As any good fan of the TV show Castle knows, Nikki Heat is by no means Richard Castle’s first famous character. The show starts off with his concluding his long-running Derrick Storm series, and the particular explosive ending he gives those books is a nice little character development point for Castle since it leads right into why he tags along with the NYPD. And given the success of the Nikki Heat tie-in novels, it was pretty much inevitable that additional material involving Derrick Storm would be eventually made available to us fans. This time around, though, they’ve elected to give us a graphic novelization of the “first Derrick Storm novel”.
It’s a clever choice, and certainly provides some nice variety for the Castle tie-in material as well as general versimilitude–since quite a few well-known authors in SF have graphic novelizations of their work going, such as Jim Butcher and Richelle Mead. But the important question is, as a graphic novel, does Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm work?
Art-wise, it will probably surprise no one who glances through this work that Derrick Storm comes out looking suspiciously Nathan-Fillion-esque. Other than that, I vacillated between quite liking several panels and being indifferent to several others, so I ultimately came out uncertain if I liked the art style. Story-wise, I was definitely ambivalent. It read like a truncated version of a meatier story–certainly, given the overall style of the Nikki Heat novels, this seemed much jerkier of pacing by comparison. And while this might only add to the versimilitude of a “graphic novel adaptation”, it nonetheless left me wishing I’d actually gotten a novel version of this story instead.
All in all if you’re enough of a Castle fan to be a completist, you might want to pick this up. Otherwise, for now, the Nikki Heat novels are actually more amusing. Two stars.
I’m still greatly, greatly amused that the Richard Castle books even exist–it remains an excellent marketing ploy for an enjoyable TV show. That said, I didn’t quite enjoy Naked Heat, the second of the Nikki Heat series, as much as the first one.
Most of this I attribute to the overall style of the writing seeming less focused somehow, enough that I genuinely wondered if books 1 and 2 had different ghostwriters. In this installment, mind you, the writing was still competent; this was more of a matter of certain stylistic quirks popping up here that I didn’t see in the first one, just little nuances of phrase and such that gave the prose a slightly different flavor this time around, and one I wasn’t entirely sure I liked.
I still roll my eyes at a character name like “Nikki Heat”, as well the convention of referring to detectives Ryan Raley and Esposito Ochoa collectively as “Roach”. That’s a cute enough nickname if used in dialogue, but it was used a bit too much in the narrative this time. (See previous comment re: certain stylistic quirks.) Also, we’re far enough into the show at this point that I kept spotting plot points from various episodes, which made it a bit too obvious that yes, this book really is just a thinly disguised episode of the show.
That said, I did quite also like the progression of Nikki’s and Jameson’s relationship, as it’s going down a track that we haven’t seen in the show. We also get some backstory on Jameson and get to meet his mother (so far, in the Nikki Heat version of the universe, there’s no analog for Alexis from the show).
So all in all, very fluffy reading–and if you’re a Castle fan, you’ll probably keep having the urge to swap in the “real” character names if you read this. The mystery to solve is fun, though, and there are worse ways to spend your time. Three stars.
I somehow managed to miss this when it originally happened back in July, and only just now found out about it today because of listening to the new podcast being done by the fine folks at CastleTV.net. This here is a video of a panel at San Diego Comic Con wherein Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic do a reading from Heat Wave, the first “Richard Castle” novel.
And given that the page they’re reading is from the sex scene, it should surprise none of you that Nathan gets his Deep Sultry Reading Voice on. Yum. ;> Hilarity ensues!
Let’s clear out the backlog of new ebook and print book purchases, shall we?
Picked up in print from the Norwescon dealers’ room:
The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, and The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks. The former is a graphic novel adaptation of a section of the latter. I’d already listened to an audio copy of the latter but didn’t have a print copy, so picking one up was required!
Dawn of the Dreadfuls, by Steve Hockensmith. This is a prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, basically setting up how the Bennett sisters became such infamous zombie slayers! Okay, yeah, I couldn’t resist.
Chicks Dig Time Lords, by assorted folks. This is the essay collection I wanted, billing itself as being all about Doctor Who, by the women who love it. Pretty much required reading for me!
The Mystery of Grace, by Charles de Lint. Urban fantasy. Because apparently I still need more Charles de Lint in my life!
And, yoinked in ebook form down from Barnes and Noble:
Dead Matter, by . Book 3 of the Simon Canderous series. Urban fantasy.
Embers, by Laura Bickle. Urban fantasy. Bonus points for the heroine on the cover actually having a head!
Compromised and Revealed, by Kate Noble. Historical romance. Bought on the strength of the review of the forthcoming The Summer of You, and which I will also be buying as soon as B&N has it on their ebook store.
Master of None, by Sonya Bateman. Urban fantasy. Heard some nice buzz about this one and have to frankly admit that I was drawn to it because the guy on the cover kind of looks like Sawyer on Lost. (Mmm, Sawyer!)
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, by Max Brooks. SF/Horror/Humor. Bought in ebook form, and this time NOT as a replacement for the print copy, just because this book is that awesome.
This brings the total for 2010 up to 104. And it’ll be going up to 107 as soon as Barnes and Noble lets me buy ‘s Changes, Ann Aguirre’s Hell Fire, and the aforementioned Kate Noble!
And as soon as I buy the brand new Amelia Peabody, A River in the Sky, it’ll be 108. There is, indeed, a new Amelia Peabody. Y’all may remember I have expressed some disappointment in Ms. Peters’ last few efforts, but this one? This involves the Ark of the Covenant. As an Indiana Jones fangirl, I think I’m morally obligated to check this one out. Plus, I did engage in the handy “Get a free sample” B&N ebook feature, and it started out strong enough that okay, yeah, I’ll be buying this too!
Meanwhile, , , and I did a lovely doubleheader of this week’s Castle and the brand new Eleventh Doctor tonight. Picoreviews: speaking of Indy, as an Indy fangirl, I am now solidly in favor of Nathan Fillion playing Indy if they ever pry the part away from Harrison. He just looked too adorable in the fedora. 😉 And, Eleven? Yeah. He’s a keeper. Brand new icons will be required. And I’ll be posting more in depth about the new Doctor tomorrow, I think!