**spoiler alert** I rate this about 3.5 stars. Overall, I enjoyed reading this. It was a good suspense with a decent mystery attached, and even though...more**spoiler alert** I rate this about 3.5 stars. Overall, I enjoyed reading this. It was a good suspense with a decent mystery attached, and even though it was a book in a series, it almost read as a stand-alone, not making a ton of references to characters or situations from other books in the series, so it was almost straightforward and easy to follow in that respect.
After being hinted at constantly throughout the whole book, the lost memory/identity of the serial killer seemed close to being revealed at the last 150 or so pages, so I actually spent a good chunk of hours reading to finish the book because I just wanted know, finally, what had happened. I was shocked by the memory, not because it was overly graphic but just by the reveal itself—the entire plot seems centered around Jessie's return to Baron Hollow, so why would the reader expect any other memory than her own to be uncovered? But what I found even more shocking was what happened to Jessie. I wasn't expecting her to be murdered. And since I don't know all that much about this series, I can't say for sure if she was more of a minor character or if this was "her" series. (I guess it couldn't have been if she died.)
I think the author did a good job with throwing suspicion on one character for the majority of the book and then kept the reader guessing till practically the end of the identity of the serial killer. Still, I wish there would have been a bit more in the last few chapters, maybe about the victims, or even with what Emma might do now—for example, will she join Haven now, less to take Jessie's place and more just to develop her own presumed psychic abilities and to leave Baron Hollow's unpleasantness for good? I had hoped that the identity of the spirit wearing the outdated winter clothing would be revealed, or that we'd even see a little more of her, since apparently Hollis Templeton and Nathan Navarro could both see her. I also hoped Emma and Jessie would have been able to reconnect, but maybe, in a way, they did. It would have been nice also to learn a little more about Dan and his rose tattoo and why he was so twisted and evil (if there was a reason at all).
I also wished there had been a little more with Nellie, since she seemed like an interesting character, not the sort of throwaway that I initially thought of her, just being another casual lover to apparently-still-a-stud-well-into-his-adulthood Victor. It would have been nice to see her investigative journalistic skills in action, rather than just hearing about it much later that she talked to people or had info faxed to her.
Other than a sufficient lack of closure, I wasn't really fond of the author's choice of telling things too often rather than showing them. For a good example—Jessie's sudden death. We get that in one sentence from Emma's perspective, merely telling Nathan (and the audience) that Jessie is dead. Reading it, I had a lot of "WAIT, WHAT??" moments, even skipping ahead to confirm that Jessie was indeed dead. The only other thing that bothered me was the cliche of female victims, even strong women. Carol Preston, and later, Jessie Rayburn, were both women who seemed to know how to take care of themselves. Yet, they were overpowered easily and apparently psychologically tortured before being physically tortured, and then just offed. And then there was Nellie at the end, almost attacked and killed, but is rescued by Nathan. There were also references to Hollis, a petite, frail looking woman (also a SCU agent), confronting killers by herself, but without meaning to.
I don't know what it is with these types of series that always make women, and seemingly only women, out of to be victims, even the strongest women who are FBI agents or such. It's gross and sexist. Men are villains or heroes, but only women are victims.
Anyway, I think I may try another book in this series, just for the idea that is sort of unique—harnessing psychics to be private investigators and FBI agents for the "special" kinds of crimes that require a special kind of investigative style.
Excellent read, well-written, beautiful prose with a highly detailed plot and realistic, human, fascinating characters. I loved delving further and fu...moreExcellent read, well-written, beautiful prose with a highly detailed plot and realistic, human, fascinating characters. I loved delving further and further into these characters' lives and relationships, as well as watching each separate subplot dovetail the closer to the end of the novel I went. I was also pleased with the spare amount of romance in the story—just enough for a tease without becoming some full-blown Harlequin romance (always appreciated). Looking forward to reading the next book in the series. (less)
Le sigh. I hesitate to put this on my "disliked books" shelf, but I just couldn't get into the story. I read about 72 pages and was just sort of bored...moreLe sigh. I hesitate to put this on my "disliked books" shelf, but I just couldn't get into the story. I read about 72 pages and was just sort of bored. I sort of wanted to continue because I haven't ever read Raymond Chandler before or the "noir style" type of writing and I wanted to give both a good chance, but maybe this just wasn't the right book of Chandler's to start with. The strange part is that I sort enjoyed the quirky-ish writing style of the noir, but I also felt like I'd rather watch a noir film than read a noir book. (I was reminded of a time I turned on TCM in the middle of the night when they were showing "The Lady In The Lake" and the character of Phillip Marlowe was being played by the camera—so the audience saw from this odd first person POV literally, and it was a little too much for me to take. On a similar note, I couldn't stop thinking about an episode of Castle that I love called "The Blue Butterfly" that is done in the noir film style which kept throwing my contraction of this novel's plot off.)
