Monday, September 19, 2011
My Summer Book Report: Supernatural Edition
The “Hellatus” between seasons 6 and 7 of Supernatural got to be a bit too much for me to handle this summer so I decided to fill as much time as I could scarfing up any and all Winchester bits I could get my hands on, including a few of the Supernatural novels. Something important to know about these books is that you DO need to be pretty familiar with the show before reading but you DO NOT need to be familiar with any of the other novels released before or after the one you’re about to indulge in. You also DO NOT need to read the books to keep up with the show. They are simply previously unseen adventures that, for the most part, fit neatly between already aired episodes (also, the covers are very pretty to look at). A lot of you Supernatural fans may have already read every one of these novels and formed your own opinions (which I’d LOVE to hear! Please share!) but for those of you still thinking about giving them a try, here are a few of my (spoiler free) thoughts on a few that I’ve read.
Title: Coyote’s Kiss
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Timeline: Events of this novel take place between “Caged Heat” (6x10) and “Appointment in Sumara” (6x11)
Coyote’s Kiss is one of the latest of the Supernatural novels and also the first that I picked up. I was both anxious and apprehensive about diving in. Dean and a Souless Sam take on a case involving a monster they’ve never ganked (which fits right in with the rest of season 6) and a brand of hunter they’ve never experienced who leads them deep into Mexico with the goal of saving the world. Again. My strongest hope was that it wouldn’t venture too far off episode canon or too far away from the characters' voices. Some people watch Supernatural for the action, some for the eye candy, but I watch because I’ve fallen in love with who the Winchesters are. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. I imagine Souless Sam isn’t an easy character to write but he seemed pretty on point here. Not perfect by any means but I have few complaints. However, there were instances where I thought to myself, “Dean would NEVER say anything like that.” Mostly “chick flick” moments (come on. We all know Dean Winchester isn’t the touchy feel your feelings kind of butt kicker) but it didn’t happen often enough for me to throw the book out the window. For the most part I could clearly hear Jensen Ackles’ voice as if he himself were delivering Dean’s lines in a scene. The mythology was a little sloppy and confusing but engrossing overall. In the end I was able to over look the snags and really enjoy the ride.
Final grade: B-
Title: One Year Gone
Author: Rebecca Dessertine
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Timeline: Events of this novel take place between “Swan Song” (5x22) and “Exile on Main Street” (6x01)
I was especially excited to read this novel after reading the foreword by the Supernatural god himself, Eric Kripke as the book was written by his assistant. I wonder if Eric ever read the final book. Warning: I’m gonna get a little knit picky here. The individual(s) who edited this book need to be fired. There were countless wording, spelling and grammatical errors that just ripped me right out of the story time after time. The other issue, which not many others would ever have, is that it takes place in Salem. Where I live. Just a tiny bit of research or one glance at Google Maps would have saved me from so much aggravation. To give some credit, this was written to be a case that Dean and Souless Sam take on during the year they’re apart so they never actually have any interaction. Since the story of the Winchesters is all about their relationship, this tale would be next to impossible to tell for anyone. I do however want to point out that even without technical errors or difficult story lines, this book still would have probably made me mad. There was an incident on a pirate ship that was really fun to read and Souless Sam was detached, cold, & a bit scary. In other words: perfect. But Dean? Oh man. Aside from a few quiet moments where he mourned the loss of his brother, it was not even close. And the bits of his relationship with Lisa covered here were also pretty unbelievable. Not gonna lie. I wasn’t sad when it was over.
Final grade: D
Title: War of the Sons
Author: Rebecca Dessertine & David Reed
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Timeline: Events of this novel take place between “My Bloody Valentine” (5x14) and “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” (5x15)
After reading One Year Gone I was a little nervous about taking on another of the Supernatural novels but my thirst for Winchester proved to be too much to resist. I worried for naught. War of the Sons was fun from the start. Their adventure took them to a time and place I’d never have guessed I’d love. Sam and Dean go on a mission to avert the apocalypse and, low and behold, find a bit of trouble along the way. What was great about it though was the character loyalty. The brother to brother dialogue was written true to voice as were their inner thoughts. Dean was actually very funny. Which at first I had a problem with considering how “My Bloody Valentine” left off. But once I thought about it, that’s how Dean is. He’s a survivor. He’ll allow himself a breakdown now and again and then it’s time to move on. He’s good at tucking bits of his misery away and getting on with the job. The pace, mythology and quick wit had me waiting on pins & needles when I had to be away from the book. A great way to fill the space before September 23rd.
Final grade: A