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review 2017-07-10 01:00
Some Thoughts: Driving Heat
Driving Heat - Richard Castle

Driving Heat
by Richard Castle
Book 7 of Nikki Heat



Richard Castle, New York Times mega-bestselling mystery writer and star of ABC's hit primetime show Castle is back.  In the seventh novel of his popular Nikki Heat series, the NYPD's top homicide detective has been promoted to captain just in time to face a thrilling case with a very personal twist.  Captain Heat's fiancé, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jameson Rook, is deep in an investigation. Professionally for Heat, Rook's meddling in the case compromises her new job.  Privately, it becomes an early test of their engagement when Rook becomes a distraction at best, and an obstacle at worst, as their parallel lives not only cross, but collide.

One of the things that bugged me the most about these Nikki Heat books has always been the summary blurbs--they always try so hard to be exclamation point, and "Big Awesome Words!" worthy, that it just sounds super lame.  If the ghost writers for Richard Castle put as much effort into the actual crime thriller story outline and plot as they did being meta about the television series, or making the book out to be like it was written by "New York Times Bestselling Author," the books might be more than just serviceably enjoyable.

Well, make it two things:  I also don't like how over-the-top the writing styles sometimes get.  Too deliberate in making out the main character, Nikki Heat, to seem like a super perfect super detective, and too deliberate in singling her out as the only super perfect super detective who ever does anything right.  It can get annoying pretty quickly.

Driving Heat is another installment of the Nikki Heat series that is decently entertaining, but can get a bit tedious in how long it takes to outline a scene, or a few actions that should ideally only require a few words.  It also doesn't help that I found the characters and their actions all frustrating, as if everyone was deliberately being difficult to each other just to piss each other off.  It made for a lot of unnecessary drama that almost felt childish.

I will give the book props on the insights of Nikki's new development in how much more complicated it is to be promoted to a higher position of power than one would have thought.  Becoming Captain of the precinct brought to light all the banal, menial work that a leader also has to deal with, like little complaints from all the staff, and mountains of paperwork, tedious meetings, signing service contracts with the vending machine company, and very little time for actual crime fighting.  It makes me wonder if Nikki understands how different her role will be now that she's not simply in charge of a small homicide detective squad--it DID get me frustrated each time she would rush off to investigate the murder when what she really needed to be doing was delegating tasks to her team, rather than trying to do everything by herself.

The beginning of the book was not a strong start, and the build up was also a bit lackluster.  The second half of the book, after the entire NYPD's computer network got hacked, was actually a bit more interesting, but only because it does a pretty good job of putting into perspective how much we, as a society, depend on computer technology and the ease of access thanks to internet resources.

I actually found it pretty amusing to see Captain Heat rushing off to the library for some of her sources.

HOWEVER, what didn't make sense to me was why everyone made it seem like they were transported back into the pre-internet age when really only the functioning government organizations had been hacked in New York.  Apparently all personal cell phones, personal internet, non-government computers were still workable.  While understanding that crucial, confidential police investigation evidence and documents couldn't be sent via non-encrypted channels, it seemed a bit extreme that none of our homicide detectives had their own personal laptops or hot spots of which to conduct some of their online researches.

Sure, there was no accessing police network documents, but did Nikki really have to rush off to the library to research some of the information she needed to find?

Anyway, as I'd stated somewhere, this book actually felt like it was a lot longer than it really is.  It even felt like there were more than one story line taking place as the book progressed.  And to be honest, without having much interest in watching anymore of the television series, I don't know if I'll be interested in continuing this book series either.  Driving Heat is entertaining in some aspects, and if you're a fan of the series (television or book), then it will still be right up your alley.

There are continued, and fleeting meta references to the television show, Castle, and even a drop about Firefly and Nathan Fillion every so often.  But if you've grown tired of these things and find them more wearisome than amusing... well, this book won't really do much for you.




Roll #25:
This book is tagged 'thriller' on GR.

Page Count:  336
Cash Award:  +$6.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $153.00













Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/07/some-thoughts-driving-heat.html
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url 2017-05-01 22:08
82 -- yes, EIGHTY-TWO -- new releases in book series tomorrow!
The Gathering Edge (Liaden Universe®) - Sharon Lee,Steve Miller
A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses) - Sarah J. Maas
Cold Reign - Faith Hunter
Pawn: A Chronicle of the Sibyl's War - Timothy Zahn
Darkship Revenge - Sarah A. Hoyt
The Dark Prophecy - Rick Riordan
Alien Education (Alien Novels) - Gini Koch
The Fallen - Eric Van Lustbader
Heat Storm (Nikki Heat) - Richard Castle
Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #2) - Ben Clanton

I included a few at top of this post but see the entire list at https://www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar by clicking on Tuesday, May 2.


Guess gearing up for spring vacations and summer reading?

Source: www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar
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review 2016-05-30 00:00
Heat Wave (Nikki Heat)
Heat Wave (Nikki Heat) - Richard Castle 2.5/5 stars. This book tried too hard to be too many things. Writing was mostly decent (a few eye rolls but not too many), I at least finished it, which is more I can say for one others, haha. But I won't be reading any more of the series.
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review 2015-10-31 23:31
Brief Thoughts: Raging Heat
Raging Heat (Nikki Heat) - Richard Castle

Raging Heat -- Richard Castle

Book 6 of Nikki Heat



Well... more like 3.75 Stars... but I can't only fill in a point or two of the star on the rating thingy.  So I'll just statistically give it that 4 Star rating even if it isn't quite there.

