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Supernatural: Coyote's Kiss review

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Supernatural fiction doesn't measure up to the show...

Supernatural

Written by Christa Faust, this book takes place during season 6 of Supernatural, between 'Caged Heat’ and ‘Appointment in Samara’ and covers an unseen episode of the hit series. The coyote in the title refers to the people who help illegal immigrants across the border between Mexico and America. The storyline is a simple one. A beautiful woman, who transforms into a terrifying monster that’s all teeth and claws, is brutally murdering illegal Mexican immigrants and the border control agents there to prevent illegals from getting into America.

At first they seem like random attacks, but then brothers Sam and Dean establish a link and joining forces with a pretty, pint-sized Aztec warrior by the name of Xochi Cazadora (the second name means huntress) they try to track down the person they call the Borderwalker before she can cause any more harm. But the Borderwalker is no ordinary woman. According to Aztec legend, she’s a shape-shifter who used to be human. To bring her down they need to bring out her human side to make her mortal; something which is easier said than done.

'Supernatural: Coyote's Kiss'As someone who has never watched the TV show or read the other books, I can’t honestly say if this is a good addition to the Supernatural series of books. What I can say is this was an entertaining enough read (although it could have done with upping the gore content) without being memorable. That, however, could be down to the constraints of writing a series novel. Too often peripheral characters are cardboard cut-outs there to service the main characters and authors are writing to a script.

I have to be honest and say though that if this book is your first introduction to Supernatural, then it’s probably best to watch the show first and read the other books and not this one. I didn’t feel like I got much sense of the Sam and Dean characters who are meant to be the stars of the show. Sometimes you can read one of the books written later on in a series and the characters are so well drawn you don’t miss out by not reading the series from the beginning, but this unfortunately wasn’t the case with Coyote’s Kiss.

The main problem I had is with the Xochi character. She seems to have been placed in the book merely to add some sex appeal and to give Sam and Dean someone to lust after and make ‘I’d like to hit that’ type comments. Although she does have a pivotal role in the story, her character is not as well rounded as it should be; certainly, not as well rounded as her ass, judging by the boys’ comments. Any time there was dialogue referring to her from Sam in particular, it made me cringe.

The book does introduce us to something new: divination using blood. This allows them to track down the Borderwalker using the blood of someone who has been in contact with the supernatural beast. Apparently there is something called dririmancy, which is divination by observing dripping blood.

The best bit of the book is the first chapter where we meet young mum Letty who’s leaving Mexico to start a new life in America. Her end is as shocking as it is swift. It may have made the book more readable if she’d somehow been allowed to survive and teamed up with Sam and Dean to snare the beast. In just a few pages you feel invested in her future; something that doesn’t happen with Xochi. You want good things for Letty; for her to escape unscathed.

Coyote’s Kiss
is clearly aimed at die-hard fans of the TV series and to be honest, I think they are the only ones who would enjoy this book. It will be interesting to see what fans make of this latest effort. If you genuinely want to sample Faust’s own style and not a book written to a pre-determined formula, you’d be better off reading Money Shot or Choke Hold.

Coyote’s Kiss is published on July 29th, 2011 in the UK and is priced £6.99.

3 stars

See also:

Supernatural S7E3 review

Supernatural S7E2 review

Supernatural S7E1 review

Supernatural Season 7 details revealed

Top 10 Episodes of Supernatural


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