Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Naked Heat by Richard Castle

If a sequel is better than the original, does that guarantee it gets a better rating than the original?

Why I do this to myself I have no idea. I read something bad and at the first opportunity to read more of it, I pounce. The sequel to Heat Wave, Naked Heat, is the book Richard Castle ostensibly wrote during the second season of Castle and once again it reads like an episode of the show, rather than a story the character himself would write. It's far less egregious this time, but characters continue to be direct copies of their show counterparts, sexual tension between the detective and the writer who follows her continues to be central to most character-focused interaction.

One problem with this is that during the 2nd season, Castle was intensely jealous of a rival for Beckett's affection, and it was even mentioned Nikki Heat got a boyfriend that Castle was toying around with killing before the end. This character never appears in the book. Also, the last half of the book was supposedly finished while Castle was sleeping with his publisher, but the publisher's character in the book wasn't portrayed flatteringly and mostly Castle wrote Rook just wanting to avoid her. Considering his relationship with that character, he wouldn't have written that character that way, I don't think.

The characters have a few things to say and do that aren't in the TV show, and the mystery itself is much more interesting and intelligently plotted than Heat Wave's was. However, in the end, it's not a new, unique experience that makes use of the medium and reflects the character of the writer. It's just an episode of the show in book form, but at least this one was an okay episode.

I waffled a lot about my star rating for this book. On the one hand, it is better written and more interesting than its predecessor, which earned its 1 star pretty hard. On the other, I still wouldn't recommend it except to fans of the TV show who have already seen the whole show and still want more. I guess I give it three stars for people who are already fans of the show, one star for people who actually just want to read a mystery thriller.

1 comment:

  1. Sad that the books suck... but it doesn't surprise me. I don't have high expectations for things like that. I do love the TV show, though... the most recent episode was excellent!


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