There are times when life gets in the way of the plans you’ve made for yourself. As hunters that go after what you could not imagine in your worst nightmares, Sam and Dean Winchester are used to being waylaid. Season six showed that ending one apocalypse doesn’t mean you’ve saved the world permanently. Worse yet, it’s like putting a cheap, used up band-aid on a gaping wound. That seems to be the gist of the novel “Supernatural: Coyote’s Kiss.”
Taking place between the time Dean attempts to restore Sam’s soul and waiting for the fallout of such a Herculean task, the brothers decide to take a case where being soulless has its advantages. The book begins in the same way the television series does, a bad situation, followed by terrifying screams and finally people who die in unbelievable circumstances. Somehow reading about how desperate people crossing the border from Mexico, only to be ripped to shreds heightens the fear factor. They’re words that once you read them haunt you. It also gives you better insight into what the Winchesters have to deal with in their daily lives. Fighting demons and what are believed to be mythical creatures takes their toll. In a novel there is space to explore the emotional aspect of this. You read the inner-workings of Dean’s thoughts of how being a hunter has replaced any hope for what is perceived as a “normal life.” He tried that for a year – the year that Sam graced him with at a huge cost.
Now they are in a middle of a case where “coincidence [is used as]a concept that normal people used to explain away things they didn’t understand.” With the help of the Mexican hunter Xochi and a teenage girl, the brothers stop the world from ending once again.
If this novel does anything it shows how Sam must get his soul back. It’s the thread that ties each chapter together. For the fans of the series “Coyote’s Kiss” builds on the Supernatural mythos. There’s also the glimpse into the world of other hunters. For Xochi who aids the brothers, her world is riddled with people who owe her favors. Constantly making up for the lust of the hunt that has consumed her older sister, Xochi has demons both outward and inside that she constantly struggles with that give the reader new insight into the life of the ones who go after those bumps in the night.
With much collateral damage the day is not quite saved – most likely it’s held together with old duct tape, but the brothers survive to fight another day.
While the novel in and of itself works as a bridge between episodes “Caged Heat” and “Appointment in Samara,” there is little room for someone new to this world to jump on board. From the Led Zepplin references to the side jokes that refer to the series may alienate a new reader. Still the book is solid and those who cannot wait for season seven to begin at least have “Coyote’s Kiss” to pass the time.