I think I will try another Raymond Chandler novel, maybe "The Big Sleep" and give the noir style another chance. (less)
**spoiler alert** I stopped reading this at 100 pages and decided to skim the rest in case there was anything good to come. (There wasn't.) By page 10...more**spoiler alert** I stopped reading this at 100 pages and decided to skim the rest in case there was anything good to come. (There wasn't.) By page 100, I was sick of the bad characterization and the constant use of ellipses. (Where in the hell was this "author's" editor? Asleep at the printing press, or the computer screen, apparently.) At page 100, I realized that the "author" didn't know the characters at all. I guess, writing this "novelized fanfiction" stuff might be a "hard sell", especially when it comes to us loyal fans who have been getting to know the characters since day one, episode one. Loyal fans KNOW when a characters is acting out of character. (Sometimes, it's just better to go with actual fanfiction, if you can find any that's more attuned to the show's version of characters.)
As it was, I had a hard enough time focusing on the prologue, which is set in 18-something in the time of Napoleon Bonaparte and a German Grimm named Kessler (where Nick can apparently trace his line), but I kept with it, thinking that it was good to have some background (which we don't really get on the show except via the books kept by Nick's Grimm ancestors). It was okay, it introduced the use of the Coins and Kessler's apparently awful mercy of letting the son of Denswoz, a Wesen (can't recall what kind) live—because this son vowed revenge on all Grimms—after killing the father.
Cut to the present. Or rather, an alternate reality Portland, where Nick is some "super Grimm" who has "magical powers" that are never stated or explored on the show, where he can "sense" when an ordinary looking person is actually Wesen, and "goes red" with that "Grimm instinct" to kill all of any kind of Wesen. (These are quotes or paraphrased quotes from the book.) Not to mention, he's also some rabid borderline serial killer, inventing police related emergencies so he can explore underground tunnels and randomly kill Wesen who might happen to attack. This Nick also insists that Monroe, who might happen to be in the underground tunnel with him and Hank, "woge" and put himself in imminent danger and expose himself to a Wesen-only organized crime syndicate known as "The Icy Touch".... (the ellipses are basically ripped straight from the book, either for "dramatic pause" or just the author's lack of passion for the story-telling, I'm not exactly sure).
Then there's Hank, who, at one point, argues viciously and passionately with Renard about letting the FBI in on the secret world of Wesen, so that "they know what they are dealing with" (because "The Icy Touch" organization is all about Wesen-on-Wesen violence and murder, especially when it comes to those coerced Wesen unwilling to help out when asked so politely). The whole time I was reading this section, I noticed that Nick was eerily silent, except for brief protestations at the beginning of the argument that exposing the Wesen world is unwise.
(The plot is set sometime in Season 2/Season 3, pretty much glossing over the fact that Juliette was in a coma and that Hank got his hasty initiation into the world of Wesen. Juliette also apparently "knows" about Wesen, but she and Nick are not back to being a couple; it's implied they are still living apart and not connected MAINLY because of "Nick's lying to Juliette about his 'Grimm powers'" [again, paraphrasing from the ACTUAL PLOT]. Not even to mention that there's an awkward scene between Nick and Juliette at some cafe again glossing over their disconnection, yet mentioning a necklace that Juliette happens to be wearing, a CAT pendent that Nick apparently gave her because of her "SUCCESSFUL OPERATION OF SAVING A CAT". I'm sorry, but I'm absolutely NOT buying this. At the end of Season 1, Juliette is scratched by Adelind's cat and falls into a coma, where she loses all of her memories of Nick. THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL SHE WOULD HAVE A PENDENT OF A CAT, LET ALONE THAT NICK ACTUALLY GAVE IT TO HER.)
Anyway, back to the Hank-Renard argument. It was absolutely insane and way beyond anything that would ever come out of Hank's mouth regarding the Wesen world. Hank, even still in Season Three, defaults to Nick or even Renard when it comes to how to handle anything Wesen—anything he considers unknown. There's a point in the argument when Hank threatens to resign over Renard's decision to keep the FBI "in the dark" over the whole Wesen/woge thing. That would never happen, at least, not at a point when Hank has barely more than found out about the Wesen world. At that point, he's still pretty freaked out himself, and still thinking himself almost "crazy" for believing in it, so how could he do a complete 180 and try to convince others that it's "all real"? Not buying it.
The absolute last straw for me was the point when Monroe flips out over Rosalee's well-being after an offhand comment from Nick. Instead of calling Rosalee on, say, his cellphone, Monroe runs off dramatically and histrionically in his truck (which, in the show, he doesn't drive a truck, he drives a vintage yellow Beetle looking car) to the spice shop to make certain Rosalee hasn't been attacked by The Icy Touch....
After that, I skimmed the book. At some point, after some early cryptic chapter where Monroe is spying on some fatherless family, the teenage daughter of this family is kidnapped by The Icy Touch.... and then, much later on, Nick is suspended pending an IAB investigation for, likely, his underground tunnel killing spree, and ends up at some bar off the beaten path. He's attacked by Wesen from The Icy Touch... and kidnapped and imprisoned and intended to be killed by a direct descendant of Denswoz (the Wesen that Kessler let live all those many years ago) in some ritual.
Well, that doesn't happen. Nick escapes, Hank and Renard find him, and teenage girl and eventually Nick kills more Wesen. And somewhere after that Juliette starts to warm up to Nick for some reason.
Really, it's a god awful read. The writing itself isn't bad but the characterization is so off that it will make any loyal fan sick. Read at your own risk. (less)