When the Wichester boys, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), began slaying monsters back in the Fall of 2009 on television, we were hooked right away. Each week they’d fight demons or monsters from folklore and urban legends to save the lives of people who didn’t believe in such things. And as the battle raged between good and evil, Heaven and Hell, they kept my interest for a long time. Five seasons. More than 100 episodes. When they put the Devil back in his box, I was ready for the journey to end.
So when season six started in 2010, I watched a few episodes but after a while it started to flounder a bit in a world without God or the Devil calling the plays on the sidelines. Eventually I stopped watching. And when the seventh season starts this month, I’ll probably catch an episode or two to see if the show got its mojo back, but I’m not holding my breath.
Why did I tell you all this? What does it have to do with a Supernatural novel? Well, late last year I read Supernatural: War of the Sons by Rebecca Dessertine and David Reed. The boys (sometime during the season five timeline) traveled back in time to 1954 to stop a demon from finding a weapon that would unbalance the battle between demons and angels. I don’t usually like reading tie-in novels, but Dessertine and Reed managed to capture the snarky banter between the brothers and the atmosphere of monster hunters winging it on the run. I enjoyed it, much to my own surprise.
This time, with Supernatural: Coyote’s Kiss by Christina Faust, the Winchester boys are going to the southern border of the United States. Set sometime in the timeline of season six, they are investigating the deaths of illegal immigrants slaughtered while trying to cross the border and the border patrolmen unlucky enough to find them. And this is definitely a whole new world for the Winchesters.
But they’re not fighting evil alone. A small, beautiful, but feisty Mexican monster hunter by the name of Xochi rides into the picture on a hot motorcycle. Will Sam and Dean survive working with her? She has her own secrets and comes from a whole different world – at one point the angel Castiel even pops to say he can’t help them. Who knew that there was an agreement between the deities of different pantheons around the world to not interfere with the mortal realms under their power?
Instead of the Christian concept of the hosts of Heaven and Hell holding sway over Mexico, it’s the old gods – the Aztec gods like Huehuecoyotl – a god of music, luck, and storytelling. Will the fickle Huehuecoyotl help Xochi and the Winchesters stop the Borderwalker before she kills more innocent people? Will Xochi’s family squabbles get in the way? Only time and a few trips back and forth across the Mexican border will tell.
Again, Faust managed to recreate the witty banter, the sarcasm, and the sharp wit of the Supernatural universe for me, making this a fun read. At nearly 350 pages, it went quickly and felt more like an extended episode of the series than anything else. I would have liked to have seen an episode or two made out of this story arc during the season, possibly even a made-for-DVD movie since it easily can stand on its own.
This article first appeared at BlogCritics.org http://blogcritics.org/books/article/book-review-supernatural-coyotes-kiss-by/.
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