Alexandra Trese: Thirteen Cases

Mass Murders (Trese, #3)Mass Murders by Budjette Tan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Why Alexandra Trese?

I was convinced by a high-school friend to read this series because of their flagship project in this book.

Alexandra Trese started way way back as a concept from a radio station featuring Anton Trese and his etudes from the underworld. From this man we owe the birth of the idea that there is more to solve than human-committed crimes, and how justice is served one way or the other. When crime takes a turn for the weird, the police call Alexandra Trese.

And so these first three volumes encapsules her first thirteen cases.

Case 1: At the intersection of Balete and 13th Street - 2 stars; The introduction of the White Lady 'rationale' is not really justified. Maybe this is to give a twist to the white lady appearing in that street. But the introduction of the "balance" that the underworld seeks is shown in the first file. True enough, tales from our lolos and lolas tell us not to meddle with foreign spirits if they bring you no harm. Or else they will seek payback. And the nuno sa manhole is cute, and likes chocolates. :)

Case 2: Rules of the Race - 2 stars; The young maverick of the Tikbalang tribe was introduced as a teaser for the other books Budjette Tan unraveled . It's about the stubborness of the younger ones on what extent they would want to prove themselves, and how much is the drive for you to get it. And yeah, cuties from the Wind Tribe appeared.

Case 3: The Tragic Case of Dr. Burgos - I LIKE! 4 stars; it is a challenge for Budjette and Kajo to do an underworld case with a touch of a tragic love story. Santelmo (root word: St. Elmo's fire) was introduces as the fire spirit from the Great Binondo fire. Assu Ang's daughter, Oriol - is also introduced, and we Pinoys know how bad this creature is. They play your heart, they suck your blood, they extract your soul. This case is not a cold one, but full of fire! And the "meow chronicles" - how our little munings communicate with each other and the Cat Whispherer Manang Muning amazed me. :D

Case 4: Our Secret Constellation - 4 Stars. NO SPOILERS. Budjette and Kajo Dedicated this episode to Mars Ravelo and to Warren Ellis. You'll know why when you read this file.

Case 5: A Little Known Murder in Studio 4 - 3 stars; Of handlers and of Stars, aspiring for money, men and drugs. URGH SHOWBIZ, I know, but the creators knew how to fit GREED very well in this case.

Case 6: The Outpost on Kalayaan Street - 4 stars because of a ZOMBIE INFESTATION!

Case 7: Embrace of the Unwanted - 3 stars; I remember my dad telling me a weird story of the son who is being kept under the sewers; and how the hidden spaces of the malls looked like. Believe me, I've been there once.

Case 8: The Association Dues of Livewell Village - 4 stars May Liwanag ang buhay

Case 9: A Private Retaliation - 5 stars; Anton appeared!
Case 10: Patient 414 in Mandaluyong - 5 stars; Tagbalusao
Case 11: The Fort Bonifacio Massacre - 5 stars; Kambal appeared!
Case 12: The Baptism of Alexandra Trese - 5 stars; Tribe of the
Trese appeared!
Case 13: An Act of War - 5 stars; conclusion to Tagbalusao, of
Basilio and Crispin, and of Trese knowing her resolve to do her
Babaylan-Mandirigma duties.

To note why Cases 9-13 are all 5 stars: They are not created to be stand-alone files, they are chronicles of a history once forgotten. We
see how Alexandra evolved from a teenager to a defender. We see how she aaccepted her duty as a priestess and a warrior.

(Sorry this review sucked; I think I am not tired of fangirling, I
should stop.)

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