Supernatural: Night Terror [Book Review]

A giant, man-eating spider? A tree that runs from the scene of the crime? How about a haunted Dodge Charger that’s out for blood? Any one of these monsters could end up on an episode of Supernatural, but for author John Passarella, one wasn’t enough. He put all of these villains into one book along with a giant gila monster, an escaped ax murderer, a headless horseman and Nazi zombies. Yes, Nazi zombies.

The book is “Supernatural: Night Terror” and it’s the newest TV Tie-in release from Titan books.

Sam and Dean Winchester head off to Clayton Fall, Colorado to investigate a series of very strange happenings. A group of drunk teens babbling on about seeing a headless horseman might be written off as fantasy, but when one of them is killed by a phantom car, that’s another story.

Actually, it’s quite a few stories. The car belongs to the dead boyfriend of Amy Quinn, who happens to be the Sheriff’s daughter. But killer tress come from Daniel Barnes’ imagination and then there’s Olga Kucharski who has a fondness for late night b-horror movies. In other words, everyone’s nightmares are coming true. But why? Could it be related to the new sleep research center? Or maybe the horrible factory fire that devastated the company town?

There’s plenty for Sam and Dean to investigate and that’s the problem with “Supernatural: Night Terror,” it’s too much. Too many monsters, too many characters, too many paths for the boys to follow and that’s a shame. Passarella is an excellent writer. If this were a generic, horror story, it would probably work, but this is Supernatural and Sam and Dean simply don’t get enough page time. This is particularly troublesome in the last 300 pages where two whole chapters are devoted to new characters meeting their gruesome ends.

From a character standpoint, Sam and Dean are mostly spot on. Dean gets a couple of heroic moments when he has to save a toddler from the sink hole to hell and throughout the story as he tries to keep Lucy Quinn from becoming the Charger’s next victim. Sam picks up on the vital clues that lead them to the answer, all the while battling his own worst nightmare.

Overall, I wish that the author had cut the monster count in half in this book. I understand that the joy of writing a tie-in, is that you can go places they can’t go on the show because of time or budget, but Passarella took that thought too much to heart. When the Velociraptors showed up in Chapter Twelve, I nearly put the book down and walked away from this one. Supernatural means you can get away with almost anything, but it doesn’t mean you can get away with everything, all in one book.

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