Cover image for Thunderhead
Preston, Douglas J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
viii, 483 pages : plan ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
790 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.1 23.0 66566.

Reading Counts RC High School 5.2 26 Quiz: 19355 Guided reading level: NR.
Added Author:
Format :


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Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Library
Newstead Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Alden Ewell Free Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Clearfield Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Eggertsville-Snyder Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Lake Shore Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Collins Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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Archaeologist Nora Kelly is adrift in her career and her personal life when a violent, inexplicable incident leaves her in possession of a mysterious letter. Written by her father, who vanished sixteen years ago in the remote desert, the letter reveals the location of a legendary site hidden in the red rock canyon country of southern Utah: Quivira, the Anasazi Indians' wondrous lost city of gold.--BOOK JACKET. "Convinced that her father truly had found Quivira, Nora puts together an expedition and takes a team up Lake Powell to the mouth of Serpentine Canyon. In the stark labyrinth of canyons and slickrock desert she will find the answer to both her greatest hopes and her deepest nightmare. For hidden in the shadows of the sunbaked cliffs are untold treasures, the solution to the greatest riddle of American archaeology - and implacable, suffocating death."--BOOK JACKET.

Author Notes

Douglas Jerome Preston was born on May 20, 1956 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received a B.A. in English literature from Pomona College in 1978. His career began at the American Museum of Natural History, where he worked as an editor and writer from 1978 to 1985. He also was a lecturer in English at Princeton University.

He became a full-time writer of both fiction and nonfiction books in 1986. Many of his fiction works are co-written with Lincoln Child including Relic, Riptide, Thunderhead, The Wheel of Darkness, Cemetery Dance, and Gideon's Corpse. His nonfiction works include Dinosaurs in the Attic; Cities of Gold: A Journey Across the American Southwest in Pursuit of Coronado; Talking to the Ground; and The Royal Road. He has written for numerous magazines including The New Yorker; Natural History; Harper's; Smithsonian; National Geographic; and Travel and Leisure. He became a New York Times Best Selling author with his titles Two Graves and Crimson Shores which he co-wrote with Lincoln Child, and his titles White Fire, The Lost Island Blue Labyrinth and The Lost City of the Monkey God.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

The adventure is marginally higher than the suspense in Preston and Child's sturdy new tale of scientific derring-do, concerning a search for Quivira, the legendary Anasazi Indian City of Gold. With four high-concept thrillers behind them, from 1995's Relic to last year's Riptide, the authors know what buttons to push and levers to yankÄperhaps too well. The novel has a clockwork feel, from its first tickÄthe spooky stalking of archeologist Nora Kelly on an isolated New Mexican ranchÄto its last tock. Playing it safe, Preston and Child take no missteps as Nora finds an old letter from her long-missing father with clues to Quivira's location; leads an expedition of central-casting types (a leathery old cowboy, a beautiful female photographer, the jokey journalist who figured in Relic and Reliquary, etc.); after much difficulty, discovers Quivira, which is revealed as a repository of ancient evil; and encounters death by way of the Native American witches who threatened her at the novel's start. It's all predictable but rarely dull. The authors display deep affection for the pulp they're recycling, talent for exciting set piecesÄa hazardous ascent along a ridge toward Quivira and the flash-flooding of the canyon harboring the city are showcases of action writingÄand, always their ace, the ability to infuse every aspect of their story with authentic techno-scientific lore. This is a novel in which the archeological niceties of ancient black-on-yellow micaceous pottery are as important to plot as the caliber of the gun the heroine wields. Fans of the authors' similarly inspired, and similarly metronomic, scientific textbooks-cum-thrillers should find this one much to their taste. Simultaneous audio. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Nora Kelly's pursuit of the legendary Anasazi city of Quivivra, which she believes was discovered by her father, results in monumental obstacles. A story filled with excitement, a sense of place, and personable characters, delivered as a quick-paced race against evil and the forces of nature. (Oct.) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-Checking on disturbing noises at her family's abandoned ranch house, Nora Kelly experiences a frightening encounter with two entities that resemble extremely large and ferocious wolves (in reality men disguised as skinwalkers), barely escaping with her life. On her frantic flight toward safety, she accidentally stumbles across the last letter her father wrote, describing the route he had taken in finding the lost legendary Anasazi city of gold, Quivivra. Nora finds a financial backer and puts together an expedition staffed with experts to help her find the site once more. The group encounters monumental natural obstacles and deep personality conflicts. And once the skinwalkers reappear, the eerie power of evil seems to take over. Members of the team begin to die mysteriously, and when a flash flood hits the canyon, the body count rises. The delicate balance of good and evil in the world serves as the major theme. The adventure occurs amid the beauty and spectacular dangers of the harsh environment, inspiring and frightening to behold. The constant challenge of staying alive keeps the excitement sharp. The strong emotion of greed and the interaction of opposing interests insures continual strife within the group. High-tech communications and the latest knowledge about diseases contrast with the ancient culture, and also provide answers to many of the mysteries associated with the Quivivra. This is a story filled with excitement, a sense of place, and personable characters, delivered in a quick-paced race against evil, humankind, and the tremendous forces of nature.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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