Saturday, October 20, 2012

X Marks the Spot - Review of Eleven and Twelve of Deja Dead

The big giant panda here! 

Can I just say that the St. Jean Baptiste Day seems like a lot of fun? Reminded me of New Orleans or something. Not that I would really want to participate, but it would be fun to watch the parade from afar...

The fact that the perp, when running away from them, was wearing an orange hat (allowing Tempe to follow him clearly through that crowd) was... Dude, take the hat off. Orange is the brightest f*king color in the book, man. 

And though Claudel doesn't save Tempe's ass because of some pimp or hooker incident, he still has to save her ass when she gets trampled in the crowd. Tempe is not only the first battered main character (I'm right, right?), but she also fits the battered woman stereotype nicely. In fact, it's her very feminism which gets her into trouble (that silly female, she thinks she can chase down and take on the bad guy alone! She's so cute. Just look where that idea got her! Now, sit there and look pretty, honey). 

*The Panda is not amused* Females should not stereotype themselves, Reichs. 

But all meanness aside...

I was tickled by the Salman Rushdie reference Claudel makes. He compares the "bad guy" to him because of his little hide out. But then I was like... Rushdie shouldn't be compared to a bad guy. Even if I don't particularly enjoy his novels. lol.  But the fact Claudel knows who Rushdie is shows some sort of sensitive side, I'm sure. 

I'm sure there are more, but I only noted one Linguistic reference in my annotations. I'm too lazy (being a panda) to double check. Tempe seems more interested in Linguistics than science,   I'm tellin' yah. 

I have nothing to say about chapter 12 really. I have a few hunches about what will happen, but  I'm not really sure how to put them into words. I'll just read 13 and 14 for now! 

Of course, Panda knows who Rushdie is. Hel doesn't. Sigh.

The interesting thing here is that Tempe gets pushed down and trampled on in the crowd - and gets rescued by Claudel. Although in a way Panda was right about a man saving the day, it wasn't in a "a man is needed for this" sort of way. So I disregard this. Conveniently. It seemed for a moment that Claudel was going to be a nice guy now, but no.

St-Jacques escapes and Claudel goes back to being an ass.

While Tempe was getting pushed around and knocked down in the crowd, I really expected her to bust out some martial arts moves like she does in the TV show. I certainly did not expect her to be such a whimp. Then again, what are you supposed to do when someone yanks your head back by your pony tail to the point that you can hear your neck snap.

But, I love that they now have a subject to investigate. Things are getting exciting :)

The team goes back to explore the crime scene and find some interesting stuff in the basement, including newspaper clippings of crimes (some of which were the ones Tempe is working on, and some random ones), a map with x's marking the spots where the dismembered bodies were found, and a list of names (including the dismembered women) with details listed that only stalkers would assemble.

Despite all this, Claudel is not convinced that St-Jacques is the killer. Really? How much more obvious does it need to be? Then again, maybe it's a little too obvious. A little too easy.

They also find a picture of Brennan with an X made through her. Creeepy.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Allons-y! Let's roll! - Nine and Ten of Deja Dead

Howdy, ya'll!

We've gotten a wee bit behind here because my family is sick and I haven't able to get any reading done. But hopefully we will get back on track now.

In these chapters, Tempe, Claudel and his partner go after who they believe might be the perp (perpetrator). The man they are after used the last victims credit card at an atm, and a surveillance camera managed to capture a (sort of) picture of him. The owner of the little convenience store where the atm is housed claims he doesn't recognize the man from the crappy picture.

Howver, the trio lucks (sort of) out when they question two old men camped outside of the store. Technically, Tempe questions them. Apparently it doesn't occur to the detectives to question two men who seem to live on lawn chairs next to the atm.


One of the men believes the man in the pictures lives in a seedy apartment building down the road, so Tempe and the boys go to investigate. Sure enough, the perp lives there and his name is supposedly St-Jacques. The detectives enter his apartment without a warrant but with a key. Their breach of protocol will come back to bit them in the ass - though the apartment appears to be empty, St-Jacques is hiding behind the door to the basement, which they somehow overlooked, and manages to run out.

