Supernatural Book Review: “Coyote’s Kiss”

COYOTE'S KISSBasically, there are two types of Supernatural tie-in novels. The first are essentially one-off stories that involve Sam and Dean investigating a case where we generally meet new villains and victims we’ll never see again. These can be hit or miss in terms of enjoyability. The second type are those like Rebecca Dessertine’s book “One Year Gone” (read the review here), which I thought was distinctive because it really made an effort to fill in the blanks of the missing year before season 6 began, focused primarily on Sam and Dean, and was also very consistent with the characterization of the Winchester brothers that we know from the show.

Then came “Supernatural: Coyote’s Kiss”, by Christa Faust, the most recent Supernatural tie-in novel that’s actually more like the first type. Only it’s different because it’s probably the most interesting of all the one-off cases explored in the books and contains characters that I actually grew to care about. In other words, I really liked this book.

“Coyote’s Kiss” purports to take place between the season 6 episodes “Caged Heat” and “Appointment in Samara”. Some of you may be thinking there’s not enough time between those two episodes for “Coyote’s Kiss”. It doesn’t really matter. The only thing that does matter in terms of timeline is the fact that Sam is soulless, Dean knows all about it, and the question of whether Sam’s soul will be retrieved is mentioned in the book.

Basically, the boys stumble upon a very interesting hunt that begins with immigrants trying to cross from Mexico into the United States. When people start dying in an extremely violent manner (seriously, the book ups the gore factor) and a portion of a van literally disappears, the boys head to investigate. They soon meet up with an impressive female hunter named Xochi, who comes from a long line of hunters. Xochi is, by far, one of the strongest young female characters in the Supernatural universe. Yes, she’s described as attractive, and Dean’s into her from the start, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that she rivals the Winchesters in their hunting and fighting skills, as well as the fact that she’s obviously mature and knowledgeable. She has her own connections (which really help her and the Winchesters as they team up to fight their most recent foe) and her own tortured history involving her sister. Xochi’s characterization doesn’t feel cheap or rushed. I actually kind of wished we could see her on the show.

As the brothers and Xochi investigate a female creature known as a Borderwalker (who can travel between dimensions), they travel around the southern United States and into Mexico. The personalities of Dean and Soulless Sam are pretty consistent with the characters we know from the show. The backstory of the book’s secondary characters are also interesting and sympathetic. The descriptions and scale of the monsters in “Coyote’s Kiss” are impressive and probably too expensive for what we would see on our television, but coolnonetheless.

I think that fans of the show will be particularly receptive to this book. To read an excerpt that we previously posted, click here.

You can purchase “Supernatural: Coyote’s Kiss” on Amazon.

clarissa @ tvovermind.com
twitter.com/clarissa373
twitter.com/tvovermind

  • kelios

    I wish I could agree with your assessment, because I was really, really looking forward to a decent Supernatural novel. But the primary character,Xochti, was written so poorly I couldn't enjoy it at all. She was, in fandom parlance, a Mary Sue–a character who is "unusually perfect and more advanced, who befriends or becomes romantically entangled with the author's favorite character or characters." That describes Xochti perfectly.

    There was also some incredibly bad writing and dialogue. When Dean was waxing lyrical about how wonderful Xotchi was, how they worked together like a well oiled machine and fit together so perfectly etc (all after knowing her less than 24 hrs and a single fight scene), I wasn't sure if I wanted to laugh or cry. When he thought about how he'd never been happy except during his year with Lisa (despite that fact that he spent at least some of that time mourning for Sam, presumably, and it was pretty clear that he actually wasn't all that happy from what we saw in the show), the author was just….wrong. 

    And there isn't enough eyeroll in the world for Xotchi driving a vintage 67 Impala and loving Led Zepplin. Gee, could you be a little more obvious?

    I don't know why it's so difficult to put out a decent, well written Supernatural tie-in, but I'm putting this one down MISSED IT BY A MILE category.

     

    • Clarissa

      You're entitled to your opinion about the book, but I would argue that Dean WAS happy with Lisa and Ben, at least in his own way.  It's clear that he's struggled with his love for them and his love for Sam.  He left them not necessarily because he wasn't happy, but because he was torn between living a normal life and hunting.  The fact that he was so devastated after having Castiel wipe their minds shows how much he cared about them. 

      Dean is a complex character.  Would it be fair to say that he's happiest when he's hunting considering he admits all the terrible things that have happened to him as a result of living that life?  I think there are aspects of both of those lives that he likes and doesn't like.  I think it would be wrong to say he was completely unhappy with Ben and Lisa. 

      • kelios

        My issue was actually with the statement that he had NEVER been happy except with Lisa and Ben, which was explicitly stated in the novel.

        I'm sure there were moments with Lisa and Ben that he enjoyed, but to say that he was ONLY happy with them is a tad bit ridiculous.

        • Clarissa

          That, I would agree, is inaccurate.  To say that he was ONLY happy with them.

  • http://www.predatorhuntinginfo.com Coyote Hunter

    @Clarissa
    Agreed, a bold statement to make from the outside.

  • Emily

    Hate to say it, I have to agree with kerios; Xochi was a Mary Sue and her presence brought "Coyote's Kiss" down to my least favorite SPN book.

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