. Relics doesn't fail in this regard. It teeters just on the edge, and by the end of it, Tim leaves us wanting more, hoping that the wonderful will win out over the ordinary. We shall see.

  • Ruth
    2019-04-08 07:15

    c2017: FWFTB: underground, London, faeries, crime, criminology. "A darkly beautiful glimpse into another world: is how James Rollins feels about the book. And, I agree - it was just a glimpse. Bordering on the gruesome towards the end of the book. I enjoyed the story and the plot but the world was relatively shallow and the characters were not particularly dealt with in depth so definitely more action driven. Recommended to those in the normal crew that don't mind a bit of grim with their grim. "She appeared human, mostly, and bore no gnarled horns or veined wings, no swathes of scales around her midriff or patchy fur across her back. "

  • Jennifer Luu
    2019-04-06 12:19

    I honestly had much higher hopes for this book, but everything It wasn't horrible, but it seemed like there was too much focus on the main female heroin finding her lover. It was an interesting twist on the mythological, but I would have liked to know more about this "other" underground world that's hidden from the human species. There seemed to be a lot of use of the word "fit" to describe the characters as well. A bit more character building would help as well. Other then those issues I found it to be an interesting/different read from others of this genre. I'll still try more of his other books and see where they go.

  • Lacrymosa Quiñones
    2019-04-07 13:29

    I picked up this book knowing that there will be twist and an unexpected ending to it. It seems to be Tim Lebbon thing, but it works. the book had me hooked from beginning to end, mostly towards the end I couldn't put the book down. I loved it, loved that the paranormal was included. First book I read that included them in this way. I will not lie though Angela was not likeable at times, it was like she was strong and heroic then she went to naive and reluctant. But I guess it works for her, I loved Vince and would have loved to see more from him but what I did read I enjoyed. Loved the book will definitely recommend

  • Jen
    2019-03-29 08:21

    ** I received a copy of this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway. **I really like this book. The dark, creepy atmosphere; the not-at-all-shiny creatures fighting to survive in a world taken over by humans; the sense of shock and wonder that the main human characters felt when they realized what/who they were sharing the world with. This was an exciting and fast-paced story with great characters and world-building. I can't wait until the next 2 books in the series come out!! Recommended for anyone who loves fantasy or dark fairy tales.

  • Richard Howard
    2019-04-23 12:04

    Unlike many writers in the horror-suspense field, Tim Lebbon can write, and write well. I have read a number of his books and they all zip along at a good pace. He also has the knack of helping the reader suspend disbelief when patently unbelievable events are occurring by writing interesting, ordinary characters and setting them in familiar surroundings, which make the revelations of the strange beneath the surface even more effective.

  • msleighm
    2019-04-02 13:07

    3.5 stars, rounded up.I don't care for prologues or, for that matter, characters prematurely announcing upcoming events, it's like a mini-spoiler. What's wrong with letting events unfold? Written well, the linear unknown should be more suspenseful. Interesting premise here, I like the world that was created: contemporary with some added features. It was a quick read.I wish I'd liked it more.Read: 11/30-12/2/2017