Because I don't really, REALLY love this book, but I DID like it enough to mentally give it a 4 Star rating while I was reading it. But then some other things happened that bugged me a bit and made me think: "The detectives on Castle wouldn't act like that!" or "Detective Beckett would have handled this situation differently!" or some other nonsensical exclamation...

But to be totally honest, if you look at this book in a non-Castle-comparison way, it was a very well written crime thriller. But then it would drop meta-details here and there, with that continuous subliminal message to "Watch Castle the television series on ABC", and I'm back to making my comparisons.

All-in-all, I am actually very pleased with this installment of the Nikki Heat series--it may even be the better written, personally most favorite book of this series to date. I haven't yet read the newest release, Driving Heat, but I am very much hoping for some of the same kind of writing, narration, and story progression.

Raging Heat may not have had as many funny quips as previous installments (which I missed, because I love one-liners and you can't have a meta-fictional Richard Castle as Jameson Rook without those subtle, yet ingenious one-liners of which Jameson Rook actually kind of fails at), but Raging Heat DID have an engaging story plot with a introductory that started with a literal bang. It did not drag out action sequences or simple scenes, it moved smoothly from Point A to Point B without inserting useless side tangents...

Simply put, I am very much pleasantly surprised. And while the meta-references to Castle can get a little tedious, I actually DO like those extremely rare references to Firefly.




This book is a pre-chosen participant in the following Reading Challenge(s):



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review 2015-10-03 22:30
Thoughts: Deadly Heat
Deadly Heat - Richard Castle

Deadly Heat -- Richard Castle

Book 5 of Nikki Heat series



It's not that I didn't like it, per se; however, it's not like I really liked it or anything. To be honest, these past two Nikki Heat novels felt like they were trying way too hard to convince me that they are written by the infamous "New York Times Bestselling author". While it's fine and dandy to parallel the television series, maybe there comes a time when the books should try to feel more like books than advertising devices.

At the very least, there are certain good points I can come up with even if there were more negatives that managed to exasperate me. The humor is still top notch and I appreciate it a lot. The detective team is cohesive and I'm glad they work together as a unit very well--I certainly love seeing the Roach team (the book version of Ryan and Esposito) doing their work and throwing in their quips.

And then there's another random Firefly shout-out that put a grin on my face.

The plot of this book could have been solid if only it didn't spend so much time trying to be big and bad and awesome. And if only it didn't hold an almost jokey, comedic narrative tone that made the seriousness of the situations feel like they were hard to take seriously.

The Story picks right up from Frozen Heat where we left Nikki's mother's murder solved, but not quite resolved. The espionage plot gets more intense as a bigger, more sinister plot begins to come into focus, and a set of Homeland Security agents seem to be doing whatever they can to either undermine or sidetrack Nikki's investigation into the bigger picture of her mother's murder. Mainly, one agent wants her to join their team, the other one wants her to get out of their way--either way, they don't want her investigating this case on her own.

Meanwhile, a serial killer has surfaced picking off random victims who may not be so random after all when Detective Heat and her team find what the connection may be.

And then, on top of that, there's more alpha-detective posturing, secrets coming to light, secrets being kept, betrayals, global repercussions of espionage...

And to be totally honest, the book had it's enjoyable moments and the conclusion actually twisted together (even if it felt a little forced) in a rather clever way. I welcomed the conclusion of this book and this story arc for two reasons: 1) it brought closure to Nikki Heat's mother's murder case and DID manage to tie up loose ends, and 2) I spent the latter half of the book wondering how much longer it would take to get there.

While the Nikki Heat books prove to be rather entertaining, it doesn't escape my notice that, as I stated before, they try way too hard to be "bestselling" material that they end up reading in a rather stilted way. And it also doesn't escape my notice that this book includes only one, singular strong female character... and one competent female side character (for television parallel-sake)... and that's it. There are no other female detectives who can do their job competently (as presented by the fictional Detective Sharon Hinesburg); all the other strong female characters in this book are either evil or bitchy, creating a massive case of girl-on-girl hate, which created for an unnecessarily awkward and tense atmosphere.

And probably for the sole reason of making Nikki Heat seem much more kickbutt and much more awesome than she already is. Except that we don't need to beat down other female characters just to make our super special super cop look awesome since she does so on her own merit anyway.

In the actual television series, Castle, I can count one other female detective who does her job properly and competently without removing the limelight from Detective Kate Beckett. And I can count at least one female FBI agent who may have swooped in on a power play, but ended up getting along really well with Detective Beckett for a common cause--and rather than coming off as "the other woman" or a jealous ex or something else petty like that, we get to see the more common side of her as a mother, a family woman, who happens to have a demanding job in law enforcement who is in a leadership position, no less (which was actually kind of nice, by the way).

Anyway, ranting soap box over...

While this book had its entertaining moments, by the latter half of the story, things felt like they started dragging out. I'm not sure how a book managed to include so much detail, so much forward progress, and so many happenings while still feeling like it took forever to get from point A to point B. I swear, scenes seemed to drag out into forever and one particular scene about Nikki Heat coming upon a murder victim managed to draw out by two pages when one or two paragraphs probably would have sufficed.

I know I shouldn't keep making these comparisons between the book series and the T.V. series, but it's hard not to do. The characters in the book really DON'T do the television series character any justice. Granted, I'm a couple seasons behind in parallel with the book series, so I don't know if things have changed. Hopefully the next book in this series picks up a little bit now that a significant parallel story arc has come to a close.

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