One of the most popular themes in media at the moment seems to be “Fairy Tales interpreted in a modern or edgy new way.” There’s of course nothing wrong with such a trend, re-interpretations are a good way to appreciate concepts again in a different way. However, it does seem to run a bit thin when everyone and their grandmother is doing it, and the entire experience gets rather more corporate and by the numbers. On the chopping block today is the first novel adaptation of the television series Grimm, which will by this stage have to do quite a lot to make me interested in it at all. Let’s see what it manages to do.
The setting is that, in a world much like ours, creatures known as Wesen, similar to figures from folklore and myth, live alongside ordinary humans, hiding under glamour spells of protection. They interact with special humans appointed as Grimms, who are born with the power to see through these disguises and see them for what they really are, and who act as protectors; judges and arbiters of justice when Wesen are persecuted or when they act against humanity. Homicide detective Nick Burkhardt is one such Grimm, recently awakened to his powers, who fights crime as a regular cop and also against Wesen with his partner, Hank Griffon. The specific focus of this book features the duo interacting against a nefarious organization known as the Icy Touch, who is blackmailing Wesen into joining their illegal activities. Along the way, as one might expect in such a case, more, ancient secrets are threatened to be revealed.
This novel exists in a weird state. In one sense, it places itself properly into the shows continuity, and makes an effort to be involved with it for the reader. It also is somewhat hard to read if one is not involved with the series, as personalities and facts are often assumed to be known by the reader already. And then, at the same time, it appears as though the author is not actually that familiar with the details of the show, as many personalities and responses and facts are incorrectly stated or explored. So, if one were to make a novel related to the show, with the aim being to serve as enjoyment for fans, then surely it would be expected to make sure fans could enjoy it? And if it is intended for newcomers, why is it so hard to get involved without feeling like an outsider?
This book seems somewhat cheaply produced, in terms of plot, and seems fit to satisfy only hardcore fans who simply can’t get enough of Grimm. I really don’t see it being in any way better than the show, for those who want to get involved in this franchise. With generic writing, lackluster plot and poor characterization, it isn’t even a good book on its own.