Erm, really? There's three people in the small apartment and no one manages to stop him? A parade is going on outside, and the perp manages to disappear in the crowd. Typico.


Panda here. 

I'm really enjoying the French swear words the characters keep using. I'm learning so much!

In chapter nine I only noted one Linguistic reference Tempe makes. (Yes, I'm keeping track now. It's the main thing that keeps me entertained). She makes a lot of them. 

In chapter ten, the No Warrant Entry really pissed me off. I don't know why. No, I *do* know why. It's because cops breaking rules (even in sly and clever ways that speed up the plot) undermines their authority. People in the entertainment industry need to realize that the way fake law enforcements behave affects real law enforcements. Remember when the TV show 24 was under critique because the torturers of Guantanamo got ideas from the show? When 'good guys' break rules terrible real life sh*t happens. See here and here (they open in new windows). 

But I'm done ranting. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The CUM Police - Review of Chapter Seven and Eight of Deja Dead

Chapter seven was, well... Well, I was kinda right about Gabby needing to be rescued by Tempe - and I'm pretty sure that it's still going to happen later on (in a bigger way). And this next time, well, Tempe won't be able to 'do' it on her own. She's going to need a man. Because that's just how life works, right? Right. 

Now about chapter eight... The CUM police need to change their name. Like, seriously. 

Also, I'm getting tired of Tempe talking/thinking about her menstrual cycle and "yeast infection[s]." I mean, I'm all for accepting the female anatomy (I kinda have to anyway, because that's what I've got), but this is the equivalent of guys talking about sports. I feel like authors put it in there to remind us, "This is a girl/boy character, see? She/he is talking about the monthly curse/sports. I know how to properly depict gender in my novel. I am brilliant." 

We get it. She's a girl. She can, you know, think about other things. 

Oh, Panda! You've stolen the words out of my mouth. I am pretty sure I spat my coffee out in shock while reading at Barnes and Noble when I read "I needed him [Claudel] here like I needed a yeast infection". (And I wasn't even drinking coffee!)

What the crap! I didn't see it as reminding us of the sex of the character, it seemed more like she was trying to show off with how well she could use similes. I HATE it when crime novels do this, because they take it to the excess and it always seems cheesy.

I also thought the name of the CUM police needs to be changed. I mean, come on!

Tempe as a person seems really boring. All she does is eat health food, drink coffee, do Tai Chi and follow the news. Snoooze.

Gabby is as annoying, if not more. Her character is a giant mess right now. Which I suppose is a necessity because Reichs needs to convey her fear but not give away too much of the plot.

However, I disagree about a man showing up to save the day. At least if the book follows the show. The T.V. Tempe is very independent, very knowledgeable in the martial arts, and quick to shoot people. Is that a flaw? Not sure. Her lack of need for a man is what makes her so appealing. We'll see what happens.


Touched for the very first time - Review of Chapter Five and Six of Deja Dead

I have a confession to make.

I have not bought this book. I find that when I'm at home, no matter my intentions, I don't read. I clean, Play with my son, paint, Clean some more. It's a compulsion. And I also know that if I buy the book, I want leave the house to read it. So. I haven't bought it and instead go to Barnes and Noble a few nights a week to do my reading. But it gets kind of hard to make posts later without having a book to look at. I should take noted while I'm reading. But I hate to interrupt myself. So excuse me if I misremember some things.

So, Tempe is plagued by memories of another murder victim she has worked with that seems to be a very similar scenario to the current victim. She mentions this to Claudel, encouraging him to take a look at the older crime to see if there is a connection, but her suggestion makes leaves him furious. It's easy to see that he does not welcome her input in the investigation. She is NOT the detective.

When a third victim is found, the fact that the murderer is a serial killer becomes undeniable.

Panda here! 

I'm on cold medicine so this may not turn out how I intended (by now everyone reading this blog probably thinks I'm a pill popper - sleeping pills and so on. You may not be wrong at this point...).

Chapter five was not worth the time. What even happened, again? lol. 

Chapter six, on the other hand, well... That was horrifying, ha ha. But, now we're getting somewhere!!! I mean, if you're going to write about death, lets do it in style. Make it worth reading about! Shove a Virgin Mary statue up a vagina. Gives a whole new meaning to "Like a virgin." 

