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Grimm: The Chopping Block Mass Market Paperback – February 18, 2014
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"The Chopping Block is a good edition to the Grimm canon, and Passarella expands upon the television show." - The Moon is a Dead World
"A gripping and fast-paced read that never flags or lolls unnecessarily. It's the kind of book you can pick up and get lost in, finishing in the wee hours without meaning to." - Horror Talk
"The horror scenes are something out of a Stanley Kubrick movie." - Borg.com
"John Passarella clearly knows how to weave a tense thriller that’s appealing to both fans of the show and to new readers alike. The story is a great read with plenty of action and great dialogue. Passarella keeps you guessing as the plot unfolds, and there’s plenty of blood and carnage to go with all the suspense." - Ravenous Monster
"An entertaining read for Grimm fans." - City of Films
"If you love Grimm, you’ll want to pick up The Chopping Block. It’ll give you some extra time with the characters and universe you know and love, and it’s just a great book!" - Three If By Space
About the Author
John Passarella is the Bram Stoker Award-Winning author of Wither, Wither’s Rain, Wither’s Legacy, Kindred Spirit, Shimmer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Ghoul Trouble, Angel: Avatar and Angel: Monolith. He owns AuthorPromo.com, a web design company with New York Times bestselling clients, and resides in New Jersey. Night Terror was his first Supernatural novel.
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Don't let that scare you off, though. John Passarella is the master of tie-ins!
However, someone who never heard of the TV series and read this would be a little more than confused with the vague explanations. Some random people who only get a few paragraphs receive more physical descriptions than the Wesen who take up the plot. For example, Monroe, as one of the main characters, never has his Wesen form really described other than "Veggie Wolf." As a series watcher, that is all I need. As a new person, I would be scratching my head. And that is just with Monroe, not to mention Rosalee, Bud, or any of the other Wesen in this story. Only one was really described, and he was never mentioned after his little side plot in the beginning. Another thing I had a problem was Juliette. Her story with the yellow lab was unneeded as it did not help the grand plot whatsoever. Nor was it interesting.
That being said, I suggest future readers watch the TV series up until the end of the second season before reading this. They would get a lot more enjoyment out of this book.
Hank and Nick are well-written and in line with what we expect from watching the show. While we didn't get much Rosalee in this book, what there was of her was consistent with the character. The insight into Juliette was nice too, as was the stuff with Monroe. I felt like the arc with the old friend showed just how difficult Monroe's choice to be Wieder Blutbad truly is.
A much better story and characterizations than in the previous attempt, Grimm - The Icy Touch, written by a different author. In all honesty, I'd love it if John Passarella wrote any other tie-ins for this series. That's how good a job he did with this one.
The main storyline (plot A) centers around piles of completely stripped bones turning up in shallow graves around Portland. Initially, Nick isn't sure of a Wesen connection, but he's keeping an open mind. The second storyline (plot B) centers around Monroe running into an old friend from his former lifestyle. The third storyline (plot C) is mainly there for the purpose of giving some insight into Juliette as she deals with her newfound knowledge of Wesen.
All in all, everything ties together quite nicely and the ending, while a bit unexpected, is interesting and sets up potential repercussions down the road.
That being said, the story was told reasonably well. Pieces of the puzzle were introduced gradually and subtly that intrigued me as a reader so that I could make my own guesses about the mystery, while still keep me suspensed. The beginning was a little slow, but I encourage readers to push through the case as Nick does. While collecting evidence (randomly stubling accross it) it seems that the Portland PD detectives have no leads, which discourages the reader as it feels like we are reading useless words that will come to nothing. Sometimes, this is true: the first suspect in Nick's bare bones murder case is just a violent Wesen. However, slowly but surely the reason behind these strange events in Portland begin to unfold.
In this book, Monroe's side story also plays a part in the larger plot involving the police detectives. Highlighting Monroe's remarkeable reformation is again highly fulfilling and interesting to explore. Rosalee's role was disappointing, as she was only present to serve as a listener to Monroe and Juliette's problems. (Her customer was part of the main story, but that was never addressed!! Why not?) She is an influential character who could have been more useful in a story involving Wesen traditions and diets. Also, Juliette's role and side story was conpletely and utterly irrelevent. She's a vet. She saved a dog. By thinking outside the box. Whooppee? Not necessary at all. Not even mentioned in the final chapters. Hearing part of the story from her narrative was seriously uninteresting and meaningless.
On that note, let me explain my number one conplaint about this story. The point of view and narrative. It was constantly changing. It was as if the writer had first written this as a screenplay and then just turned it into a book. Newsflash! This is a different medium. You cannot have a mystery novel set in a supernatural Wesen world and switch perspectives on a dime and expect readers to follow you, much less keep their attention. In a television show, sometimes it is prudent in crime dramas to show the cictims perspective before being attacked. However, you do not do that for every victim, especially in this story where the victims are random and many. The author uses too many perpectives to tell his story. The reader should generally learn about the case as the protagonist, Nick, the Grimm, does, but Pasarella takes us in too many unfamiliar directions. Who is this person? Why am I suddenly following his train of thought? Why does he/she matter? This person has never been introduced before. Why should I care about his life? Why is this relevent?....oh, this person died, guess it doesn't matter anymore...so why have that point of view in the first place?!
Switching narrative voices, especially in the middle of chapters is not a good idea in a novel, especially so many times. Once, maybe twice, to receal the villain or a twist is fine. But Pasarella was excessive, as if he was picturing this being turned into a visual story on screen. The beginning where two civilians discover bare bones buried is okay because it is an interesting pull and first exposure to the story. However, be prepared to be a bit confused if you read this novel.
As far as the plot, very fascinating progressions, exploring the very nature of Wesen and this world. Old traditions in this modern era exist, but are not overly analyzed ans discussed as they were in the previous book. The secret society that Nick uncovers is horrific and creates a nice atmosphere of urgency and fear. This part was admitedly enjoyable.
One last criticism: did the timing of this case really have to be in the middle of the Cratcher Mortel- zombie storyline? Isn't that enough for the Portland PD to handle at one time?
Fascinating story with likeable and familiar characters. Some parts are irrelevent and lead you in a confusing direction, but the twists and the action at the end may be worth the ride.