I’m a huge fan of the show “Bones.” Even so, it took me forever to realize the small print saying “Based on the novels by Kathy Reichs” in the opening credits.
I’ll admit it – I was too distracted by the theme song. My ears perk up whenever I hear it while channel surfing.
So, when I noticed the line in the past year or so, I wanted to read the books.
This isn’t technically the first book in the series. Reichs released The Bone Collection in 2016, while her first book, Deja Dead, came out in 1997. I’ll be reading Deja Dead eventually; it’s already on my bookshelf!
However, Reichs touted The Bone Collection’s 4 novellas as “A collection of pulse-pounding tales featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan – including the untold story of her first case!” So, I figured I should read this book first.
Spoiler Level – Skim (I won’t give away any of the details about the “cases,” but there may be details floating about in the review)
I wanted to like this book. I really did.
Unfortunately, as is the case with many beloved books turned shows/movies/other media formats (or vice-versa), it just didn’t live up to expectations.
I’m not saying it was bad – it wasn’t. The novellas were reasonable lengths, & I was interested in the “who done it” of the murder cases they contained. Finding out how Reichs envisioned Temperance starting to work with law enforcement was also interesting.
It’s just that the main character – Temperance Brennan, aka “Bones” – wasn’t the same. She was more of a realistic character in the novellas, whereas she was more of an automaton personified on the TV show.
I love the character on the show. She’s out of touch with popular culture, she doesn’t understand social interaction, & she’s very literal. In the novellas, Temperance is a real person.
In fact, Temperance Brennan in the novellas seems to have a lot in common with Reichs. Reichs gives short explanations at the end of each novella, explaining where she got the inspiration. She often mentions her daughter – & she describes Brennan as having a daughter – & discusses her travels.
It does sound like Reichs lived a very interesting life. But Brennan sounds more like a – very smart – albeit regular human being. It’s much more engaging when she’s a hyper rational, semi-antisocial genius.
2.5 out of 5 stars! It was OK. I like the sort of “meta” sense I got from the fact that Temperance Brennan writes about a forensic anthropologist who works with law enforcement, whom she named “Kathy Reichs,” while Kathy Reichs is writing about Temperance Brennan.
I also liked the inspiration explanations after each novella. Reichs also explains her research process. Her scientific nature comes across.
I’m still planning to check out Deja Dead & see how her early work comes across.