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Review: Grimm – The Icy Touch / Author: John Shirley / Publisher: Titan / Release Date: Out Now

Tie-in novels can be a double-edged sword. It’s great to read about favourite characters while waiting for the next series or film to be made, but those characters rarely change too much from how they’re portrayed on screen. The events of a novel tend not to have repercussions upon what we see on TV or the cinema, thus limiting what can happen to those involved; you know they won't die on the page, so any sense of jeopardy is therefore lessened.

Fortunately, Grimm: The Icy Touch is a gripping enough tale for none of this to matter. The writing is as strong as expected from noted sci-fi author John Shirley, who has captured the tone and atmosphere of the series perfectly. He’s created a new villain for the novel – a more than suitable adversary for Detective Burkhardt and his friends – who provides genuine threat and concern for all those who oppose him. While the story doesn’t expand the Grimm mythology too much, any creatures and objects are explained in an unobtrusive manner that won’t infuriate die-hard fans, while also appealing to those who are new to this created world.

No one who’s watched an episode of Grimm will be surprised by what they find here – it’s the usual style of investigation complete with strange killings and red herrings – but the book has a greater sense of the strange than the TV show; there’s no budgetary limitations in a novel, so the author is allowed free rein with the type of creatures he can involve in the story. Sometimes, though, it can feel like everything has been thrown in for the sake of it, almost to the point where the reader wonders if there are more Wesen than normal humans. The familiar banter is there, too – especially with Monroe – with conversations sounding just like a script from an episode; all that’s missing is the voices of the actors.

Above all, it’s great fun, a book you can read in a couple of long sittings, each chapter hooking you into continuing with the next. It’s refreshing, exciting, and bodes well for the series.

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