Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bones of the Lost

**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9 * Book 10 * Book 11 * Book 12 * Book 13 * Book 14 * Book 15 * Book 15.5**

This book was sort of a redemption. It was much better than some of the previous books were. Maybe it was the way the book was structured. Maybe it was the military lingo that was in a part of the book that made me think of the years Jake was in the Army. Maybe it was just a better story. Either way, it was a good book.

Tempe is investigating the death of a teenage girl killed in a hit and run and left to die o the side of the road. While that case stagnates (she's unknown, with little hinting as to her origins), she's sent to Afghanistan to examine the bodies of two Afghanis killed by a Marine lieutenant. He's on trial for their deaths, based on whether or not he killed the unarmed men while they were running towards him or away from him.

Tempe ends up in a sordid investigation that somehow ties the dead teenager to the dead men in Afghanistan. It was enthralling. I definitely enjoyed this most recent installment of the Tempe books. Now I have to wait for the next book to be released.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bones In Her Pocket

**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9 * Book 10 * Book 11 * Book 12 * Book 13 * Book 14 * Book 15**

Like it says, this is a short story in the Temperance Brennan series. It was ok, but not great in my opinion.

Quick and dirty description - a body found in a duffel bag in a lake, body is a missing grad student who has been strangled. Tempe does a mini investigation that causes her to discover a puppy mill.

There really wasn't much to this story. And at the end it basically became an editorial about puppy mills (which I agree are terrible, but I don't really want it to be preached at me). I guess I just expected more out of this than what it gave me.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bones Are Forever

**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9 * Book 10 * Book 11 * Book 12 * Book 13 * Book 14**

I quite enjoyed this Tempe book. Except for the fact that it started with dead newborn babies. That part kind of sucked. Luckily that was just what started the greater story - involving diamond mines in Yellowknife.

A woman kills her babies, which Tempe discovers in her abandoned apartment. She and Ryan track the woman to Edmonton, where they discover another dead baby. Then they get a lead to Yellowknife. But, in Yellowknife, things get so much more complicated.

There is diamond mining, more death, and the woman that Tempe and Ryan were chasing ends up shot in front of Tempe.

There are some odd relationship issues in this book. An old fling of Tempe's, Ollie, is working with them, and he seems to not get that she's not interested in him. He keeps trying to push himself into her bed, and it's bugging Tempe. Ryan is aloof and Tempe assumes it's because of Ollie. The whole "triangle" things rubs me the wrong way in this book. It sort of gets cleared up at the end, but we'll see how things go.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz

**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3**

The title of this book is a little misleading. You assume that Dorothy and the Wizard (yes, from the first book), are going to be in Oz for all or most of the book. In reality, they don't arrive in Oz until the last half of the book.

Dorothy is in California, meets Zeb, who is going to take her to his Uncle's ranch where Uncle Henry is for a little bit. But, it's California in the early 1900s. An earthquake strikes and Zeb, Dorothy, Eureka (Dorothy's kitten), and Jim (the cab-horse) fall through the earth. The Wizard appears later.

I won't say that the adventures were bad, but they definitely weren't really exciting. Vegetable people, wooden gargoyles, dragons, and invisible people are encountered through the book before Dorothy and the group end up in Oz.

I don't know how I'm really feeling about these books. They honestly seem a little overworked. But the preschooler is enjoying them, and I'm determined to finish this series before moving on to another. I'm kind of hoping that later books will be a little bit better. We'll find out, won't we?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Flash and Bones

**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9 * Book 10 * Book 11 * Book 12 * Book 13**

I wasn't all that thrilled with this book. Maybe it just seemed too implausible. Maybe it was the fact that NASCAR was one of the bases of the story's foundation. Maybe it was the fact that the other was white supremacy. Either way, I just couldn't get as into this book as I have with some of the others.

Tempe is investigating a body found in an oil drum, encased in asphalt, buried in a landfill next to the Charlotte Speedway. Of course it's right at the start of Charlotte Race Week, so there are people everywhere for the race, and the body find outside the Speedway could provide some bad press for it. And Tempe has to investigate it.

Then, a man comes to her, wondering if the body in the landfill could be his sister, who has been missing since 1998. The body is male, so it's not his sister, but questions arise as to what happened to her and her boyfriend who went missing with her.

Cindi Gamble, the missing girl, wanted to race in NASCAR, and Cale Lovette, her boyfriend, was part of the Patriot Posse, which was basically a group that was all about the rights of the white male.

