Shortly on the heels of Cold Fire, another Supernatural novel was released.
Hellatus isn't quite over yet so how well does this book get us through the final weeks?
This is going to be a tough to discuss without spoilers, so those will be below the book image (although there's not a lot to spoil as most of the plot is revealed on the back of the book).
Previously, I called one of the two main styles of Supernatural books a "Columbo" style. Well that was not the best term. A better designation would be "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 competancy 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...
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 Supernatural 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 I 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 after it).
SPOILERS AHEADThis book is basically a crossover between Inkheart and Highlander, which I approve of (indeed this would make a GREAT anime - either one season or multiple). Only this time it's an artist who is painting "gods" to life and the gods then battle 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 no, I don't entirely object to this book proposing that they manifest from inspiration.
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. There are one or two other continuity hiccups that docked it a bit.
Now the opening case of the book, where the boys investigate a family of ghouls, is an example of something that 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.
I'd love to hear what you thought of the book... or my reading of it! Add your thoughts below!