I’ve always wanted to see an episode of Supernatural where Sam and Dean had to deal with a “non” supernatural but dangerous force like a natural disaster. It stems from my belief that the boys are better people than they think they are — Dean in particular. They never give themselves enough credit for the lives they save but I know, if they were in a dire situation, they would always put the good of others in front of their own well-being.
The newest Supernatural tie-in novel “Fresh Meat” deals with that exact situation, so I was immediately pulled in.
It begins with a series of deaths in the Tahoe National Forest. When they connect the route to that of the doomed members of the infamous Donner Party, they know they have a Wendigo on their hands. But after when dead people start walking around with the organs of others inside their bodies. . . that’s something altogether weird and deadly.
After they get a line on the new beastie, Sam and Bobby head out of town to track down the ingredients for a cure while Dean stays so he can keep innocent people from becoming monster chow. Good move, until Mother Nature strikes, trapping Dean in a killer snowstorm.
Author Alice Henderson does an excellent job of setting the scene and ramping up the action in this new tie-in novel. She has a good handle on the brothers and for the most part, they act like the duo we know from the show. (That’s not always a given with tie-in writers.)
I really enjoyed the primarily outdoor setting of this novel, as well as the mini history lesson on the area. Henderson’s description of Dean’s struggle to survive in the blinding snow and bitter temperatures was dramatic and believable – up to a point.
The biggest problem I had with this novel is that it’s too long for the material. The first few times Dean fell victim to the snow, I bought it and I was worried about his safety. But after the fourth, fifth and sixth times, I’d had enough. Dean’s tough, but I doubt that even he could survive a blizzard, two avalanches, miles of trudging through the snow without food or water all while being stalked by a vicious, flying beast.
I also don’t understand why the author insisted on having Sam and Dean separated through a good portion of the book. Fans hate this on the show and they won’t like it any better in the book. Instead of saving a park ranger from an icy lake and later an avalanche, he should have been saving his brother. That would have been angsty and dramatic.
And, I don’t want to give any of the big twists away, but I will say that I wasn’t satisfied with either of the big reveals near the end of the book.
Now, you probably think I didn’t enjoy reading this novel, but I did. For the most part, I was captivated by the story and the setting. But more than that, I enjoyed seeing our boys protecting the innocents from more than just another monster.
Supernatural: Fresh Meat is available now on Amazon.