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Book Review

Book Cover

One Year Gone


Author: Rebecca Dessertine
Titan Books
RRP: £6.99, US $7.99, Cdn $8.99
ISBN: 978 0 85768 099 0
Available 27 May 2011

Believing that his brother Sam remains trapped in hell, Dean is trying to fulfil his last promise and live a normal live. Ensconced in domesticity with Lisa and her son Ben, Dean is still trying to get over recent event. Unable to let his brother go Dean takes Lisa and Ben to Salem, supposedly for a vacation; in reality Dean is seeking the necrenomicon and a witch powerful enough to raise Lucifer and Sam. Unknown to Dean, Salem is once again a hive of witch activity, worse still is that someone it trailing him, trying to stop him. That someone is Sam...

Supernatural: One Year Gone sets out to tell what happened between seasons five and six of the show and what better person to do this than Rebecca Dessertine, author and assistant to Eric Kripke, creator and executive producer of the show.

It is fairly inevitable, given the direction and premise of the show, that the Winchesters would make it to Salem, where the famous witch trials took place. Dessertine has tried hard to break up the linier nature of her story by providing flash backs, via a journal Dean finds, which not only tells something of the trials, but also adds clues to Dean's investigation into the modern witches and their mounting body count of innocents.

This works well, though I’m not sure I was convinced that Salem not only contained Hunters, but that these were in fact related to Sam and Dean. It’s a ploy that has been used before and only makes the Hunter community seem small and inbred. On the other hand she clearly wants the reader to see similarities between the brothers and the brothers who originally fought the Salem witches.

Dessertine has captured the essence, in tone and content, of the show. The book is in fact another show that they just didn’t make and considering her pedigree, fans can take the contents as Supernatural canon, Eric Kripke even gives the book his blessing by providing a forward.

Although the book does not lack for action sequences, the format allows Dessertine to spend more time inside the heads of the characters, which allows a richness of depth not possible in the television format. For instance, we know that Sam has returned from Hell a changed man, possibly a dead one, and Dessertine allows us to peek inside his skull to know how that might feel.

Fans of the show will want to pick up a copy, but it also works as an isolated text and if you have not seen the show the book contains enough pointers and background material for you not to get lost.


Charles Packer

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