*Considers how much of a psychopath I sound like.* 

But, yeah, the whole cut 'em up and put 'em a bag thing's just boring. 

On another note, WHAT DID I TELL YOU?!?! I *told* you Gabby was going to get in trouble, didn't I? I knew it! Boom. One point for the Panda. 

My next prediction? When Tempe goes in to save Gabby, she's going to need some help herself. That's where the leading man will come to the rescue - save the damsel in distress. UGH. (I'm betting myself five bucks right now). 

...Other than that I'm jealous of Hel's ability to read in public places. I can barely read when my cats are looking at me, let alone when B&N customers are around. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Whores are Bores - Review of Chapter Three and Four of Deja Dead

In chapter two and three we learn more of Tempe's character. She is an alcoholic. A recovering alcoholic, I suppose. They do say that once you are an alcoholic, you always are, sober or not. She's divorced, and has a daughter in college. When I learned that Tempe didn't start grad school until her daughter was in preschool,  it really gave me hope as to my own education. Granted, this is only a book and not reality, but it did make me feel a little more confident in my ability to go back to school despite having a child.

Tempe also has daddy issues, as she does in the show. In the show, Tempe believes both her parents to be dead. She grew up in foster care. We later find out that her parents were actually bank robbers who assumed fake identities to safely raise their children. Her mom was murdered (though Tempe thinks both her parents died in a car crash) but her dad underwent facial reconstruction surgery and assumed another identity. They reunite in one of the later seasons and begin to work on the inevitable problems caused when a parent abandons you, for whatever reason.

In the book, Tempe's father is a neglectful alcoholic. Her relationship, or lack thereof, has caused her to have issues with men. She needs approval from men - whether in the form of romantic interest or respect for her intelligence and credentials. Detective Claudel does not give her this approval, and so the tension between the two is heightened.

We are also introduced to Gabby, Tempe's best friend. In the show, the artist Angela is Tempe's best friend and co worker. Gabby, on the other hand, is another anthropologist. She studies the lives of prostitutes in Quebec's red light district. It's obvious by Gabby's strange behavior that something is not quite right with her research, though we don't know what. There is some danger inherent to the situation - pimps generally don't like anyone messing with their workers. I am excited to see how this situation is going to shape up.

Through her relations with Gabby, we see a part of the book Tempe that more closely resembles the T.V. Tempe. The autism Tempe. Though the book Tempe certainly has human emotions, she isn't all too good at following others' emotions or their intentions.

I am really fascinated by this and definitely read the book differently knowing that the author herself is autistic.

I agree with Amanda's point from the last entry that the book reads a little like a textbook. The science thus far has not been good. It has been boring. And that makes me sad.

This is not the reaction it's getting from me.

Panda here! 

I'm still laughing from this post, Hel. Your words are truth - ha, ha. 

First I wanna comment on how the book *is* getting better. Really. now I probably would've put it down because I still don't see enough plot. I have to know we're actually going somewhere before I give myself up to a story willingly. There's just so much set up and none of it is really that entertaining (I say this as if dead bodies and prostitutes are something I see every day). 

But since we're talking about plot...

I think that the prostitutes are a major plot device. This HAS to be connected to the plot, right? I mean, come on. Right? Right? Otherwise we just wasted a chapter on whores. Obvious plot point is obvious. My guess is that Gabby is going to be in trouble at some point because of her work and Temperance is going to have to save her ass. Just throwing that out there. lol. 

The closest thing I have to connect myself to this story is Temperance's obsession with Linguistics and an Ancient Meso-American Anthropology class I took in my undergrad studies. Other than that, this doesn't feel like my world/reality. 

Oh, and I forgot to talk about the map at the beginning of this book...

So, there's a map. A MAP. Really? I mean, reeeeally? Is this a high fantasy novel or something??? 

I instantly assumed this book was going be uber complex because of it, and then I started to cry inside because I don't want to think anymore and I just want to be entertained and I'm not even going to use it and it was such a waste of paper and I can barely read the fine print anyways. *Breathes* 

I mean, if I have to follow a map to follow your plot, I might as well study REAL crimes in Quebec, lol. Maybe if they didn't put the map in there, it would have seemed less pretentious. So far, I haven't even needed it. 

