Today’s instalment in the world of book reviews stems from a “Castle” [TV Show] tie in novel. If you haven’t seen the show it’s about an author following around a NYPD detective for inspiration on his next novel, cue 5 seasons of murder, mayhem, and eventual getting together of the two main characters. The book itself is written by “Richard Castle” as in the main character of the show [so ghost written] and is called Heat Wave.
Whilst I was reading this, which didn’t really take all that long – five or six days of fragmented reading – I was also watching the show in between. It’s a safe bet to tell you that I really love the show, and that it’s taken far too long for the box sets to be available on DVD over here in ol’ Blighty. I have only just caught up with series 4, and series 5 is now airing on Alibi.
The book “Heat Wave” ties in with some of the events in the first series, and part of the second. Mainly, it’s just mentioned a lot, especially the “sex scene on 105” [which for obvious reasons wasn’t published in a mainstream book like this]. All the characters in the book are like an alternate universe cast of characters to that of the TV series. And to be honest, they’re only really brought to life with knowledge of the TV shows characters. I think if I had read this book without watching the series I wouldn’t have had a clue who was what/where etc.
The real author of the book obviously has tried to keep the book in line with the TV series, which isn’t the end of the world, but it does read a bit like an episode in print. I found that there was a lot jumping around in scene to scene, and I found that quite hard to keep up with – and like I said – reads more like an episode more than an actual book.
I’d like to think the real Richard Castle would also have written a better book than this. I mean it was okay read, but nothing spectacular, and completely ripped from the people he was following. I’d like to think that he would have written a book with more depth of characters and more originality than what the ghost author did. For instance, in the TV show there is Beckett [in the books is Nikki Heat], Espo [because I can’t spell his name, but in the book is Oacha… that I also can’t spell] and Ryan [who becomes Ralay]. Now, in the series Espo and Ryan do a lot of the grunt work, more support work for the team, but in the book it’s like there’s no point in having both characters as they, much like a fanfiction ship, are reduced to “Roach” – why bother writing in both characters in the first place?
I think it would have been better for the book, and I think the fandom would have also accepted it, if the book was based as an original novel that didn’t simply create an AU of the Castle world. I say this for a couple of reasons as I personally found it hard to separate the characters of the series to the characters of the books – even though there were a few distinctions, mainly in Heat’s character. She was more hard ass bitch rather than the more rounded character of Beckett.
That being said, I enjoyed reading it as I am going through a major Castle phase right now, but I am not sure if I would read the next book in the Heat series based on the first as I imagine the next book would also follow a similar pattern to the first.
Rather shorter than I imagined this would be, however, I’ll leave it there for now, time to go and work on the second of my TARDIS socks… which I haven’t made much progress on this last week.
Keep reading, keep creating!