Top critical review
A touch of Grimm but not enough
on 10 August 2017
This novel pits Nick and his colleagues/friends against a Wessen Criminal organisation, the Icy Touch of the title. It’s a bit of an excuse to get a lot of different dangerous Wessen previously seen in the programme altogether at once to give Nick and his colleagues a challenge.
However, the charm and spirit of the programme are missing. The writing is also a tad clunky at times with some sloppy grammar. More importantly, the characterisation is a bit off. For the most part, it is a very shallow portrayal of Roselee and Juliette. Whereas, at times, Monroe verges on the unrecognisable and appears to be quite excitable. This might explain why Hank is a tad offish towards him. None of Nick, Hank or Renard are particularly likeable. Furthermore, Sean Renard is often referred to incorrectly as a Hexenbiest rather than a Zauberbiest.
Events seem to be set some time towards the end of the second series, perhaps; but it isn’t particularly clear. Roselee and Monroe are not living together yet and Nick is not living with Juliette again for some reason after they had already separated and got back together. This isn’t really explained.
The Coins of Zakynthos play a prominent role in the story even though there isn’t really an adequate explanation for how they come to be in the hands of the Icy Touch considering what was seen onscreen concerning them by the time this novel was published.
The Royal Families and the Wessen Council are referred to on several occasions but neither of them nor the Resistance really play a role in this story. Around the time this book is set it is still a bit early in the programme for much about these organisations to be revealed. Besides, this novel isn’t much concerned with the overriding storyline. Like most individual episodes of the programme it concentrates on a particular story of its own. However, the novel does instead uses other similar type substitute groups that have not appeared in the programme; the Icy Touch themselves and the Gegengewicht.
There’s a couple of sections in the novel set outside the usual locales of Grimm. These occur in historical periods rather than the modern setting of the programme. One in the Napoleanic Wars, another some years afterwards in London 1843 and another during the Third Reich. They are short, but poignant and some of the better sections. The novel might have benefitted from a bit more of this content.