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.
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 antonstrout. 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 smartbitches 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 jimbutcher‘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, spazzkat, solarbird, mamishka 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!
I realized tonight, seeing both mamishka and alg enthuse over tonight’s episode of Castle, that I have a sad, sad lack of Castle-related icons in my life!
However, thanks to castleicons, I was quickly able to rectify this problem. Props to users tellmewhyxx and txduck, whose icons I scarfed and have added to the userpics pages of both my LJ and Dreamwidth accounts! Check ’em out:
I need to find one of Castle actually writing as well, but this assortment should do me nicely for now. <3
Friday night mamishka, jennygriffee, kathrynt, llachglin, and Q & Erik’s little girl Lillian all came over to the Murk to play Beatles Rock Band. This was great fun, and I can say this even despite the fact that I never actually participated–since Lillian kept me busy babywrangling. I had enough of a delightful time just periodically popping to see what everyone else was doing, and I gotta admit, the music was awesome. Meanwhile, as always, Lily was a delight. This time around the kid pulled every object in her mother’s backpack out and explained to me very earnestly what each thing was and what it was for. She made particular note of how the “special drink” had strawberries in it, and the juice boxes had apples. Good choices, kid. ;)
I am in fact thoroughly songvirused now by various Beatles songs, and expressed my interest in not only checking out the game but in giving Beatles albums a proper listen. This amused spazzkat, who pointed out that, as an Elvis fan, am I not contractually obligated to dislike the Beatles? I replied that he had invited them to be the second, third, fourth, and fifth Elvises, after they’d offered to make him the honorary fifth Beatle. ;> (And apparently they actually visited him at Graceland, back in the day, and they hung out and jammed for about an hour. God, if only recordings had been made of what they were doing. Those recordings could be worth the price of a small country!)
More seriously, though–I actually haven’t ever given a proper listen to any Beatles albums. I know of various songs of theirs, sure; you can’t have grown up in the Western hemisphere and not know of most Beatles songs. But I’ve got to rectify this deficit in my musical experience. Commentary on favorite albums is therefore welcome.
Saturday evening, solarbird and I ambled over to the Wayward to listen to vixyish, tfabris, and solcita perform for the Sereniversary, and that was fun. I actually had to sit at the front of the cafe and couldn’t see anything from back there, but it was all good; I could still hear plenty well, and I had the opportunity for some lovely conversation about phones and other portable devices, not to mention Patricia Briggs’ books. Bonus points as well for getting a chance to make Sunnie squeal at the picture of The Doyle With Beard on my iPhone.
Sunday by comparison was comparatively quiet, aside from the whole getting a sneak peek of the cover art for the forthcoming anthology I’m going to be in (and I did I mention, AWESOME?). And it’ll probably surprise none of you that I picked up quite a few more ebooks. It’s all Fictionwise’s fault! This is what happens when they offer me a big ol’ rebate on a book that pretty much means I get four books for the price of a hardcover. And then they go and extend a coupon I’d previously used. They keep this up, they’re definitely going to keep on getting my business.
And here’s what I’ve picked up from them now, bringing my total purchased books for the year up to 95:
Dead and Gone, by Charlaine Harris, pre-empting my need to read it as a library book
Staying Dead, by suricattus, replacing the paperback I’d re-sold to Third Place
First Truth, by Dawn Cook, ditto
Norse Code, by Greg Van Eekhout, since I’d heard a lot of good things about this
Folly, by Laurie King, since I’d wanted to read this for a while
Touchstone, by Laurie King, since I like her work in general
And last but not least, pre-ordered to be downloaded tomorrow, Heat Wave. By Richard Castle. Because I am still laughing and laughing and laughing that ABC is actually putting out a book with Castle’s name on it, and doubly so that whoever’s writing the Twitter feed has urged followers to help the book beat Dan Brown on the bestseller list.
For that cause alone, they could have written 400 pages of “badger badger badger badger mushroom”, and I’d have leapt right on it! I’m going to look forward to reviewing this one, entirely in-character. They’re going to pull this joke, I’m going to play along!