My wife and I were pretty excited when we saw a cheap copy of the audiobook version of Kathy Reichs’ Devil Bones. We’re big fans of the Fox series Bones which is based on the books and have not read any of the source material, so this seemed like a good thing to both of us. It wasn’t.
There are actually two very different reasons why neither of us enjoyed the experience of listening to this book. First off, the character of Temperance Brennan found in the book series is completely different from the one in the TV series. Brennan from Bones is a cold, calculating woman whose relationship with Agent Booth had grown over the years while the book version is, well, like pretty much every other person in a procedural book. I mentally compared her to Kay Scarpetta from the Patricia Cornwell books like The Scarpetta Factor, but less interesting. What I like about the TV version is just how strong and confident Brennan is as a character, but that’s not the case in the book. But, I can put the whole show versus book thing past me and did fairly quickly, though I kept looking for characters from the show in the book that never showed up. This was something that just threw me a bit, it was something else that made my wife and I dislike the story overall.
It’s just plain boring and felt loooooong, which is crazy because we actually listened to the abridged version instead of the longer one shown in the picture above. The first and foremost problem is that Reichs throws in all kinds of unnecessary details. I appreciated how she explained who the character was, especially because we were new readers who were used to the different status quo of the television show, but the overly complicated history lesson of the surrounding area the book is set in? Completely unnecessary and about as interesting as a seventh grade history lesson. Worse yet, it didn’t matter as the story left that area fairly quickly.
As my wife said, you probably could have skipped the first three discs, started with the second and had a much better listening experience. There’s enough recaps to keep you filled in and that’s where the first actual bit of action takes place. I know procedurals aren’t always action packed, but it this one felt even less so with all the boring moments. However, things did finally get interesting at the very end making it a somewhat worthwhile listening experience. At the end of the day, though, we will most likely not be returning to this author or this series because it’s being done much better on television and there are plenty of other, more interesting books out there that will actually make our long car trips feel shorter, not longer.