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'Supernatural: Rite of Passage' by John Passarella — Book Review

[rating=4]

So, let me just say from the start that I really didn’t have great expectations for this book. I’ve never really been a fan of series spin-off novels for various reasons, most being that the books generally have a completely different mood from the series they’re based off of, and fanfictions generally have a better grasp of the characters than the authors that get paid to write them.

With that out of the way, I get to tell you that this book totally exceeded my expectations.

First, a plot synopsis, even though you could totally check Amazon instead; The story is set in between “Season 7, Time for a Wedding!” and “How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters,” obviously in Season 7, and early enough that Bobby is in for the ride. So, the remnants of Teem Free Will get word that a bunch of accidents are happening in a town in New Jersey, and as we all know, accidents don’t just happen accidentally. Especially when one of the accidents is a massive car pile-up where not a single airbag deploys in any of the vehicles. Mysterious, right?

While the author’s characterization wasn’t exactly flawless, there wasn’t any point where I cringed or anything, so points for that—and a load of points for interesting side-characters. Many seem semi-unrelated at first, but quickly catch your attention even with the small snippets of story that they’ve been given.

The lore in the story is also pretty awesome. Not going to give too much away, but it was nice to read a Supernatural story this far in the show that didn’t just deal with the regular monsters. No angels, demons, vampires, or werewolves to be found—though of course the Leviathan get a mention or two, since it’s season 7 and all, but that’s understandable, and Lucifer shows up in Sammy’s head a few times, giving light to something even the show didn’t seem to want to cover all that much.

Though the thing I liked the most about the book is the few scattered references to things that assure you the author actually likes the series as much (or, almost as much, in some cases) as the readers. Dean’s fear of flying and Sam’s near superhuman ability to find a wi-fi connection are poked at, and there’s some foreshadowing of later episodes that adds an extra layer to one or two of the scenes.

The only real problem I had with this book was that it throws a lot of details at you that aren’t really all that necessary to the storyline. A whole chapter near the beginning could probably be cut out with little fuss, and there’s a disturbing amount of information put in to the monster-of-the-week’s victims—sometimes as much as a name and a brief description of their life only for them to be struck down where they stood. It gets a little disturbing at times.

Other than that, the book was a fairly good read. Not a masterpiece, obviously, but definitely better than most tv-show novels, and that’s really all you can hope for, isn’t it?

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