I'm never sure I should even be bothering to read "TV tie-in" novels, or stuff of that sort. I feel like I'm slumming; I feel like anything else I could pick to read would be a more significant and worthwhile choice; I feel like the book can't even accomplish something significant even within the context of the TV show, because the TV show is where the main developments will always be, and the novels must only be fluff and filler to get money from fans. now of course I read over 250 Doctor Who novels that seems to flout the concept of worrying about this kind of thing--but that show was off the air 1990-2004, and the novels essentially became the TV show; they could do anything. short of regenerating the Doctor. the Doctor's home planet got destroyed in one of the novels, and that even fed into the show's 2005 revival, as if the TV producers and writers knew a great bit of backstory when they saw it provided for them.
I kept seeing this Fringe novel at a bookstore I travel a bit of distance to, but it isn't the one with Anna Torv on the cover--very frustrating that that one wasn't right next to The Zodiac Paradox with Walter/John Noble on the cover--so I kept rejecting it as necessary reading. then it was gone, and I regretted not getting it, and I figured it would not be re-stocked. then it was back! so, finally, I bought Fringe: The Zodiac Paradox, and ordered Fringe: The Burning Man (Anna's face on cover!) to be delivered to me.
now I'm 103 pages in to this pre-supposed "time-wasting bit of junky filler"..and I am on cloud nine! such a thrill to be hanging out with some of these characters, and to have the premise be that the Zodiac killer of the late 1960s came over from the Parallel Reality featured within the Fringe format (the show started out as a bit of an X-Files clone, but found its soul with the development of a Parallel Earth storyline that led to many of the actors getting to play two different versions of themselves...or maybe playing a character who was dead, or got killed, in one Reality but lived on in the other Reality; and of course the two Earths featured have portals for jumping through, they are two Parallel Earths that are both in danger thanks something Walter did when he was a young, reckless scientist struck by a family tragedy...and I'll leave it at that). I'm overjoyed at the author's handling of the Walter character, when he was younger, plus his pal William Bell (Leonard Nimoy), though I do give myself a bit of credit for letting the pages combine with my memory of Walter/John Noble to see and hear him perfectly in my head as this hunt for a serial killer from the alternate universe unfolds. makes me want to read a True Crime book about the Zodiac Killer, too; meanwhile, a great idea for an exciting Fringe tale that adds to Walter's backstory.
so my crush on Olivia Dunham (our world version AND more playful but slightly less trustworthy alternate Earth version!)/Anna Torv will be as alive and well as ever, when Book 2 gets here. meanwhile, that next book is gonna have to work hard to match this book, in all other departments (I do wish Olivia appeared in Book 1...aw well, not likely or all that possible, I guess...although...it is Fringe, after all, anything's possible...!).