15 April 2009

The one where Lunaticraft thinks she's a literary critic...

I recently finished reading Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs. She has a series of mystery/murder novels out featuring her main character, and namesake of the main character in Bones on FOX, Temperance Brennan. Now, I have been a huge fan of the T.V. show for a while now. So far, it's a brilliant, character driven show with thoughtful plot lines (and the sight of David Boreanaz packing heat doesn't hurt either). When I found out that the show was loosely based on a combination of the Temperance Brennan novels and Kathy Reich's life, my interest peaked, and I knew I had to at least try reading them.

Ever since I've started my higher education, recreational reading time has been fleeting, so it wasn't until just recently that I had the time to take on these books. I had been stalling and stalling, and when I did read recreationally, it was only quasi-recreation, with my reading focus staying on the topic of history anyway. Finally, a few weeks ago I was browsing through the book sale at my university library (they always have a few racks of donated books for sale to benefit the library's funds) and lo and behold, there was the first of Kathy Reichs' novels. For 50 cents.

Well, that was it. Clearly the universe wasn't going to let me avoid reading these books for much longer. So I brought it home and got started.

Overall, I'd give the book a B+. The plot was amazing, entertaining, and just the perfect bit scary. I finished the book at 3 a.m. the day that spring break began, and I couldn't really sleep too well. I would jump awake every time the dog knocked into something for hours after I finished. To me, that's a sure sign of a good murder mystery.

I did have a few qualms with the book, however. Reichs' writing is indeed very scientific, and can be slow muddling through it sometimes. Certainly not something I hold over her too much, as it really does suit the character and her (both Reichs' and the novel's main character's) occupation. It worked very well in some spots, especially the bits with forensic information and procedures in them. However, her scientific style did muddle down other parts of the novel in too much detail. Sometimes the number of buttons on someone's shirt just isn't that important, you know?

Also, the end of the novel came a little too abruptly for me, with loose ends being wrapped up in exposition that sounded almost recap-like. The whole book had been paced nicely up until the end. I find running to be a good metaphor for the pacing in this novel. You start off walking leisurely, gradually moving up to a jog. Soon, you're in full on run mode. Your pace stays steady for a while, but then you start sprinting, pounding pavement as fast as you can. Suddenly, a brick wall appears out of nowhere, and you smack head first into it, the full force of your built up inertia impacting on your body. The pacing is perfect, until that wall appears. I really would have liked to have seen the ending drawn out a little more, information being revealed in action instead of being told to us. The end very much seemed to defy the mantra we all had burned into our brains in creative writing classes of "Show, don’t tell."

Beyond those two small quibbles, I really enjoyed this book. In my opinion any murder mystery that has me sleeping with my brother's aluminum baseball bat next to my bed for a night (despite the fact that I still live under the same very small roof as both my father and my 18 year old brother) is considered a raging success.

Next on the slate for Lunaticraft Book Reviews: The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity by Robert Kuttner.

In other news.... LOOK!!!


And doing fairly well with it! I had a bit of trouble adjusting to working in such a small gauge, but overall, I'm really enjoying it. It's just a simple k2 p2 rib, and I know I haven't reached the difficult bits yet. I'm thinking a short row heel, as I seem to like the look of it better, and then I don't know what I'm going to do for the toe. As it is, I really like working with DPNs, much more than circs. I find them a lot easier to manipulate, and once I relax a little bit and stop tensing up while I knit, I think they're going to be much easier on my wrists.

The yarn is that Paton's Kroy Jaquards, and I'm finding it very splitty, which is making my progress go a little slower than it should. Not having worked with yarn this thin, and needles this small before, I don't know how to tell if it really is the yarn that is splitty, or if my needles are just not sharply pointed enough. Really, it could be either I think.

And progress on my bedspread is coming along nicely, except that... a block has gone missing. Everything is blocked out, ready to be seamed up, and when I lay it all out to grab a picture, low and behold, there's a void, despite my repeated and OCD counting of the squares ever since I started. I suspect my little devil Genghis Khan is to blame. I suppose that's what I get for naming my cat after a vicious Mongol conqueror.

Also, despite everything I try, I cannot get it to photograph right. Or even decently for that matter, so this photo is sharpened and adjusted to the hilt so you guys can at least get the gist of what it's going to look like. My goal is to have it finished by the end of Sunday, but I've got a job interview on Monday that I have to prepare for, so we'll see!



DrChopSuey said...

The book sounds interesting... I might pick it up sometime.

Great start on the sock, can't wait to see more. And last but not least, wow -- your bedspread is looking amazing!

Megan said...

Very thoughtful review. Did you ever think of joining the site: Goodreads.com? My husband just got me into it. I think you would have a lot to add.

The blanket looks awesome!

Iron Needles said...

Good luck on the interview. I am not sure there could be a more insidious torture method in the modern world than job interviews.

Timiae said...

Yay for socks! I love my circs for flat or big knitting in the rounds, but please give me my dpns for socks. Much better and quicker for me.

Genghis, huh? I took a class on the Mongol Conquests this semester and am so glad it's just about over.

Blanket looks great! Good luck on the interview... you'll do great.

adrienne said...

Good luck with your interview! I love the sock - the colours are awesome!

lizzzknits said...

I thought I recognized that sock yarn....I made a pair out of it as well. I posted about them a couple of months ago. I enjoyed working with this yarn, especially for the price. Every yarn just takes a little getting used to.

zcrescendo said...

Nice review! I also have the problem you described - I either don't have time for leisure reading or I only stick to non-fiction. There's so much fiction to choose from that it's hard to know what I'd like, but I may just pick up one of the books in your reviews as a start!

I really like the sound of your next "victim," since I've always been fascinated by America's screwed-up political shenanigans. Looking forward to the review!

Hissy Stitch said...

That's a sock, all right! And in self-patterning yarn. That'll make working a simple First Sock pattern a lot more fun.

Tante J said...

LOVE the granny squares!

petrina said...

Love the colours of your sock! I'm gonna try and get hold of that yarn too :)