In the latest Supernatural tie-in novel, Coyote’s Kiss, Sam and Dean Winchester travel south of the border to track down a Borderwalker and a band of crazy Aztec demons. Written by Christa Faust, it’s the most action-packed of all the tie-in novels and though it’s complex in spots, you gotta hand it to her for tackling an area of mythology we haven’t seen on the show.
Coyote’s Kiss takes place between “Caged Heat” and “Appointment in Samara.” Sam is souless, Dean knows it and his condition plays a large part in how they handle the, scarier than they sound, Star Demons. The book is written primarily from Dean’s point of view and that could be why there’s an inordinate amount of talk about naked people and sexual arousal. (Dean picturing himself in nothing but a loin cloth. . . ) I’m not complaining, but it is unusual for a Supernatural novel.
The other thing that is unusual is the boys’ dependence on a female hunter. We’ve seen this on the series, and it’s never gone over very well. I beg you dear reader, give Xochi a chance. Which brings me to my most superficial complaint – the Aztec names. I don’t know why, but I have a hard time reading books with words I can’t pronounce and this book is loaded with them.
Xochi is one sexy, monster hunter and though Dean has the hots for her, thankfully he keeps both his lower and upper brain in the game. At times, though, she does come across as a Mary Sue, saving the boys from one crisis after another. I can forgive her though because she knows the mythology, the territory and the language better than the brothers, so wounded pride aside, her actions make sense.
The other main character in the story is a teenage girl who gets a massive crush on Dean after he saves her from an angry, shape-shifting Borderwalker. When they realize she’s been targeted by a pack of vicious Nagual’s, they have no choice but to take her along on the hunt. The relationship that develops between her and Dean is actually quite sweet. As the natural caretaker, Dean wants to comfort and protect the girl, but he doesn’t know how to handle her doe-eyed stares and obvious adoration.
The majority of the book follows Sam, Dean, Xochi and Claudia as they travel around Mexico getting both into and out of trouble in every other chapter. Faust does a good job delivering the locations, the odd cast of supporting characters and most of her monsters. The action sequences are long and complex but you never lose track of who is where, unless, of course, you’re supposed to. In nearly 350 pages, the Winchesters get chased to the rooftops by giant creatures with obsidian teeth, get cornered by a zombie mob, get arrested by the Federales and fight off a band of reanimated mummies. Dean also gets poisoned and the cure is almost worse than the pain. The most memorable scenes both deal with Dean and the shapeshifters. One appears as a gorgeous, naked woman and just wait until you see how Dean gets a bottle of her “blood.” The first time, however, the creature appears wearing Dean’s face and a pair of skin-tight, black-velvet, lace-up pants. I don’t know Christa Faust, but I imagine she has some pretty wicked dreams that revolve around Jensen Ackles / Dean Winchester. Works for me.
Having said that, you’ve probably realized that this is a Dean-centric novel. Sam is there and the brother banter is both humorous and poignant. There are a few spots in the action where Sam steps in to save a life, giving Dean hope that is brother is still in there somewhere, fighting to get past the soulless part. Then it’s out of the frying pan and into the campfire once again as the boys struggle to stop the Mexican version of the apocalypse.
Supernatural: Coyote’s Kiss is now available online and in stores.
My thanks to Titan Books for sending me a copy to preview. Pick up yours and enjoy.