Review by C.J. Bunce
One of the best marketing efforts for a new television series must be the elaborate display a few years ago at Tin Fish across from San Diego Comic-Con advertising NBC’s Grimm, including the trailer that once belonged to main character Nick Burkhart’s Aunt Marie. Along with an arsenal of medieval weaponry to fend off bad Wesen of any variety was a book full of the writings, descriptions and notes taken by Nick’s ancestors about identifying the various creatures of the Grimm universe. Like something out of Mr. Giles’ library, the big Book of Shadows in the attic of the Charmed Ones, or Laura Palmer’s diary, the Book of Lore is a guidebook for the series’ lead, a writer’s device to allow him to sleuth through the detective story of each episode. In last night’s episode of Grimm, Nick finally began adding his own notes to the book.
An in-universe version of that book is now available so TV viewers can play along with Nick as they watch the series. Grimm – Aunt Marie’s Book of Lore won’t allow you to figure out what’s going in in every new episode, but it will allow you to quickly recall why you’ve heard of a Hundjager or Ziegevolk before.
Surprisingly, unlike many in-universe books, the Book of Lore can be useful, depending on the episode. In last week’s episode you could track back for reference material throughout the episode. The only problem is that it doesn’t keep up with new Wesen introduced in the series, or even Grausen, as was introduced this week. No one really wants spoilers, so that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The book also never breaks the “fourth wall,” so unless you have an obsessive memory about the series, it won’t help you cross-reference Wesen to their individual appearances in specific episodes.
The Book of Lore includes sketches in the style of Marie’s artwork in the TV version of the book, as well as handwritten notations. Written primarily in German, with some Spanish and Japanese, translations in English help those of us who aren’t multi-lingual. Photos are also included throughout the books, some dark, some ghoulish, some outright gross. A glossary includes quick references to species included, and not included, in the book.
The format of the Book of Lore is well done–designed like a leather journal, it’s an over-sized trade paperback format book that gives the reader the feel of the “real thing”. It’s a fun companion for diehard fans of the series.