To Reichs's editors: How dare you give me a map.  

And now I must go read chapter 5-6. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Plunge - Review of Chapter One and Two of Deja Dead

Wow. So much to say about this.

So far I am a weee bit disappointed. I wanted to read this because 1) I love crime related things. Forensics are awesome and if I thought I was smart enough, I would most certainly pursue a career in the field. 2) To compare it to the show. Which is amazing. Wonderful. Swoon worthy. LOVE LOVE.

But, as of yet, the book is not much like the show at all. I had heard this ahead of time, but thought that at least the characters were the same. So far all we have is Temperance and a detective she is working with. I assume, but it has not been establish yet, that this is supposed to be Seeley Booth. It's hard to tell because his name isn't Seeley - it's Claudel.

Other differences:
1) It's set in Quebec, Canada. Not Washington, D.C.
2) Tempe is divorced, whereas in the show, as all us fans know, she has commitment issues and doesn't really believe in marriage.
3) Tempe's personality. In the show, she never lets her emotions interfere with her work, however macabre. She rarely struggles with this. The Tempe in the book is much more "human". The book Tempe also talks about how she often makes plan in her head but they never come to fruition. For some reason or another, she puts them off. The TV Tempe would never be dissuaded. Adventure calls and she answers. Period.
4) Her work. It's hard to tell because Reichs does not go into much detail as to the look of the facility, but I get the impression it's not as high tech as the Jeffersonian. Then again, nothing is. Not to mention that she TV Tempe can look at the body and tell you its age, etc., whereas the book version has to perform fancy tests and whatnot. I am not complaining about this - Hollywood will distort reality. Simply noting the difference.

As for the crime featured in this book: the body found has the hilt of a plunger shoved up to the "hilt" in the pelvis of a young woman. Ouch.

All in all, I like the book so far as a book. It falls short when comparing it to the show, but it's early yet. I am hoping to see some more flare and character, and more SCIENCE.


Amanda Panda here (finally). I must apologize to Hel for taking so long to get to this! When did I stop being on top of things?!?

Okay, so, first of all I ordered a used book off Amazon and expected the cover to look like the one in the picture. But no. It's ugly and plain and looks like a common paperback you'd see at a garage sale. Not that I judge a book by it's cover or anything, but I don't want people judging ME when I'm reading it. lol. 

Also, it's so fat it doesn't stay open at the page I need, so reading and typing my annotations is a total b*tch. 

But I'll stop complaining about things the poor book author can do nothing about...

I hate the first person point of view. Give me omni-presence or give me death. I feel limited and restricted to their body and perspective. Granted, some of my favorite books are first person POV, (like _Perks of Being a Wallflower_), so we'll see. 

At first her descriptions of Canada and the weather made me scream, "SHOW, DON'T TELL!!!" but then it got better. However, Reichs also goes into A LOT of historical details about Canadian places. When I read a book, I don't want it to be a text book. I don't need a lesson. I'm not sure I remember half of what the first chapter was about because I zoned out so much. lol. But hopefully that's the last of it. 

Also, I'm already having trouble keeping the characters straight. I'm going to have to pay closer attention. 

However, some facts about her job are really interesting. It's almost like I'm her co-worker observing her work...not that I really understand anything she's doing. 

Side note, I'd rather work with dead bodies than live ones, lol.  

I found her oddly interested in Linguistics: "I wondered if Constable Groulx was capable of a compound sentence." And, "I'd never heard him use a contraction." If she's noticing these things, maybe she should change career fields. lol. 

At one point she mentions Beatrix Potter, and that made me happy. 

I thought that one of her points was very profound: "Violent death allows no privacy. It plunders one's dignity as surely as it has taken one's life...The victim becomes part of evidence, an exhibit on display...It is like looting on the most personal level." 

So, yeah, remind me not to die violently, okay? *shivvers* 

I can't really compare the book to the TV show. I'm not sure I've ever watched a full episode. I prefer comedies over crime shows. But in the show previews, Bones seems like someone with a form of Asperger's, but in the book she's capable of emotion.