The Final Frontier,” one of the most enjoyable Castle episodes ever, we are subjected to a shameless plug for Castle’s new book. We see shot after shot of the book itself and Castle is at Supernovacon because he is signing his books. Storm Season has been published.
This installment is definitely a sequel to the first, Deadly Storm. In fact, if you haven’t read the first, the first ten pages of this book will make no sense to you at all. The story opens with all of the people Storm has befriended in the first novel now working for him. As a group, they are working together uncover until the person they are looking to bring down pulls out a gun and Storm runs into traffic and gets hit by a car. Then, in one of the most incredible coincidences I have ever come across in fiction, that very car is being driven by Clara Strike, the CIA agent who we believe died in the last novel.
The story itself is a fairly standard spy/PI story. A wealthy woman has been conned and Storm and his group are trying to get her money back. Turns out that the man who stole the money needed it for a good reason and he comes to Storm for help. What should have been a fairly standard operation turns international and deadly very quickly. The story is entertaining enough, but nothing anyone who has read any sort of mystery story in the past will be surprised by.
One of the things that really jumped out at me reading this book is that there are now three different voices writing under the name of Richard Castle. We have one writer for the Nikki Heat books, one for the new Derrick Storm novels, and a third for the graphic novels. While the conceit of the graphic novels is that they are the earlier Storm stories, now being “adapted” into this new form, the version of Storm we see here is difficult to imagine in the one we see in the new novels. Of course, there is a bit of distance to go before our hero “dies,” but this Storm is much lighter and quippier (more like Castle himself) than the hero we see in the new novels. That Storm is truly a dark guy.
Although in the Castle world these novels were written before Beckett and we meet him, there is some crossover with the show. Clara Strike, who in reality should look like Jennifer Beals, looks a lot like Stana Katic. The dialogue, like that in the show, is fast and clipped. This is especially evident in the way that Storm speaks; it is reminiscent of the way that Castle speaks. And, there is one scene that is taken directly from the pilot. Storm and Strike are besting the bad guys, Strike with a gun and Storm with a pair of shears. Storm gets off a good shot and then turns to Strike saying, “I got that one guy. You saw that, right?” So, in the pilot, I guess Castle was quoting himself.
Overall, this is a very standard addition to the Castle universe. Like the Storm novellas of last summer, the graphic novels feel forced into this world. They don’t quite fit either with the newer novels or with the feel of the show. If you're looking for a good book that reminds you of the show, give one of the Nikki Heat novels a try. They are much better.