Cure for Hellatus – Mythmaker

Shortly on the heels of Cold Fire, another Supernatural novel has released.

Hellatus isn’t quite over yet so how well does this book get us over the final weeks?

This is going to be a tough one to discuss without spoilers. So those will be below the book image although there’s not a lot to spoil here as most of the plot is revealed on the back.

Previously I called one of the two main styles of SPN books as “collumbo” style.  Well that was not the best choice of term.  The better designations is between “adventure” style books and “mystery” style books.  SPN:Cold Fire was a mystery through and through.

SPN:Mythmaker is 100% adventure.  A pretty darn good adventure.

Though it does put a strain on my grading system:

Besides the basic principles of storytelling, [a book] also must 1) be consistent with canon, 2) consistent with characters, and 3) plausible in the world.  (Granted #2 is a pretty broad standard.)

So by all the scales:

  • Does the book meet basic compentacy standards? Yes, 4.5/5 (I did spot 2 continuity gaffs which knock it down).
  • Is it consistent with canon?  Mostly, 4/5 (ironically it would fit better in a season other than S10).
  • Consistent with characters?  Yes, 5/5.
  • Plausible in the SPN world?  Eh…

It skirts the line so closely.  Does it fit within the SPN:Anime world?  Oh hell yeah, but the Supernatural Anime (as I’ve been reviewing) is so ballz-out crazy awesome at times almost everything fits.  And this book is a 2 on the ballz-out crazy awesome scale (and that ain’t bad considering that a ‘1’ is such fare like the Star Wars movies).

But the main live action show has always kept even some of its craziest stuff just a touch grounded – because of TV budgets obviously, but I also think it’s a part of the show’s charm.

So is this a decent, fun story to read on its own?  Yes.  Absolutely.  5/5.

Is it truly a SPN book in spirit?  I’d say its right on the line (with those like SPN:Witch’s Canyon and “Rising Son” on the other side), but do encourage you to pick it up and argue with me on that.  So i give it another…

It may be my new favorite (at least top 3) book of the post-Kripke years.

As always you can get a copy by clicking the picture below (spoilers past it).

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SPOILERS AHEAD

This book is basically a crossover between Inkheart and Highlander.  Which I approve of (indeed this would make a GREAT anime – either 1 season or multiple).  Only this time it’s an artist who is painting “gods” to life and the gods then battle out to see which one of them will become “divine.”

Now I don’t immediately have a problem with this in canon.  I was not sold that well on everything “Eve, Mother of All” into the lore, especially as it didn’t add much to the show and was never adequately explained or followed up on.  Still, the idea that ALL things not demon or angel or ghost (or leviathan) came from her could get silly at times, the demigods of the world being the prime example.  The idea that they came from Eve too opens up far more questions than it ever answers so yes, this book proposing that they manifest from inspiration I don’t entirely object to.

Though I can’t decide whether it’s better to leave the “how is the mythmaker, a mythmaker?” question unsolved or explain it.  Leaving it unsolved kind of wanders into episode 5.06 territory (the worst or tied for it in S5) in that it brings up too many questions and implications far beyond the story itself – especially in a world where GOD definitely exists and goes drinking with us.

That’s also why I gave the book a few marks against continuity.  Other than a few mentions in the beginning, the Mark of Cain never comes in here.  And this is something with such a grip on Dean that it could keep him from dying.  So why not keep its grip and make him immune to the “binding” the gods do to their followers?  One of the main figures in the story is a god of healing, so what if he tried healing Dean?  How would the MoC interact with that?  Could these gods remove it?  And if “in the end, there will be One” always holds, how do we get pantheons of gods? (as seen in episodes 5.19 and 8.16 – though admittedly those episodes are also problematic)  Though some questions I don’t mind leaving up to the readers (like the healing/MOC one).

See, one of the reasons I ended up really liking Coyote’s Kiss (and appreciate it even more as times goes on) is that it took something very unique about S6 (ok, the spoiler is that it’s Sam’s soullessness), and made it work as a key part of the plot.  There’s few of these books that simply MUST happen where noted.  That’s not a plus or minus against any of them but it helps the book stand out and gives you more reasons to appreciate a plotline you might not have before. Indeed I’ve never been that fond of Sam’s soul plot, but the aforementioned book… made me hate it less.  Likewise, I was never much of a fan of the MoC, and thought this book might do the same for me.  The previous book at least did something with the Mark – it didn’t affect my feelings towards it, but it at least tried.  As things were set up, I thought this book might actually get me to care a little about the MoC this time.  But remove a few sentences, and this book could fit in any other season without changing a thing.  Indeed it seems like it would fit better in S6, S8, or early S9 instead of S10.

