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Book Review

Book Cover



Author: Keith R.A. DeCandido
Titan Books
RRP: £6.99, US $7.99
ISBN: 978 1 84576 945 1
Available 27 July 2008

Sam and Dean Winchester are not your average pair of brothers. Since losing their mother to a demonic attack twenty-two years ago, their father has schooled them in the ways of demons, how they inhabited the back roads of America and how to fight and kill evil. Now the brother travel in their father’s old Impala taking a stand between the human world and that of the supernatural...

Supernatural: Nevermore is the first tie-in novel for the show and is written by Keith R. A. DeCandido - a writer who rarely stumbles and never falls when it comes to producing quality work.

The book's main premise is that someone is staging killings, which appear to be connected to the writings and last home of Edgar Allen Poe. Obviously, such a strange event comes to the attention of Sam and Dean via Ash, a friend of theirs who plays in a haunted heavy metal band.

Anyone who is expecting a Buffy-style action book may be a bit disappointed. Though, to be fair to DeCandido, he lays out where the book is going in the Acknowledgements section, citing his enjoyment of a show which deal with relationships, whether it be between the brothers or between physical and internal demons. Suspense and mood are what the book delivers.

So, the book is a character piece and DeCandido has certainly nailed down the brothers on-screen personas, including their brotherly snipes, affection and humour. Whilst he has done a splendid job with the brothers, some of his original characters are even better, especially Marina McBain, the friendly cop that they meet. However, I’m less convinced that he had provided the boys "most terrifying foe yet" as the book jacket proclaims.

The descriptive passages indicate DeCandido has both a deep knowledge and an abiding fondness for the Bronx. The move to the city gives the author the chance to portray the boys as fish out of water, which generates a lot of the humour in the novel - a brave and successful decision given that much of the show was set in out of the way, small town America.

Tie-ins usually run the razors edge between putting in so much background that it annoys the current fan base or leaving out so much that the casual reader has no idea what is going on. Nevermore strikes the perfect balance between these two problematic extremes.

So, a well written, nicely balanced book that should please fans of the show and prove entertaining for the casual reader.


Charles Packer

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