ABC has always done some interesting marketing, and usually if there’s a product to be made from a show they’ll do it, the results however are usually mixed. Take for example Bad Twinby the fictional Gary Troup, a novel meant to be a tie in to Lost (the author was supposedly killed in the crash of flight 815 and in one episode Sawyer can be seen reading the manuscript for the book). That novel crashed and burned as even the producers of the show disowned it. So although it made sense for them to release a book written by a character on a show about a writer, I approached this with trepidation.
I am in fact weary of any sort of television tie-in novel. I think they’re pretty horrible things that mostly have nothing to do with or contain the feel of the source material. They’re just writers who bought some licensing rights and who are borrowing names and characters from an already established universe. They usually suck.
Heat Wave actually has a really interesting premise. It is by the main character of the show “Castle” and is actually a book in the show. It’s the book he writes in the show. So the plot is centered around a loose fictional version of all the characters in the show. The lead in the book is Nikki Heat, who is representing Stana Katic’s character on the show, and she’s being followed around by a journalist called Jameson Rook, representing Nathan Fillion’s character. It’s all sort of meta and if you watch the show it makes more sense (if you don’t watch the show, why not?).
The actual plot of the murder they’re solving in the book isn’t important. What is important is that this book is actually really good. It’s just like an episode of the show and captures all of the characters on the show (albeit with different names) quite well. There’s also stuff you won’t get on the show like steamy sex scenes (well even in the book they’re kinda PG-13 to maybe an R if you push it), between Rook and Heat. I really was amazed at how well this book fit with the series. Not only did it feel like a book the character of Richard Castle would write, but it was actually pretty well written. The only author information available is that it was written by Richard Castle, to the extent that Nathan Fillion went on an in character book tour to promote it, but I applaud whoever actually wrote it. It adds to the show and gives us a look at how this writer is actually perceiving things as the series goes on. I highly recommend it. You can pick up a copy from Amazon: