Book Review: The Fix   

Burn Notice: The FixBook: Burn Notice: The Fix
Author: Tod Goldberg

Alas, there’s no new Burn Notice tonight. What’s a girl to do when she needs her weekly fix of Michael Westen?! Well, how about reading The Fix, the new Burn Notice novel?

I’ve never really hidden the fact that I’m not really into fan fiction. And, yes, I know that didn’t stop me from reading my fair share or even writing some when I was obsessed with Veronica Mars and couldn’t get those characters out of my head. Still, I just don’t get into anything that deviates from canon. That’s not a dig on fanfic writers, it’s just a personal preference. I’m only interested in the story that the creators are unfolding for me and, more and more, I realize I almost always prefer characters to be presented in the format in which I first encountered them. It’s the same reason I don’t get very excited when a favorite book is being turned into a movie. (Though, ironically, I can sometimes visualize book series as TV shows.)

But I’m getting sidetracked. The point here is that I’ve never been tempted by TV show novels. Even though they are typically acknowledged and have the blessing of the show creators, they still can’t be considered canon and I don’t like to commit that amount of time to a story that I’m then going to have to forget happened when watching the show.

So imagine my surprise when I walked by the Burn Notice book in B&N the other day and I actually stopped to pick it up. It’s that damn publicity photo of Michael and Fiona. I’m powerless to resist it! That and my curiosity. I cracked it up figuring I’d just check out the first couple of pages, see how it compared to the show…

Ten minutes later I was debating adding it to my already insane pile of books. I didn’t, for the record. Decided that if the story really stuck with me, I’d remember it and pick it up during my next trip to the store. Of course, the caveat here being that I am in the freaking bookstore every other day. It’s not like I was going to be forced to remember it for very long. But I did. The next time I stopped in, it was the reason.

Now that I’ve read it, I can say that it was quite satisfying. I probably should have held it so that it could have filled the Burn Notice void during these next three weeks but I know myself and I wouldn’t have been able to wait. Plus, I zoomed through it in about two and a half hours. Not sure I could have forced myself to draw it out any longer than that.

Tod Goldberg does a great job of capturing Michael’s voice and, since the voice-overs on the show give us a sense of experiencing things through Michael’s POV anyway, having the story here told that way worked well. Another reason his ability to capture Michael was so important. Fans of the show wouldn’t have made it past the first chapter if he’d had it wrong.

Tod also managed to do what the writers are doing so well this season, weave the burn notice story in and around the victim of the week story. Michael gets himself into a pretty tight spot in the book but his solution both ridiculous and believable at the same time. That doesn’t sound like a compliment but, trust me, it is. The story works not only because you can picture each thing as it’s happening but also because you want to see it. I suspect what makes books feature TV show characters a success is when you put it down and wish you had it on DVD so you could watch it all play out on screen.

The story takes place roughly sometime before the end of last season since it’s clear Michael is not yet having his strings pulled by Carla but we get service to many of the events throughout season one. The characters here, and all of our usual crew is present, are not existing inside a bubble in this book. Nothing they do here conflicts with what we’ve seen in season two either so there’s no leaps of logic to be made to buy into what happens. All of the secondary characters here are fleshed out well and with purpose so there’s no one to unduly take the focus off our favorites. Oh, and there’s some steamy Fi and Michael stuff. Not that steamy but just enough (and more than we typically get in the show) to make shippers happy.

Really, the only downside of the book for me is there’s a lot more back-story than we’ve ever gotten in the show itself. Err, it wasn’t bad or anything. It’s just, well, like I said, I’m going to have to forget it all now and that’s going to be hard to do… because I bought it. I bought that these things could have happened and it’s possible that the Michael in the book will mesh with the Michael in the show but it doesn’t have to so I don’t want to start mixing the two and getting confused later if there are conflicts.

But, even so, I don’t regret reading the book. It was a fun, action-packed episode of Burn Notice albeit in a book format. If you’re a fan and you enjoy reading, I’d recommend checking it out.

4 Responses to “Book Review: The Fix”

  1. 1

    It seems you were able to ramble about a book quite nicely, albeit one related to TV.

  2. 2
    Rae says:

    Touche! Maybe I should start rambling about all the others too. ;)

  3. 3

    [...] Rae’s spent the summer with her nose buried in a book and it’s finally paying off for us with her review of the Burn Notice novel “The Fix.” (RTVW Online) [...]

  4. 4

    [...] Rae’s spent the summer with her nose buried in a book and it’s finally paying off for us with her review of the Burn Notice novel “The Fix.” (RTVW Online) [...]