Castle Book Review: A Calm Before Storm

Richard Castle is a writer. As the show moved through the fifth season, however, this fact has become less important than it was at the beginning. While we occasionally hear that he has been writing, very seldom do we see him actually performing the task or do we hear about what he is writing. The books, however, continue to be published in our world.

As you may recall, the original Derrick Storm novels are all being turned into graphic novels. A Calm Before Storm is the third in the series. The writers of these novels have given up the pretense that these novels were written before Castle knew Beckett, choosing instead to assume that we as readers want more of the same.

For example, at the beginning of this novel, Storm has sold his PI agency to a guy named Palace. The real Palace, a billionaire, has sold his story to ABC who airs the show on Monday nights at 10:00. The show is about Palace and his beautiful, smart partner. The fictional Palace is described as an “actor whose previous claim to fame was a short-lived space opera.”

Once we move beyond that nonsense, the story is all right, but nothing special. Storm, who is now independently wealthy because of the sale of the agency, is sailing around on his new yacht and fighting hangovers. A body is delivered and the race is on. Turns out that the body is of the guy who killed Storm’s mother (see what I mean?) and Storm and his father set out to find out why the body has turned up now.

Many of the players from the previous two graphic novels turn up, most notably Clara Strike. She and Storm continue their will they/won’t they dynamic while she kicks ass and he cracks wise. There is a major twist at the end that anyone who has read a spy novel in the past would see coming from the first page.

This story is a quick read that is instantly forgettable. I wish the writers would either stick to the conceit and give us “real” Derrick Storm stories or give up the conceit and just expand the show’s storyline into these novels. This trying to have it both ways doesn’t work.

ChrisB is a freelance writer who spends more time than she ought in front of a television screen or with a book in her hand.


sunbunny said...

I haven't read any of the Castle books. My aunt read them and liked them, but her taste can be...questionable. Are they worth the time? Also, who actually writes them? Just curious...

ChrisB said...

The Nikki Heat books are pretty good. They are quick, easy reads that are fun if you watch the show. There are many, many allusions to people and events that have transpired there.

The Derrick Storm novels and graphic novels are less good. The new DS are all right, but the graphic novels fly in the face of what they are meant to be. I would give them a miss if I didn't review them.

Billie Doux said...

I did try a DS novel, but it wasn't for me. A workmate of mine loved it, though.