Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £25.69

Buy Now for £25.69

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

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)

©2018 Alan Dean Foster (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

Relic is a thrilling and thoughtful epic. With Alan Dean Foster’s trademark invention in both the psychology and physiology of his aliens, he also enriches the narrative with their complex cultures. The plot spans galaxies!” (Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Greg Bear)

“The stunning plot of Foster’s stand-alone novel will intrigue readers for not only the ‘last man in the universe’ trope but also the well-developed alien species. A true first contact novel on many different levels.” (Library Journal)

“Foster’s sympathetic novel successfully surveys human frailty, the tendency not to learn from history, and an enduring capacity for adaptation and emotional attachment.” (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Relic

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    31
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Garbage

Tedious and stupid. Waste of time. There must be a billion other titles that are more worthwhile.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Slow to start

The book was slow to start, and I didn't initially like the narration, but as the story progressed the story gripped me and the narration added to the atmosphere.
Overall an enjoyable story with a very good ending.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

It's OK but nothing too spectacular

Interesting idea but did not get me that hooked. Good for in-between books when you do boot know what to get next

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A excellent story of humanity's near extinction

This is SO good. Ruslan (sp) is the last surviving human on a colony planet afflicted by a plague. He is found wandering in the ruins of his civilisation by tri-pedal aliens, who take him in and look after him. It transpires, not only was his colony affected, but so too were all human inhabited worlds, including the fabled home world of humanity: Earth.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

VERY GOOD UNUSUAL IDEA

STARTS A BIT SLOWLY BUT WELL WORTH THE EFFORT GOOD BELIEVABLE CHARACTERS EVEN THE ALIENS.LOTS OF TWISTS AND TURNS ALONG THE WAY STORY BUILDS TO A COMPELLING CONCLUSION.GREAT NARRATION.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good story. Different. The end of the human race?

Slow to start....but a good story. Quick finish but easy to follow so a good book for a holiday.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for APLang
  • APLang
  • 16-08-18

Really fun story!

I was nervous purchasing this book as it had no reviews at the time. The summary sounded intriguing enough and I knew if it ended up being too cheesy or poorly written, I could just return it. I was not disappointed! In fact, I was pleasantly surprised! The story was fun! I appreciate that it's not the same regurgitated sci fi that so many other titles fall into. It has lots of fun concepts to think about. It was well written and produced. I'm not sure if this is going to turn into a series but I would be very interested in future books if it is!

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for bryan
  • bryan
  • 16-10-18

The best performance

The narrator does a fantastic job voicing the very different and very distinct charters of this book. Truly wonderful.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amber  Hawman
  • Amber Hawman
  • 29-08-18

Captivating and original

I have read many of Foster's books over the years including his many movie tie ins. RELIC is something special! An absolutely captivating character driven story about survival and the power of the human spirit. A great listen.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kayla
  • Kayla
  • 30-09-19

Character driven

Felt like Simak's Way Station for comparison. Centered around one lonely character and his relationship with alien species.

There wasn't a lot of conflict and what there was felt artificial. Still giving it 5 stars because the world building made up for it.

Satisfying ending. In fact, this is my favorite read this year.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Julie
  • Julie
  • 26-01-19

Ok book, could have been better

I wish the book instilled more wonder and more excitement. I think the middle third of the book could have just not happened. The aliens seemed far too human and not that interesting. Aliens politely arguing didn't make for a great read. I didn't really feel attached to any of the characters and the characters weren't well developed. I enjoyed the last hour or so the best, although it could have been so much more.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for McCrackin
  • McCrackin
  • 17-12-18

Meh

REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

The book got really prosy and boring towards the end.

I could never really tell whether or not Cheerpa (sp? Audiobook) was a psycho or just a little kooky. Her response to killing Poxun (sp?)—though not the actual killing—gave me the creeps, and I found it difficult to like her character after that. They didn’t really do much to develop her character or show how she changed instead of telling. You know, because the book was really prosy.

There were some jarring contradictions that took me out of the story, like the Myssarians either being physically incapable of blinking or else blinking. Or like Cheerpa being all flippant and not caring much about her dozens of vat-grown children, and then suddenly going all maternal and this being a big warm fuzzy for Ruslan (for some stupid reason), only for her to drop it without question when the final act/journey of the book presents itself. Basically, characters were shallow and inconsistent. Their motivations didn’t make sense. The kids they had didn’t even make sense or matter to the story. There weren’t characters and served no purpose as a plot device...at least not one they couldn’t have been served better through other means. They just became a thing that had to be mentioned a lot but didn’t actually mean much.

The book itself was pretty bleak and joyless.

The narrator was a little over-dramatic, and had a tendency to make female characters sound whiny and obnoxious. I also found the epiglottal stops in the Myssarian dialog really irritating and distracting.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Daniel
  • Daniel
  • 26-04-19

Great performance. Great story. ADF does it again

Sometimes I wonder if Alan Dean Foster just writes tales from the future or alternate dimensions. This was a beautifully crafted tale, and it was told by a great narrator. Excellent alien voices! Seriously.

While I wish more was explored with the other alien races, that's not what this story was about. From beginning to end, I couldn't wait to listen to each chapter's conclusion. Well worth the credit.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for M B.
  • M B.
  • 06-12-18

Slow and boring

After the Pip and Flinx series I expected much more than Foster delivered. Had to force myself to finish this tiring story with little interest. Perhaps Foster is becoming a “relic”.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Happyjack1812
  • Happyjack1812
  • 14-07-19

loved it!!

this was one of the best books I've listened to for quite a while! I would wholeheartedly recommend it, I love howthe alien culture strives to find out about human culture. It makes you think of who we are today and what it really means to be human.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David Rogers
  • David Rogers
  • 04-01-19

Quite good

I enjoyed the story, sadly many elements were too predictable for my tastes. Still Foster is a master of the genre and I am happy to have read this book!

1 person found this helpful