BOOK REVIEW: GRIMM – THE KILLING TIME / AUTHOR: TIM WAGGONER / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The Killing Time is the third of Titan’s Grimm series of tie-in novels and has two tough acts to follow. This time, author Tim Waggoner is given the Grimm world to play with, and his story is startling. There’s a new monster in town, one that can dissolve a victim with a single touch while stealing their appearance, personality and memories. When Nick Burkhardt comes into contact with this changeling, it turns his world upside down, as well as having serious ramifications for Portland’s Wesen population.
Despite the scale of the story, it gets off to a shaky start; an introduction to the monster-of-the-week is followed by a scene showing Nick in action, kicking Wesen ass, but kind of being nice about it, too. It all feels very formulaic, and there’s a concerning amount of description regarding what people wear, enough to stall the action at times. An investigation into the initial murder follows, then the doppelganger assumes a new form and is on the loose, after which it takes far too many pages for the detectives to figure who out this new identity could be.
Then something else is introduced to the story in the form of a deadly Wesen plague, and the story suddenly reaches epic proportions. The pages turn by in what becomes an enjoyable romp, yet one that also gets right into the heads of its characters, especially Nick and – perhaps even more so – the creature itself. All the usual supporting cast are present to fulfil their roles; if this was an episode of the TV series, you’d be wondering if they’re all going to survive.
It’s this that makes the book’s story its weakness as well as its strength. Such is the scale of it, it could have been a superb addition to the TV series, a mid-season or end of series double episode cliff-hanger that would have left the viewer desperate to know its conclusion. Sadly, knowing exactly which TV episodes the story sits between means we also know everything is going to be ok at the end. It’s a real shame, as this could have been a game-changer.
Still, The Killing Time is, like its predecessors, a worthy addition to the Grimm mythology. Despite initial misgivings, Waggoner’s writing is well-paced, thrilling, exciting, and amusing when it needs to be, and he’s captured the essence of the show and the spirit of its characters incredibly well.
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