Sunday, January 26, 2014

206 Bones


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9 * Book 10 * Book 11**

This book was intriguing. Tempe was in serious trouble from the get go. She's trapped in an enclosed space, with a headache and something wrong with her ankle, and she has no idea how she got there or why. So, she does the only thing she can, she tries to remember what happened to get her to where she is while trying to find some way out and to help.

Slowly she pieces the story together. Accusations of mishandling a case. Bones going missing. A new pathologist at her Montreal lab. And three murdered old ladies. But how do they all tie together? And did she make a mistake with the case of an heiress who she declared died accidentally?

I was gripped through this book. I feared for Tempe's life, even though I knew she had to be ok because there are more books still to read. Then I spent a good chunk of the book trying to figure out who was trying to ruin her and who threw her in the underground tomb. I kept changing my mind as characters were fleshed out.

I'm still very much into these books. Although the Ryan/Tempe relationship - or lack thereof - is starting to get tiresome.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Devil Bones


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9 * Book 10**

I haven't really been able to resolve my feelings regarding this book. I liked it, but at the same time, I found it exceedingly frustrating.

Tempe is called when a human skull is discovered in the basement of a house. She has nothing to really go on regarding this skull other than the fact that it is a late teenaged black woman. The skull was being used as part of a ritual - Santeria, a religion similar to voodoo.

Then, a body is discovered by a lakeside. The body is headless and has Satanic symbols carved into its chest. But this body seems wrong. It isn't decomposing in the way that it's supposed to. Tempe isn't sure what is wrong with it.

The prime suspect becomes a man who is a "self-proclaimed witch." In other words, a Wiccan. So Tempe is learning both about the body, and about these fringe religions.

While she's investigating, the commissioner is show boating about how the "devil worshippers" are destroying the city and that the police aren't doing enough to stop it.

I think that bothered me more than anything else. The fact that even in this day, when Wicca is recognized and the information about it is out there, people still associate Wicca - a nature loving religion that, yes, uses magic - with Satanism. It bothers me that this book had to bring it to light. But I think what also bothers me is that it seems like Tempe (and perhaps the author as well) doesn't have enough knowledge about Wicca to be presenting her opinion about the group as a whole.

I enjoyed this book for the most part, but I just have problems with those frustrations. And I felt the resolution was kind of less than ideal. But maybe that's just me being particular.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Marvelous Land of Oz


**Book 1**

This wasn't the greatest book, but it wasn't bad either. In this book, we see the old characters of the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and Glinda the Good. But we gain a bunch of new characters that are kind of interesting. Tip is a boy who has been in the charge of an old witch named Mombi. While she's out, Tip creates a wooden man with a pumpkin for a head. Mombi brings him to life with some magic powder and he becomes Jack Pumpkinhead. Tip and the Pumpkinhead escape from Mombi, Tip creates the Saw-Horse, and they go on quite the adventure.

But it's a weird and convoluted adventure. The Scarecrow loses the throne of the Emerald City to a girl named Jinjur. Tip, the Pumpkinhead, and the Scarecrow head to the Tin Woodman in Winkie country for help. They then meet the Woggle-Bug, who is just weird - he's a gigantic bug who is "educated" and likes puns. After that, they create a Gump - two sofas lashed together with palm leaves as wings.

It was just a bit of a ridiculous story and an odd ending. Oh well, moving on.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bones to Ashes


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9**

Dang. I flat out thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's probably my favorite of the series thus far. It was gripping and amusing, while still remaining a good mystery/thriller. Tempe still has no sense when it comes to self-preservation, but she wouldn't be the Tempe I've come to love if she did.

Tempe gets drawn into a bunch of cold cases. There are three missing girls and three DOAs that appear to be about the same age as the girls who are missing. All are in their teens - 13 to 19. She examining a body of a girl pulled from a lake to try to identify her and figure out who killed her.

At the same time, she's also investigating bones with a dubious history - most recently ending up sitting on a cops desk. What she learns from them is interesting. But they also spark a desire to find a friend who has been lost to her for thirty years. Evangeline was Tempe's "summer soulmate" and vanished when she was 15. Tempe wants to either find her, or find out what happened to her.

Andrew Ryan irks me a bit in this book though. He dumps Tempe, saying he wants to make a relationship with Lutetia (the mother of his 19 year old daughter) work, for the sake of Lily, the drug addicted love child. Tempe is angry about this (rightfully so), but then confused when he sleeps with her after this whole breakup.

I'm hoping their relationship becomes a bit more clear in coming books. But either way, I like Tempe and her investigations.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Break No Bones


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8**

This book starts a bit confusing I thought. Tempe is working with students on Dewees Island excavating a Sewee burial ground. A developer wants to build condos on the property, but the area is being reviewed for historical importance. But, when one of her students finds a body that is much more recent than ancient Native American, Tempe is thrust into a murder investigation.

The murder investigation gets interesting when other bodies are discovered, with unusual fracture patterns on the vertebrae and cut marks on the inner spine. Not only that, but the coroner that she's assisting is extremely ill and there is a journalist who has way too much information.

