Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book – Wild Storm

Note: This is part of my ongoing reviews of the Castle television show’s seasons, the books written by “Richard Castle”, and some events related to the show.  For the parent post with links to all of these, please click here.

This is the second real Derrick Storm novel to be published under the author’s name of Richard Castle – the fictional character on the TV show Castle.  When the show opened Richard Castle was the popular author of a series of thrillers that all had the main character of Derrick Storm.  He was just publishing his final Storm book, though.  He had killed off the character since he was bored with him.  He soon got an inspiration for a new character of Nikki Heat, an NYPD detective based on the Detective Beckett character he was working with on the TV show.  During the course of the show we have seen the Castle character write six Nikki Heat novels. 

In the fall of 2013 a new Derrick Storm book was also published – Storm Front.  It was not a graphic novel “adaptation” like the ones done for the first four non-existent Derrick Storm novels.  It was a new story that picks up four years after Richard Castle killed off the character.  It explains how the character is still alive (the CIA faked his death) and then sends him right into the middle of a big problem.

Unlike the Nikki Heat novels it was not a year wait before the next one; Wild Storm came out in the spring of 2014.  My guess is that they are going to keep it staggered this way so that the Nikki Heat novels come out each fall and the Derrick Storm novels come out each spring.

This time around in Wild Storm the problem is that someone is bringing down passenger jets.  The CIA has no idea who or why it is happening.  The novel has an opening worthy of a James Bond film with the jet Derrick Storm is on being one of the ones targeted and how he gets out of that situation.

He obviously lives and so he gets another assignment from his long time CIA boss Jedediah Jones to figure it all out.  And also like a Bond film Storm’s investigation takes him from Panama to the Mediterranean to the Sahara Desert.  He has to deal with a crime lord, a billionaire, and antiquities thieves, among others.

Overall I would consider this a better read than the first real Derrick Storm novel.  Perhaps that’s because I have a little bit of history with the character now, perhaps it’s because they amped up the action, or perhaps it’s that it seems to be consciously more cinematic in presentation.

Like the Nikki Heat books, the author of this novel remains a mystery.  The actual writer is speculated to be one of the real authors who have appeared on the show (i.e. Michael Connelly, James Patterson) or one of the show’s creators (i.e. Andrew Marlowe).  It’s also possible, even likely, that they tapped a second writer for the Derrick Storm novels.  The style of the writing in this book is similar enough to the Nikki Heat novels to not be jarringly obvious that it is not the same author, which helps maintain the fiction of Richard Castle.

Like the Nikki Heat books Wild Storm has some fun references for people, including ones that are outside both book and show.  The dedication of this book will be recognized by anyone who watches the TV show, and is very fitting for a globe-trotting spy.  The Derrick Storm novels do differ from the Nikki Heat ones in that there is no Acknowledgements section thanking the people involved with the show.  I suppose this makes sense since Derrick Storm is not based on any of those characters. 

I can’t swear that if you like the Nikki Heat books that you’ll like this one, too, but there is some similarity in that you can pick out “influences” on the story from events that occurred on the TV show.  I’d suggest you give this a try and see if you like it.  And if you liked the first real Derrick Storm novel Storm Front then you should definitely check out Wild Storm.

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