Supernatural’s back already?
Dang, I thought I’d have another week or two. And I was actually around to watch it! 😦
Let me be honest: I was prepared to hate this book. It has every SIGN of not just being one of the worst Supernatural books, but one of the worst I’ve ever read. Let’s look at the back of the book blurb.
When a truck full of illegal Mexican immigrants is found by the side of the road, the occupants slaughtered with violent and unnatural force…
Real big, hot button political issue? Warning: high chance of anvilicious preaching.
Guided by the tattooed, pistol-packing bandita on a motorcycle, Xochi Cazadora, the brothers…
Mary Sue signals? We’re at narrative Defcon 2!
And the historian’s note?
This novel takes place during season six, between “Caged Heat” and “Appointment in Samara.”
Following right after one of the WORST episodes the show ever had?
There’s just no possible way for this novel to be any good.
Hmmm… Rarely am I so glad to be wrong.
If you’ve read just about any other entry on this blog, you’ve seen how I generally despise politics, that I want to get AWAY from it in my narrative enjoyment. This story doesn’t address it, illegal immigration is just a bit of a backdrop, a prop, a fact that is mentioned in the story, there is no comment on it beyond that. What’s the author’s opinion on the issue? I couldn’t tell you. Yes if you’re a heavily political minded person you might be able to tease and torture out a political message of this book (heck, the monster is a “borderwalker”, but we’re not talking nation borders…) but you’d have to go a bit out of your way to do so and it speaks more about you than this story or its author.
So ix Xochi a Mary Sue? She is a female Dean. And I’m not really making that up either. Here’s a passage:
“No,” she said. “No one. I mean, I tried but…” she shrugged again. “I was a terrible wife too.”
“You know,” she said. “Things don’t always work out.”
Dean didn’t say anything. He could sense she wanted to say more. He waited.
“I tried to walk away.. to be a normal person.” She looked down at her scarred hands. “But this life. Hunting. It’s the only thing I’m really good at.”
But that’s the only moment that really pushes the blatant copying. So you have to ask yourself: Is Dean Winchester a Marty Stu? Eh… I can see a legitimate argument for that as even I can admit he really rides that line at times (especially with the angel revelation in seasons 4 & 5). So if you’re not that a big of a fan of Dean, keep in mind you’ll be dealing with two of them (even if one is eye candy for the guys). Also the author appears to actually put effort into the chemistry between Dean & Xochi instead of just throwing together a new ‘ship’. Heck, I almost wonder if she’s read something else I’ve written…
Lorewise, I did appreciate this book hinting that SPN could do a dozen spin-off shows of hunters across lands and cultures (possibly even time). A few lines here and there seem problematic in light of later season 6 revelations, but not insurmountable for the dedicated fan. (stop looking at me like that) I did highly appreciate this segment, however:
“You’re dealing with a whole different system of government here,” Castiel said. “Different gods. I’m not allowed to interfere.” … [“]What you are up against is from a totally separate, independent spiritual realm. Upper management has a longstanding laissez-faire policy with other gods. By the terms of our recent agreement, they stay out of our business and we stay out of theirs.”
I’m quite supportive of this bit becoming canon SPN lore. It certainly puts some extra spin on the Hammer of the Gods episode. (maybe the old pagans were weakened because they broke the agreement first and was going after Lucifer? or did Gabriel break it by hiding among them? is Gaby what caused this agreement to be formed?) Great addition to lore, doesn’t break anything, and allows the universe to expand so we can see other hunters with a ready-made explanation for why say… Castiel doesn’t meet them. Way to win a bit of kudos from me.
I won’t spoil the final reveal (well not so much a “who” as much as a “why”) but it was somewhat unique and showed what an interesting arc antagonist could have been over the sixth season. (I might discuss on the TV Trope board or in the comments.)
Best quote from the book?
“Think she can tell we’ve been rolling in another Impala?” Sam joked as Dean got behind the wheel.
“Don’t listen to him, baby,” Dean said, patting the dash. “I swear, she meant nothing to me. I didn’t even drive, honest.”
(although I’m not sure soulless Sam intentionally joked)
Normally this book would rank a straight average score, but with everything the author managed to pull off?
I didn’t think it could be done. *slow clap* This book is definitely recommend this to fans of SPN that acknowledge season 6.