Grimm: The Killing Time by Tim Waggoner
Published by Titan Books on September 2014. Paperback of 262 pages at $7.99.
The cover: The photo used of David Giuntoli as Nick is the main promotional photo used to promote the third season of the series, though the axe he’s holding has been replaced with the title of the novel and a photo of an abandoned house’s interior. This setting is nowhere in the novel, but it sets the right tone for the gothic feel of this book. Nick looks intense and the soft rose background makes him seem like he’s steaming. There’s no credit given for who composed this cover, but credit is given to Universal Network Television LLC and Dreamstone for the images. Overall grade: A
The premise: From the back cover, “A mysterious creature stalks the streets of Portland, looking for a new identity. With one touch it can dissolve its victim, assuming their appearance, personality, and memories. When homicide detectives Nick Burkhardt and Hank Griffin are called in to investigate a bizarre murder, Nick comes face to face with the changeling, but its powers have an unexpected effect on the Grimm, unleashing a deadly Wesen plague and untold chaos.” I’m liking that there will be a changeling in this story, as that’s a creature that’s found in old fairy tales. Such a creature has never been shown in an episode of the series, so this will also be something new for veteran fans. I’m also liking the idea of a Wesen plague. There was a “zombie” Nick storyline last season, so a plague among the Wesen should be interesting. This sounds like it could be fun. Overall grade: A
The characters: Nick Burkhardt is a Portland police detective and a Grimm, a super-human that can see “cloaked” Wesen. In this book Nick’s conflict is to have the Wesens of Portland still trust him, even after the changeling has taken his appearance and some of his abilities. He’s built up trust with some of this community and he doesn’t want to lose it. Getting more character moments is his fiancée Juliette Silverton. She has a really nice scene when she’s confronted by the villain and she has to play it cool. I was also happy to see her getting a scene where she has to use some of her medical skills to help patch up some characters. Monroe and Rosalee are in her shop trying to find the cure for the Wesen plague. They have some nice scenes together where they aren’t getting along, and one scene where they’re really getting along. As always, Monroe has some funny lines. Captain Renard is suffering from the plague as well, and how it hits him is very neat. His interactions with the other leads were really well done. Poor Hank doesn’t get much to do, as he disappears to the background, and Wu pops up once or twice. The villain of the piece is really cool, feeling very different having partially absorbed a Grimm. How the Wesen reacts to others and thinks is the highpoint of the book. This is probably the most well written antagonist in the series’ history, even with those that have appeared on the show. Overall grade: A
The settings: Portland, Oregon, between the episodes “A Dish Best Served Cold” and “One Night Stand.” If readers aren’t familiar with those episodes they can still enjoy the novel. A bar, the police station, Nick and Juliette’s house, Rosalee’s shop, several street locations, and a key landmark in Portland are places the book goes to and all are described well and suit the action and the story. Overall grade: A
The action: This book, the third so far in the franchise, has the most constant action because the antagonist is loose and is mentally unstable. One never knows if this character is going to kill a character or allow them to live. This created a nice tension and also kept the characters on their toes. The book opens with Nick involved with stopping two drunk Wesen at a bar and it was a lot of fun. It was a good way to show his powers before they get sapped and to have an exciting beginning. The ending of the book was great with the villain and Nick having it out, with the solution to the fight being an excellent surprise. Overall grade: A+
The conclusion: Very well done. It’s always interesting to me to see what the weakness is for each Wesen and I did not even suspect this individual’s fatal flaw, but once revealed it was obvious. I’m happy to have authors do this with their books. The final page was the perfect coda. Overall grade: A+
The final line: This book started strong and continued to be so with each page. I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. Fans of the series will enjoy it for all the action and new readers could drop right in without missing a beat. Recommended. Overall grade: A
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.