Disclaimer: I am friends with the author; however, I purchased this ebook for the full price.
I’ve known for a while that one of my favorite authors had written a media tie-in novel for one of my absolute favorite television shows, and now I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to read it. Fans of Leverage will thoroughly enjoy this adventure. The story expands upon what was probably possible with the show’s budget by featuring travel to distant locales and, as evident by the title, extraordinary animals. At its heart, however, it contains all the elements that made every episode of Leverage entertaining and unique.
DeCandido captures the (at times, multiple) voices of each Leverage hero perfectly, both narratively and in terms of the characters they slip into for a job. The sheer number of other callouts to familiar show elements verges on unnecessary, but by the end of the story, everything ties off perfectly. But honestly, I’ll never complain about something that involves my favorite TV almost-villain, and DeCandido is quite aware of what he’s doing based on an interaction between Nate and Hardison toward the end of the book.
Also, DeCandido solidifies character interactions often left undefined onscreen, such as the exact nature of the relationship between Nate and Sophie. I’m genuinely shocked that this passed editorial review, but it’s pretty awesome that it did.
Overall, a solid, action-packed adventure that is a light, entertaining read. I would not recommend it to fans of the show as a place to first launch into this fandom, but if you like heists, amazing characters, and solid storytelling, definitely check out the show. And then pick up this book to read afterward.
Finally, I must acknowledge DeCandido slips in the perfect number of Doctor Who references. Age of the geek, baby.