Supernatural: Carved in Flesh

March 8, 2015 - 12:18 pm No Comments

Author: Tim Waggoner
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date 6th June 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Sam and Dean Winchester, characters in the hit TV series Supernatural, are Hunters. Trained by their deceased Dad John Winchester, Sam and Dean travel the back roads of America chasing strange cases and deaths, battling all manner of monsters; vampires, werewolves, Wendigo, zombies, skin walkers and demons. As the series has progressed, various story arcs have developed, turning this from a ‘monster of the week’ programme into an addictive, intelligent, witty and moving series.
Set during mid-season seven, with Sam battling potential lunacy after his soul stashed in hell for a year, rejoined his body, and both brothers grieving the recent loss of Bobby whilst trying to evade the Leviathans, Carved in Flesh is set in the strongest season so far and is a cracking addition to the Supernatural canon.
The novel has the boys tracking a mutant feral dog/monster in a small town. It’s pretty much, plot wise one of the standard mid-season episodes but it’s what Waggoner does with it, that makes this novel stand out from the norm. He has completely captured the essence of Sam and Dean; the heavy weight of the last seven years encompasses them, but Dean, despite his alcohol binging and grief, is still a sarcastic wise ass and Sam is still the messed up, emotional little brother, but the heart of the duo. From the cracks Dean makes, to the research Sam does, their portrayal is spot on, to the extent I suspect Waggoner is a big Supernatural fan, or binge-watched tonnes of episodes on the Internet.
What adds to the novel’s power is the other characters within the story. In particular the memories involving Trish are emotionally resonant and the boy’s first experience hunting is prescient of their adult roles. And the plot rattles along at a good pace spiced with adventure and danger, and a Frankenstein inspired narrative.
I’ve read a number of the Supernatural spin-off novels, but this is without doubt the best so far; a truly entertaining romp laced with poignancy and darkness, despite the underlying sense of humour. If you’re hankering for more Sam and Dean during a season break, or want to hark back to season seven, you could do no better than to pick up this novel.

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