Saturday, September 12, 2009

Me to Tempe: I Ain't Quittin' You. Yet.

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

What happens in your worst nightmare? Are you drowning? Running from a monster? Falling into a snake-filled pit? Being buried alive? That last one's definitely in my Top 10. Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan isn't too fond of the idea either - especially since she's living it. 206 Bones, the 12th installment of Kathy Reichs' popular series, opens with Tempe waking up. She's cold, confused, in pain. Obviously not in her nice, warm bed. A little wriggling around proves she's underground, in some kind of enclosed space. Fighting panic, she probes her fuzzy memory for answers - How long has she been in this predicament? Who hates her enough to bury her alive? And, most importantly, how the heck is she going to escape before she's offed by the frigid, moldy air?

While Tempe fights to stay alive, her mind travels over recent cases, probing for answers. In Charlotte, she's been looking into the death of a family friend. In Montreal, she's hunting a serial killer who preys on elderly women. In so doing, she's ticked a few people off - she's received a threatening letter, an anonymous phone call alleging incompetence, a shattered window at home, and several verbal assaults from her cat-hating neighbor. And that's not even the half of it. Her boss is angry, her assistant's chilly, and something's definitely up with the new pathologist. Maybe the real question is, who doesn't have a reason to want her dead? As the story see saws between the present and the past, it becomes clear that someone wants Tempe out of the way. Badly. It also becomes pretty clear who that person (or persons) is. Will our favorite forensic anthroplogist make it out of her hole in time to expose the evildoers? Or is this the end of the intrepid Tempe Brennan?

As much as I love Kathy Reichs, I have to say that her newest books haven't been her best. I still love her characters - Tempe's voice is always engaging and sexy Detective Ryan still sets my heart aflutter. The banter between the two of them keeps things lighthearted. Their on-again-off-again romance makes it interesting. It goes without saying that the science is always fascinating. It's just that Reichs' storylines have been getting predictable. And the subplots have been getting ... well, they haven't really been getting on at all. So, it's all a little frustrating. I'm still hanging on because I enjoy Reichs, I enjoy Brennan and I enjoy Ryan. I'm not willing to give up on any of them. I just want a little more - more mystery, more excitement, more twists and turns. Just more. And, even though I was a bit disappointed in this book, I still want more of this series. I'll be grabbing up the next installment as quickly as I snagged this one - I ain't quittin' you, Tempe Brennan. Not yet, anyway.

Grade: C

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG-13 for some language and murder/autopsy-related violence and gore

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for a really open minded review. You really hit the nail on the head for me too; those have been my thoughts as I've read her last couple of books. However I am loyal so I persevere.

    (I loved your story about your "defrosted" freezer. Glad that you could see things as a fresh start.)

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  2. I recently started my own book review blog at http://thereaderschat.blogspot.com/ I would love to get some followers!

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  3. Reading Devil Bones right now. Is this the next one after that one?

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  4. I love Tempe on both the show and the books. I haven't read this one yet and my dad will buy it, so it'll probaby be next summre before I read it.

    Thanks for the honest review.

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  5. I just found through Booking Mama's blog and I can see why she put you on her shortlist!

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  6. Gaye - I am probably loyal to a fault, but I love Tempe and Ryan. I just can't get enough of Reichs' characters, even if her plots are getting drab.

    Kristin - Thanks so much for the link. I love it!

    Mari - Yep, it is.

    Julie - Do you? I love Tempe from the book, can't stand Emily Deschanel's portrayal of her on BONES. I like BONES as long as I don't compare the show to the books.

    Bermuda - Thanks for stopping by :) My favorite part about BBAW is all the new blogs I find because of it. I'm constantly amazed at how many are out there.

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  7. Bones is my favorite TV show. Yet, I've never read one of the books. If I did, I might not enjoy the show as much. Thoughts?

    http://oohbooks.blogspot.com

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  8. Cara - The only way I can enjoy BONES is to think of it and Kathy Reichs' books as completely separate. The Tempe on TV is nothing like the Tempe in the books. That's what bugs me about the show - in the books Tempe is warm, funny, very likeable, where she's completely opposite on BONES.

    If you love BONES, I wonder if you'd have the opposite reaction to the books? I don't know. That would be an interesting experiment ...

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