Seriable’s Robert L. reviews the new Supernatural novel — “Night Terror”.
Titan Books brings us a brand new adventure in the Supernatural universe with the release of John Passarella‘s Night Terror.
At 381 pages, this massive book clocks in at around 100 pages more than your average TV show tie-in novel. Given that I grew up eating and drinking tie-in novels, I know a thing or two about the genre. All too often they are short, full of narrative and grammatical errors, poorly conceived, and completely contradictory to the continuity of the show they represent. I am pleased, however, to report that none of these problems apply to Night Terror.
In fact, it’s just the opposite. I was worried that a large page count would mean sloppiness, but the pacing feels tight and even throughout. I was worried that the plot would either interfere (or ignore) the larger scope of the show, but the story fleshes out larger arcs from season 6, like the “soulless Sam” bit.
I should have known that I was in for a treat before the narrative even started, as the “Historian’s Note” page firmly establishes this story in the Supernatural canon as taking place between the Season 6 episodes “Frontierland” and “Mommy Dearest.”
That’s not to say that this book is entirely perfect — it took me a while to get used to the writing style — two chapters, to be precise. I had to get used to what I initially considered “excessive detail description.” It was only after I got into the groove of the story that I realized the brilliance of the style.
Passarella has painted the world of Supernatural so perfectly, so true to the show, that the reader knows he must have spent countless hours studying the visual style and rhythm of the show. But it doesn’t stop there. The character of Sam thinks, acts, and communicates exactly as he has for six seasons of the show. And Dean … well, he swears and grumbles exactly like Dean always does.
Everything about the atmosphere, from the music on the radio (Led Zeppelin, The Stones), to the not-so-subtle humor is recreated perfectly for this tale.
But what, dear reader, is the story about, you may ask?
I’m pleased to say that, although there are a few elements that may seem familiar, this story is wholly original with its fair share of twists and turns.
The prologue guides us through the experiences of three people (all of which, presumably happen on the same night). A homeless man is attacked by a giant Gila monster, some teens are chased by a headless horseman, and a boy is hit by a disappearing car. As the back cover says, “it all sounds like the stuff of nightmares.”
That’s when we cut to Sam and Dean who are already wrapping up a predicament of their own. The first few chapters kept me entertained, although there’s a particular dream sequence involving disappearing alcohol that seemed just a little bit too silly for my taste. Nonetheless, the dream paid off in the end, with the fallout and bits of humor that linger because of it.
Eventually, the boys get that inevitable phone call and are off to investigate the mysteries awaiting them in yet another small town across America.
I would summarize more of the plot, but this is a book that absolutely must be read, and should not be spoiled by anyone. Do you have friends that have read it? Cut off all communications with them until you’ve read it for yourself.
After I was finished writing my initial review for this book (which was much longer than it is in present form), I took a look at the Amazon.com Reader Reviews, most of whom raved this was the best Supernatural tie-in book they’ve ever read.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t read all of the Supernatural tie-in books, but I will say this: this is the best TV tie-in book I have ever read. Ever. And I don’t think that only fans of the show will get a kick out of it. I think this book was made accessible to readers who may have never even seen the show.
I’m not just recommending this book to fans of the show, fans of TV, and fans of horror novels — I am recommending this book to anyone who wants a good read.
My final rating for this book is: 8/10 Seriable Stars.