Pete, Tempe's estranged husband, is also in the area investigating a church for a man who donates a lot of money to them. Tempe finds herself confused by her feelings for Pete, and Andrew Ryan comes down for a visit making this a very bizarre love triangle thing. I wasn't too thrilled with that aspect of the book. After 9 books, I wish Tempe would just figure out how she feels about Pete and either divorce him once and for all, or get back together with him. Poor Ryan is being dragged through Tempe's emotional roller coaster and I don't think that's fair to him.

I'm still enjoying these books. But I'm finding I'm enjoying them more for Tempe's professional side than I am for her personal side. I'm starting to find that personal Tempe is tiresome, while professional Tempe excites me with her investigative skills.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Line


Yet another Kindle First book that I adored.

Mercy Taylor comes from a family of powerful witches, but she is powerless. Her twin sister Maisie has a ton of power and is slotted to take over the line - a supernatural barrier between the world of humans and the world of demons - from their great-aunt Ginny. Mercy is viewed as the disappointment, the failure, the mistake. So she spends as much time away from the family as she can.

But when Great-Aunt Ginny is murdered, Mercy is thrust into a world that she never wanted to be in. And a huge betrayal is coming her way.

While I think that this book could have used a little bit of editing and cleaning up, I was enthralled. Mercy was the underdog that I wanted to root for and she was real. She made mistakes, trusted the wrong people, discovered betrayals deep in her family, but through it all, she never gave up hope that it would all make sense.

The end of the book was kind of sudden, but left it wide open for the second book (which I am going to watch for intently).

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


New series to read to the preschooler. I've always meant to read the Oz series, but I just never got around to it. Now that I have a child who I read to at night, I'm able to share the joy with her.

Now, the first thing to mention is that this book is similar but very different from the movie. I admit I went in expecting it to be a lot like it, but I was kind of wrong.

Dorothy Gale is caught in a cyclone in Kansas and sets down in a land that is so very different from the grey land she has been used to. She meets the Witch of the North (who is NOT Glinda) and goes on a journey to meet the Wizard of Oz so that she can return to Kansas and her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. On the way she meets a talking Scarecrow who wants a brain, a Tin Woodman who wants a heart, and a Cowardly Lion who wants some courage.

Now, the basic premise of the book is reflected in the movie, but Dorothy is wearing silver shoes, not ruby slippers. The flying monkeys aren't completely devoted to the Wicked Witch of the West. Glinda is the good witch of the south, not the north.

But, overall, it's a very fun book. It's great for a growing imagination and I enjoyed the story itself.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cross Bones


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7**

This book was a bit disappointing. I've come to expect a great mystery and an amazing conclusion from these Temperance Brennan books. But this was so off that it was almost like it was a book that was shoved into the series but isn't really included.

Granted, there is a murder that is being investigated, but, where the other books focused on that murder and even subsequent murders by the same killer, this book made the murder the subplot and I didn't like that. Tempe spent more time investigating the 2000 year old bones that had been taken from Israel in the 60s and hidden away. Then Tempe discovers bones in a tomb that is suspected to be the Jesus family tomb. Both skeletons are suspected to be Jesus, but Tempe can't fully investigate, except to discover that the first set of bones are not likely to be Jesus.

While there is the murder at the beginning of an Orthodox Jew, I felt that his murder wasn't investigated fully. It wasn't the same Tempe that I've come to know and love, but rather a Tempe that I had never met before and who wasn't as committed to her job.

Overall, not a great book.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Books of 2013

These are the books that I read in 2013. It was a busy year, and I read a lot of books. I originally had a goal of 50 books, and later in the year I updated that to 75 books. I blew the first goal out of the water and I even read more than my second goal. I ended up reading 78 books from January 1st and December 31st of 2013.

1. Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson
2. Animal Farm by George Orwell
3. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
4. Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan
5. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
6. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
8. The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan
9. On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
10. Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan
11. By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
12. Environmental Change and Human Survival by Stephen Molnar
13. A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
15. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
16. Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum
17. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
18. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
19. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
20. Jemima J by Jane Green
21. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
22. Babyville by Jane Green
23. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
24. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
25. The Romance of Arthur by James J. Wilhelm
26. Writing About Literature by Janet E. Gardner
27. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
28. Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
29. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
30. Dream Dark by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
31. Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
32. Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
33. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
34. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
35. Penelope by Rebecca Harrington
36. Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
37. These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
38. Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
39. Dear Mr. Darcy by Amanda Grange
40. The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
41. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
42. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
43. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
44. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
45. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
46. The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
47. Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares
48. Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares
49. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
50. Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
51. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
52. Fallen by Lauren Kate
53. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
54. Torment by Lauren Kate
55. Passion by Lauren Kate
56. Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate
57. Rapture by Lauren Kate
58. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
59. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
60. Death du Jour by Kathy Reichs
61. The Iliad by Homer
62. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
63. The Odyssey by Homer
64. Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs
65. Things We Set On Fire by Deborah Reed
66. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
67. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
68. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella
69. Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella
70. Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella
71. Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella
72. Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
73. Timebound by Rysa Walker
74. Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs
75. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
76. Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs
77. Bare Bones by Kathy Reichs
78. Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs