Fresh Meat
Supernatural, Book #11
By Alice Henderson
ISBN# 9781781161128
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Marie-Reine

*Beware of possible Spoilers*  

After strangely gruesome deaths are reported in the Sierra Nevadas, Dean, Sam, and their hunter friend, Bobby Singer, decide to investigate. Though the officials suspect bears, these experienced hunters know better and gear up to hunt down a flesh-eating monster. But “Winchester” is synonymous with “weird,” and they soon come across even stranger occurrences—walking corpses, bodies with mismatched organs, a predatory flying creature. Even nature is set against the heroes, as a blizzard blows into the mountains in the middle of their investigation.  Based on the popular CW television series of the same name, this book reveals a previously unseen adventure of the Winchester brothers and is set during Season 7 of the show.

Inevitably, fans of the TV show will compare their treasured series with this book. In a lot of ways, the author, Alice Henderson, creates a challenging and fascinating new adventure for the Winchesters. The brothers face horrifying and cunning monsters, some that have already been encountered before and some unknown. Henderson also seems to personify the mountains and the wilds of the Sierra Nevadas as a separate creature, which the brothers must conquer. The raging winds, deep snows and mountain trails put these characters in situations rarely explored and test their skills as outdoorsmen. As a result, Sam and Dean must fight the elements as much as they fight monsters. The brothers’ will to survive and their courage shine especially bright in these instances.

Because of the potentially unlimited scope possible in book form compared to the stricter formula of TV episodes, more time is allotted to the hunt and each character’s point of view. Supernatural fans will hail the added complexity of the plot, the twists and turns this adventure takes, the missed calls and several bloody battles. By the end, each of the lead characters has new scars to count. But as to the development of the characters, Henderson’s representation leaves something to be desired. She does recap the different issues that plague Sam and Dean during the seventh season accurately: Castiel’s betrayal of the brothers and his disappearance after the escape of the Leviathan, Sam’s reoccurring visions of Hell, Sam and Dean’s frayed relationship. However, the charm of these characters is not simply their issues or the world they inhabit. Sam, Dean, and Bobby’s quirky personalities and the playfulness of the dialogue are essential components of this series, whether in book form or on the TV show. Their dark humor, sarcasm, clever comebacks and crass pop references—now familiar and expected by fans—are disappointingly absent. This leaves the heroes somewhat flat and bland, especially when compared to the grand scope of their adventure.

Though it has a somewhat slow start and lacks some of the comical banter between the main characters, this book explores an exciting and perilous new Supernatural adventure. It is a quick read, filled with both violent monsters and snow storms.