The Prestons Saga (The Prestons complete series)

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Sep 20, Bob rated it really liked it. To fully understand and appreciate the Agent Pendergast novels, you have to look at them in terms of thematic story arcs. The first four novels, ending with Still Life With Crows, were largely standalone supernatural thrillers, distinguished by their magnificently eccentric protagonist.

The Diogenes trilogy began a thematic shift towards a gothic sort of family drama, and that shift became the dominant thematic arc of The Helen trilogy. The three novels that followed were something of To fully understand and appreciate the Agent Pendergast novels, you have to look at them in terms of thematic story arcs.

The three novels that followed were something of a throwback, returning to the series' standalone roots, but there was another significant thematic shift involved. Not only did those books drop much of the supernatural element, but they largely shifted Pendergast to the sidelines, allowing characters like Corrie Swanson and Constance Greene to take the lead.

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With The Obsidian Chamber, there's less of a thematic shift and more of a thematic blending. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child once again pick up the threads of that gothic family drama, while still keeping Agent Pendergast on the sidelines for much of the story, creating a story that's still fresh after sixteen outings. This is a hard story to talk about without getting into spoilers, so I'll keep my observations high level.

While we've seen Constance take the spotlight before, it was a nice change of pace to see Proctor play the action hero here, forced into action following the disappearance of Agent Pendergast at the end of Crimson Shore. Similarly, the role of the FBI here is interesting, especially in how they acknowledge Pendergast's reputation and deal with his rather colorful history. It's a nice mix of bureaucratic scorn, hero worship, and comradeship that adds a new dimension to the tale. As for the gothic family drama, while I thought that was largely exhausted, there are some interesting twists on the theme here, taking the story in some surprising directions.

It focus does make for a slower story than we're used to, placing the emphasis on character-driven drama and mysteries of motive, but it kept me guessing. The Obsidian Chamber is one of those books written for fans who already have an appreciation for the characters and the drama that's come before.

Aloysius Pendergast

It's not that it's not accessible to new readers, it's more that you need to understand the significance of events - otherwise, I'm not so sure the story stands on its own. While it's not as good as Blue Labyrinth, my favorite of the recent novels, it does serve as a nice companion piece that pulls the themes of the series together.

Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This does not in any way affect the honesty or sincerity of my review. View all 9 comments. I read the first Pendergast book Relic a couple of years ago and since then I have this been a favorite series of mine. It has been an interesting journey where I have learned more about Aloysius Pendergast and his family as the books progress and now here we are at book Pendergast is missing after the harrowing ending in the last book, and no one knows if he is alive or dead.

For Constance, his ward is this a traumatizing experience and she has decided to retreat to the world she I read the first Pendergast book Relic a couple of years ago and since then I have this been a favorite series of mine. For Constance, his ward is this a traumatizing experience and she has decided to retreat to the world she is so familiar with, the chambers below the Pendergast mansion. However, and an old enemy has returned, someone that she knows very well.

But, Constance will soon learn that not everything is as it seems.

As with most books in this series was The Obsidian Chamber a pure joy to read. I miss the time when I had several Pendergast books to read, but in a way is it also nice to get a new one every year.

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This book felt more like a Constance book than an Aloysius Pendergast book. Of course, he is not totally missing from the book, but much of the story is about Constance. It's actually a bit tricky to write this review without spoiling too much of the story, like for instance who is back.

So, I will just write some general thoughts about the book. Constance is an intersecting character, not my personal favorite, but her backstory is truly intriguing and her first introduction to the series was spectacular. I do find myself not overfond with her growing attraction to Aloysius.


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I just can't seem to enjoy that idea. I must prefer her just being his ward. She has a central role in this book, and I did enjoy her part in this book. I was a bit surprised by her action in this book, how docile she seemed. However, everything got explained nicely towards the end of the book. I was a bit worried that it would end with a cliffhanger, and yes, there was a kind of cliffhanger, but still, the story felt ended at the moment.

It's the kind of ending that felt satisfying and not frustrating. The previous books end was way more frustrating than this. Finally, I hope that Corrie is in the next book. She has not had a prominent role since White Fire book 13 and I loved that book and I adore her. I want to thank Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review! View all 3 comments. Dec 25, Jennifer rated it it was ok Shelves: reads.

If not, I suggest pretending this particular installment of the series doesn't exist. If by chance there is someone out there who finds Constance a less-irritating plot device than I do Chamber picks up immediately after the conclusion of Crimson Shore , with Pendergast missing and presumed dead and Constance, who suddenly developed feels for the agent in the last novel, ready to consign herself to the cellars beneath Riverside Drive until she recovers from said feels.

Because, you know, that's what adults do. Before the mopes can truly set in, however, an intruder breaks into the mansion looking for Constance, sending Pendergast's devoted manservant Proctor off on an internationally manhunt. Had this novel been the promised Around the World in 80 Days with Badass! Proctor , I would have been a happy woman.


  • Pendergast Books in Order:;
  • Kalte Rache, heisses Verlangen (German Edition)!
  • El deber de un jeque (Bianca) (Spanish Edition).
  • Lerrante Kelt & sonetti scelti (Italian Edition);
  • Preston l. marshall reveals second book in LionBlade Saga, Remebrance.
  • Instead, in an act of narrative cruelty, Proctor's epic pursuit turns into little more than a severe punking, while the action turns back to Constance, who finds herself being courted for realsies this time, honest! Diogenes for pages in what must be the world's most awful and awkward meet-cute rom-com. The authors keep us in Diogenes's head for most of that time, which gives the reader not only a strong inkling of how this relationship is going to end but a measure of sympathy for the devil when it does.

    And it does, in a flash of deus ex Pendergast. All in all, Obsidian Chamber reads like the kind of relationship roadblock writers of teen soaps throw up when they're trying to delay an inevitable 'ship docking into port so to speak , which means it's only interesting in so far as you care about Constance and Pendergast's love affair gah, I gagged even typing that or about Pendergast's family drama no again, sorry. What a pity; had Preston and Child decided to go a slightly more interesting way with this, they could have used this same set up to launch dark!

    Constance as Pendergast's new arch-nemesis. I would have read the hell out of that.

    View all 6 comments. Nov 02, Chad rated it really liked it. Picks up right where Crimson Shore left off. You should definitely read it first. This book is written a little differently as it takes place from many points of view. And there's no real case to solve, just a day in the life if you will of the Pendergast cast of characters.

    Proctor gets to take center stage for a large portion of the book.

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    The book ties up a lot of loose ends and allows for a new direction for the characters in the future. Received an advance copy from Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The closer I get to catching up with the authors, the sadder I get that I don't have a stack of these books waiting for me. Great writing continues. This was another fun installment, and for me, was 4. View all 10 comments. Update: Full circle? There is still much to see ahead. I was unable to put it down once I reached a certain point. Yeah, I think I have a book hangover. The next volume awaits.

    Still a Pendergast fan. Sep 21, Steven rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in , mystery-thriller-mayhem , netgalley-or-publisher , favorites. First, thanks to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for a review!