Information constantly gets discovered, bit by bit, about the previous investigation into their disappearances. More information is learned that the task force in 1998 hadn't found.

I don't know. Something about this whole story line just wasn't as exciting. Tempe still managed to find herself in danger, but the killer, when you finally discover who it is, is sort of incompetent at killing. It just wasn't the greatest of the Temperance Brennan books.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Real Happy Family

I'm going to be honest here - I didn't really "get" this book. But it was one of this month's Kindle First book choices, and it sounded more interesting to me than the other three.

I had a number of issues while reading this book. Namely, the characters and the choice of storytelling. Let me clarify.

The characters seemed like farcical, stereotypical archetypes. What is this character's background? Let's just heap every stereotype that fits that background in this character. It felt too fake and fabricated, and I found that I struggled to even connect with any of the characters, even though I usually find at least one to connect to.

Lorelei is a 22 year old wanna be actress. Her mother, Colleen, is the crazy stage mom. Robin is her agent. Robin's husband Darren is Lorelei's half brother. Carl, Lorelei and Darren's father, seems disinterested in both his children's lives. Each character's back story is almost ridiculous.

Lorelei gets a shot to be on a reality show, but when she loses to a gorgeous black girl, Colleen goes on a drunken, racist rant...which gets filmed and goes viral. Lorelei is humiliated, ends up turning to drugs and cutting her mother out of her life.

Now, with the storytelling, I had a problem with the way it jumped around. I generally don't have a problem with a book switching through different character's perspectives, and this wasn't my problem with this book. My problem came with the decision the author made to jump around time periods. The book starts in 2013, and right off the bat, the writing implies that you should know what happened in the past of the characters, even though you don't. Then you jump to 2012, where all that back story is revealed. So suddenly it makes sense about why Lorelei isn't talking to her mom and why she's doing drugs. Then, the story jumps back to 2013 when Colleen decides to try to reconnect her shattered family on a show called Real Happy Family (basically it's like Intervention on A&E). Colleen knows Lorelei is in Reno, so the whole family goes hoping to help Lorelei with her problems.

The ending was too neat. I kind of wanted more nitty gritty of that story, but I got an ending that was tied up with a neat little bow, and I find those kinds of ending a little hard to believe.

The story was easy to get through, it had a nice pace, but I just felt a little lost at times.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Spider Bones

**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9 * Book 10 * Book 11 * Book 12**

I took a bit of time trying to figure out how I truly felt about this book. It mostly takes place in a new location. It starts in Montreal, but through a majority of the book Tempe is in Hawaii.

Tempe gets involved in a case involving a death by autoerotic asphyxiation. Fingerprints turned up as a man who supposedly died in Vietnam in 1968. JPAC concluded that a body they received was the body of Spider Lowery, but when Tempe exhumes the body from a North Carolina cemetery and examines it, she discovers a mistake was made in the identification of the body during the initial exam.

Then Tempe gets sucked into a local Hawaiian case involving body parts that were left over from a shark attack.

Through the book, there are probably a total of five death investigations happening. It got a bit confusing at parts because I wasn't sure if these were going to be tied together or if they were all going to be separate deaths.

The plus side is that the Ryan/Tempe relationship seemed more on the back burner as they worked on their respective daughters while still being in the same place. It was more of a subdued plot line where in the past it has been rather blatant and big.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ozma of Oz

**Book 1 * Book 2**

This book was kind of humorous. It starts off with Dorothy (yes, we see Dorothy again!) on a ship sailing to Australia with Uncle Henry. She gets swept overboard in a storm along with a yellow hen and finds herself in the Land of Ev, which is separated from the Land of Oz by a vast desert.

Now, the title of this book is a bit misleading. You really spend most of the book following Dorothy with a few forays into Ozma or Billina (the yellow hen) leading the story.

While Dorothy is in Ev, she meets a copper man by the name of Tiktok. They meet up with the Princess, who is really vain and has twelve interchangeable heads (weird). Then Ozma appears in Ev on a mission to save the queen of Ev and her ten children who have been enchanted by the King of the Nomes.

The whole time with the King of the Nomes is humorous. Everyone gets a chance to guess which ornaments are the queen and her children, and if they don't get one correct guess, they get transformed into an ornament too. The Nome King is just tricky and devious, but he gets outsmarted by a chicken.

Just, overall, a good book. And my daughter is loving them, so I'll keep reading to her.