But I can’t hold my own disappointment against it.  No there’s one or two other continuity hiccups that docked it a bit.

Now in an example of a very GOOD handling is the opening case of the book, where the boys investigate a family of ghouls.  It is very well done and does add something positive to the lore.  If the show makers are smart, they’ll rip that idea off for a MotW episode.  Yes I am dead serious, give Tim a royalty check and acknowledgment then run with a good idea.

The flashback to the boys as teens on their first “god hunt” is pretty good too, even though it will probably be rendered non-canon.

So all in all, I enjoyed the story and didn’t regret reading it (which is my usual standard for books).  I’d definitely recommend it, but you may want to enjoy it for its own sake and leave your fandom-ish-ness at the door.

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19 thoughts on “Cure for Hellatus – Mythmaker

  1. More like cure for how to get rid of expendable income. The books were always so awful back when I read them. The first one was the only one I liked and mostly because of the novelty of it. After the third or fourth, I decided to spend my money more wisely, lol.

      • Lol, yup, boy bands are definitely me! 😀

        Yeah, I don’t even judge the readers per se. Hell,.I bought the first three just because they had Sam and Dean on the front, lol. Now that I’m older and wiser, my issue is more w/the publishers/CW for not producing readable material. Of course, it’s all about $$$ for them, so ir’s no big surprise that they don’t care.

      • The first and latest comic arcs are pretty good. I kind of wish the show runners would let someone like taletell games [sp?] or somebody else make a simple adventure game involving SPN. It may not be great, but it could be a lot of fun.

      • It probably costs less to produce merch, books, comics etc. and they can easily profit from those. A game would involve licensing, making it for the different consoles and so on (I assume), and that could cost a fair amount.

        The CW barely budget enough for the special effects and editing on the show.

      • I’m thinking licensing and a Steam (PC) release could be kept affordable. Then use the sales from that to fund adaption to other mediums (like consoles or mobile).

        Then again you’re probably right, they would probably half-ass it and what we’d get would be worse than nothing at all. 😦

      • Exactly, it would just be mediocre and poor quality just like the past few seasons of the show…I’d totally download an online rip of any game if I had the option to play as a character that wasn’t Sam or Dean, though. And then I’d kill all of the characters off one by one. 😛

        Personally, I think they should use any expendable cash to pay all involved to cease production effective immediately, but that’s just me. I plan on baking a cake and throwing a party on the day that Supernatural 2.0 ends. AFAIC, the original ended after season 5. *nods*

      • There’s a reason only 5 seasons of the show sit on my shelves. (“Clap your hands…” and “Baby” were both really good post 5 episodes – I’d actually rather dump “I believe the children…” from S5 and replace it with “Baby”)

      • Which season is Baby from? 10?

        Lol, I only have the first 3 seasons and I haven’t watched any in years. Upon reflection, I only really consider those seasons worth watching because they followed the ‘original’ plan. And the angels make me want to punch myself. It’s a shame because I did really love the show at one point.

        For whatever reason, I was literally pro-season 6 until I had an epiphany halfway through ‘Swap Meat’. I think I must have become psychic for about three minutes because I just knew that anything beyond s5 would be a mess. It’s ironic because I was extremely enamored by the ‘Pudding!’ line from the episode before.

        Besides the 100th ep and Soulless Sam I can’t think of anything I’ve enjoyed since that point (except for Dean’s various deaths of course).

      • If I ever finish s10, I will keep an open mind about that episode. 🙂

        The only part I liked from the 200th episode was the amulet explanation. I think it garnered my first SPN induced ‘Awwww’ since season 5. And it only took ’em 100+ episodes to revisit it. Sigh. The rest of the episode gave me a headache but apparently mocking your fanbase is funny!

      • 11! Nooooo. I may just watch that episode then. That season is currently on my ‘Am I masochistic enough to put myself through this?’ list. I can’t believe an entire season aired without me watching a single episode. Miracles do happen. 😀

      • What are your thoughts on the comments about them wanting to go up to 300-350 episodes? It’s pretty obvious that the show is a cash cow now but is there anyone left who has the balls to stop and say, ‘our material just doesn’t warrant 40 minutes every week?’.

      • They could go 300, but they would need somebody with balls who knows how to push the show into new territory while keeping true to spirit and canon.

        So while I hope to be surprised, I’m expecting to be disappointed.

      • I think it’s impossible for them to go into new territory without retconning large chunks of the past few seasons. What we’re seeing now is what happens when writers write themselves into a corner and have no option but to keep going.

      • “Rod Serling referred to it as the Velvet Alley — a trap where you are ensnared by your own success, and you can’t risk changing something lest someone take the success away from you (be it the audience or the Powers that Be in the industry).” (forgot source)

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