17 August 2011

[A long overdue review] Supernatural tie in novel - 'War of the sons'

Note from Grumpy Bum (aka me): This review is way long overdue... like 8 months overdue. Yeah I suck. I wrote this episode back in November 2010, so you will see a reference to season five as at November 2010.

Tie-in novels never really give me the satisfaction due to some weird reasons. But Supernatural War of the Sons captured my attention from the get-go and I finished the book pretty quickly. I couldn't put it down. If you haven't read it, you may want to skip this review.

War of the Sons was written by Rebecca Dessertine and David Reed. The story took place just after season five's My Bloody Valentine, it focused on the boys' quest of finding the missing chapter of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

On the hunt for Lucifer, Sam and Dean found themselves in a small town in South Dakota where they meet Don, an angel with quite a background! Don told the boys his job was to guard the gates of Hell. But when Lucifer was set free after the last seal was broken, Don was left jobless. Knowing the plan was always going to put the Devil back to his cage and not wanting to go back to his old job guarding Hell's gates, Don sent Sam and Dean back to 1954 to find the missing chapter of the scroll: "The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of the Darkness".

This missing chapter contained a list of names of angels corresponding with their human vessels, including the Novaks (i.e. Jimmy) for Castiel, Dean and Sam for Michael and Lucifer.
It turns out, Don wanted the boys to obtain the list and to kill the human vessels so that there was no battle to win or lose. Without human vessels for Michael and Lucifer, there would be no show down.

Dean and Sam met two hunters Walter and Julie, a father and his daughter, who befriended and betrayed the brothers. When Walter and Julie found out about the list, they gathered other hunters to start killing the vessels. They thought if the killing of vessels would save the planet, the end justified the means. But Dean and Sam would never kill humans even if it was for a greater good. The daughter Julie, who was supposed to be a love interest for Dean, found out about the future from Dean and eventually had a change of heart, she destroyed the list to stop the killing. 

In my view, the key contributing factors of the success of War of the Sons are the pace of the story and the consistency between the actual series and novel. I am a stickler for consistency across different Supernatural tie-in products (i.e. novels, animations, The John Winchester Journal). I truly love the angel story line and that was one of the key things I was looking for when I read War of the Sons. The angel storyline was very well-told in this novel. I have always been a fan of the angel storyarc, I thought with a little refinement by Gamble, Edlund or Kripke himself, it would make a perfect movie-length episode in season five.

War of the Sons isn't the best novel on the bookshelves, but it's like Supernatural got its own version of The Da Vinci code with our Dean and Sam playing Robert Langdon.It was really fun to read about Dean going undercover at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Sam going to the American Bible Society to do research. There were plenty of references to the show itself and the pop culture.  

War of the Sons is probably the best Supernatural tie-in novels to date. I could read it again and that's a good sign. Because I really enjoyed it.

Here are other Supernatural tie-in novels for you to check out:

Nevermore by Keith R.A. DeCandido
Witch's Canyon by John Keegan
Bone Key by Keith R.A. DeCandido
Heart of The Dragon by Keith R. A. Decandido
The Unholy Cause by Joe Schreiber
One Year Gone by Rebecca Dessertine 
Coyote's Kiss by Christa Faust 

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