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review 2017-02-02 00:00
Déjà Dead
Déjà Dead - Kathy Reichs Crystal's 4 Star Review
This is my first foray into the book series by the author who inspired ‘Bones’. I was slightly disappointed, I was expecting Temperance Brennan to be just like the tv character. She is so not. Once I let go of my preconceived notions, I was able to fully get into the story. No, I didn’t start with the first book in the series, I didn’t realize that it was a series when I found the book. I feel that I don’t necessarily have to read the prior ones to be ready for this book. There were a couple of lingering questions, but because I have them, I will now make a point to get the prior books and read them. Ms. Reichs has definitely made a fan out of me. The characters are well fleshed out, the writing fast paced, and keeps the readers attention.
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review 2015-12-24 00:00
Déjà Dead
Déjà Dead - Kathy Reichs Firstly, I *LOVE* the televisions series 'Bones': the left-brain dominant Dr. Temperance Brennan, her pull-forensic-magic-out-of-thin-air team, and the formidable Agent Seeley Booth. I knew that it was inspired by Kathy Reichs' book series, and of her own experience as a forensic anthropologist, and so I had been wanting to start on this for a while now.

So! The book is nothing like the television program. To be fair, it is only the first book, but here, Dr. Brennan is divorced, has a college-going daughter, and is nothing like how she is portrayed on TV. Personally, it took a while for me to warm up to the book, because for starters, the laying out the hierarchy of the many police and investigative departments, and the introduction of the various personnel was bordering on tedium. But after that was out of the way, the story did start to pick up, and the true colors of the characters started to shine through. I will continue with the rest of the books in the series, and look forward to the character- and relationship development as I progress along.
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review 2015-11-21 02:06
An Enjoyable Thrill Ride
Déjà Dead - Kathy Reichs

I can see why a lot of fans of the television series featuring Temperance Brennan would not like this series. While I do love Bones, I definitely find the book series to be good on its own as well.


First, don't go in thinking it will be a carbon copy of the TV series. In the books, Tempe is older, divorced, and a recovering alcoholic. To me, this makes the story more believable than the TV series.


Second, the science mentioned has been complained to be cloying. First off, remember this is a series written by a forensic anthropologist, so naturally there will be nuances, scientific data, and technical jargon galore. Personally, I think of this as thrillers for anthropologists.


The realism of the story was also highly appreciated. I've always hated mystery novels because I can generally predict how they will end. Like Dr. Brennan in this book, I had no idea what what going to happen until she did. I consider that a pretty big success as far as Kathy Reichs' writing ability goes.


I can definitely see myself reading the rest of the series. Once the second book goes on sale on the Nook, it will be the next book I read on there.

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text 2015-11-06 21:16
Question about this series and Bones
Déjà Dead - Kathy Reichs
Death du Jour - Kathy Reichs

I'm watching Bones on Netflix.   Never got into it, but I've watched an episode or two from later seasons. 


I'm really getting into it now, and one of the things I like is the Booth/Bones thing where they snark at each other.   I also like how she's kind of an outsider who doesn't get social interaction, and I like how super smart she  is. So questions for anyone who's read the series - or at least part of it - and who's seen Bones.  Is this far removed from how she is in the books?   Does she have a Booth to work off of in the books?   I don't normally read this kind of thing, so not sure if it's worth it for me. 


And as a side note, all those montages with long song clips is driving me nuts.   Why?   Ugh.   

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review 2014-12-31 14:06
Deja Dead (1997) by Kathy Reichs
Déjà Dead - Kathy Reichs

Go figure: living in a vacuum can lead to some surprises. I watch virtually nothing that isn't live on live TV, and where TV shows are concerned I also try to avoid reading or watching anything about the series while I am watching it. In some cases this leaves me little choice but to extrapolate from my own experiences. Since my experiences with Bones have mostly been good ones (though that seems to be changing ever since the death of one of my favorite characters), I assumed that the rest of the world saw what I was seeing. Evidently this is not so. Bones has never been ranked higher than #29 in the ratings and its average rating over the first nine seasons is right about 43. That's pretty good, I guess, but not what I would have expected.

I approach books the same way. About all I knew of Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan books was that they (and Reichs herself) had inspired the series. So I was in for another surprise when I read Deja Dead, the first book in the series, only to discover that if, in either one, the books or the series, the name of the main character was changed, you'd have a difficult time connecting the two. For one thing, the Brennan of the book isn't the robot she is in the series. This makes her in some respects more realistic but, I've discovered, significantly less entertaining. Deja Dead, in fact, is a slow-starter that works its way up to middling. Perhaps the later books improve, but I doubt that I will ever find out.

The book is premised on the idea that Brennan, an American serving as the Director of Forensic Anthropology for the Canadian province of Quebec, investigates a series of murders that may be linked to a serial killer, thereby putting herself, her family, and her friends in danger. But it's really all about her. Her "family" is a daughter away at college and her "friends" aren't plural. The friend in question is named Gabby, and she's a flake. Not a charming flake, just a flake. As characters go, she could get killed and it wouldn't raise an eyebrow.

So that leaves Brennan. She truly is in danger. Why? Because Reichs says so. What I mean by that is that Brennan is compelled to take to the field primarily because Reichs saddles her with a sexist, proprietary cop who's smart when he wants to be, dumb and exclusionary otherwise. And even at that Brennan's actions are often dangerous and silly. But it is interesting to note, for Bones viewers, that another reason she must take to the field is that bones don't reveal nearly as much as the show would have you believe. With just her lab results, she finds it difficult to convince even the relatively good cops that the murders are the work of one man. (I'm giving precedence to the book written by Reich rather than the show produced by Reich.)

Let's face it, though: Brennan's actions are typical of amateur sleuths everywhere. The problem is, Brennan isn't typical. She's a highly educated professional working in tandem (ostensibly) with a modern police force. We aren't supposed to identify with Claudel, the sexist cop, but it quickly becomes difficult not to do so. Brennan's motivation is impatience and moral outrage; that it becomes personal is a result of her own meddling. That isn't good enough.

At one point in the book, Brennan reaches out to a friend for a psychological profile of the killer (another significant difference between the Brennans of book and TV). Perhaps, if Brennan herself is so dull (she has a cat and she used to drink -- not exactly earth-shaking character development), we can find something more compelling in the killer. But it's not to be. The profile that comes back is generic serial killer stuff, and it doesn't matter much anyway since he is off-screen nearly all the time. When he isn't...well, then he becomes generically stupid.

On the other hand, the book is reasonably well-written, though excessively detailed -- oddly, though, not regarding the science. After a slow start, it picks up some steam, but it's almost embarrassing when it does. You want to berate Brennan for her foolishness in going into the field, but at the same time, it's only when she does that the book becomes mildly interesting.

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