Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Hell Reviews - Supernatural: One Year Gone

Synopsis: A Supernatural novel that reveals a previously unseen adventure for the Winchester brothers, from the hit TV series! Twenty-seven years ago, Sam and Dean Winchester lost their mother to a demonic supernatural force. Following the tragedy, their father taught the boys everything about the paranormal evil that lives in the dark corners of America... and how to kill it. This story will fill in gaps in the Supernatural timeline thanks to the author s first-hand knowledge of the show and unrivalled access to the show s creator. Dean believes that Sam is in Hell so he is trying to keep his promise to his brother and live a normal live with Lisa and Ben. When he realizes that a spell in the Necronomicon could raise Lucifer and therefore Sam, he convinces his new family to travel with him on vacation to Salem. Meanwhile Sam is not as far away as Dean thinks and is determined to protect his brother from the Salem witches... Eric Kripke (creator and executive producer of Supernatural) has written a foreword for the book.

Oh boy, here we have it people, the crème of the crop of the bad Supernatural novels.
The one at the very top where I’d have to stop repeatedly and comprehend what I had just read, if it wasn’t just blatant mistakes on when Sam’s birthday is (which kind of irked me for reasons to be explained) then it was the awful porn like quotes:

Paraphrase of a quote because Hell is too lazy to flip through the book and find the actual thing:

Random blatantly witch, bad guy girl from the past to Sam: You remind me of a horse my family used to own.
Sam, kind of smirking I think, he’s soulless and doesn’t care about whatever: Well then giddy up.

What….what was that?!

Did I just slip into an erotic book by accident?

Look Sam, you’re my favourite character in the show and always have been. Most variations of you have been hot beyond believe, from moody Sam to Lucifer!Sam to soulless Sam, heck even demon blood Sam would have been hot if it wasn’t for the whole out of character sleeping with a demon thing (then trust her over your own brother?! What.the.hell?)…but bugger me if you did that to me I’d be laughing too hard to go any further with you, naked or otherwise.
Just what is that?
Dear god.

So, in case you didn’t get it, One Year Gone is based on that year or so between when Sam jumped into the pit and when Dean got pulled back into the game.
Which is for the best really, I mean…come on Lisa, you were bit of a meh character.
“You shoved my son!”
Yeah…after he was warned to stay the hell away and didn’t listen and put himself in danger, the little shit deserved to get more than shoved.
Maybe if you taught your kid to listen every once in a while it wouldn’t be an issue.
Forced conflict is forced.
Anyway, I digress.
The point is that you spend a lot of time flitting between, Sam’s case, Dean looking for the Necronimicon whilst acting like he’s there for holiday time with the new family and short passages of a similar case to Sam’s in past with what I believe is their ancestors.

Now the positive is that I really enjoyed the parts in the past, those parts I found really fascinating.
We had a look at past ancestors never mentioned before during the Salem Witch trials, which was one of my favourite subjects to learn about in English class. (Not to brag, but I got a B in that subject and an A in a law paper…yeah.)
This part was something new and fresh, brand new characters to form opinions on whilst being linked to our favourite brothers, it was all mayhem and it was awesome.

Sadly that’s all there is to the good of this book, which is a serious shame.
Everything else is just a glob of ‘what?’
There’s just a bunch of things that could have been promising, I mean come on there’s Dean’s worst enemy next to demons, witches, and they just posed such a small threat that it wasn’t worth the energy that getting excited would have used.
Sam is off hunting by himself and being soulless, once again could be promising but turns out to be a complete was of time unless you wish to see him pick up some witch to bang and do nothing else that’s really memorable.
Trust me, after the ‘giddy up’ nothing else sticks out for Sam, that was so bad that I had to share it with my best friend the second I was online after reading it.
When ‘that’ is all that sticks out about one of the main characters, then you know there’s an issue.

The main flaw of this book is that it drags so much.
I knew what I was getting into and I didn’t go in expecting the brother’s to be magically reunited only for Dean to magically lose his memory by the end of the book so it can continue with the canon story, I mean that’d be ridiculous even for Supernatural’s standards.
However the promise of finding out how they were coping separated, one ‘settled down’ but still obsessed with finding a way to help his brother, whilst the other being completely emotionless and just hunting because it’s what he knew during that dark time of having no soul would have been so interesting, if done right.
But Rebecca added nothing that gave these two separate and potentially interesting stories life.
It’s so cardboard and boring and bugger me, Lisa and Ben are still annoying as all heck.
The main thing about Supernatural is its focus on the family bond, the chemistry between Sam and Dean, and the actors playing them on screen, is vital for the stories to work.
Without that there’s nothing to keep you interested and their understandable separation in this book just makes it drag out for so long that it almost became a chore to read it.
I wasn’t going in blind, I knew it was going to be about their time separated and looked forward to it, but it all just fell so short that eventually I was pushing myself to get to the end and almost gave up on it altogether a few times.
If it hadn’t been for the time jumps to the past at random times, I wouldn’t have bothered.

Another flaw is that it’s just far too coincidental.
Now any Supernatural fan will know that coincidence and the Winchesters go hand in hand, but this book takes the biscuit sometimes.
You expect Sam and Dean to get out of being tied up with relative ease to beat the bad guys if it’s a one off episode, you expect clues to turn up in ridiculous circumstances so the plot can progress within its hour time slot, but this just got ridiculous.
Let me give you an example, don’t expect explicit details as I tried to bleach this out of my brain.
There’s a part where Dean has to sneak into somewhere and Lisa was like; “Here’s some balaclavas so no one recognises us, I packed them from home.”



You’re going to Salem! Why would you pack freaking balaclavas unless you’re expecting to rob a place whilst there?!
Now, this may be due to my geographical ignorance, so please do correct me if I’m wrong because I really need a peace of mind over this, but is there a reason in Salem to pack balaclavas?
Is it normal to look at your luggage and think; “Well we’re going to Salem, better pack those balaclavas.”?
Please help me, this is keeping me up at night and that occurred five years ago.

My main problem here is that author themselves.

If this was some random thrown in author then it may have been different if they had written exactly the same things, sure the book still would have been bad but perhaps I’d have just tucked it away and not thought about it again.
However, unlike my usual self I glanced over the foreword of this book which is a small statement from the creator of Supernatural, Eric Kripke himself.
In this statement he says how we’re lucky to have this book in our ‘hot hands’ because it’s written by someone who knows Eric Kripke’s story and what he envisioned for Supernatural inside and out and someone who has actually worked on the show.
If that’s the case then how the hell did we get this crapfest of a book?
The person is supposed to know all the intricate little details flitting around in Kripke’s mind better than he does, he said so himself in that very same statement, so how can so much feel so wrong?
If she’s meant to know the show so well how can she gets Sam’s birth date wrong? (Which I know they do in season 11 too, I haven’t gotten there yet but I saw the screen shot….is it that hard to remember May 2nd? Or is something else going on?)
I think this is why this book felt so disappointing and it made it clear that David Reed was the superior writer of their co-produced previous book, The Unholy Cause.
After that huge hype up of Rebecca, I expected more and was left high and dry.

So, those are all my gripes.
I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

I found this one so bad that it was one of my first reviews I ever actually wrote on Amazon.
Look…right there, at the top…it’s me!

Only one person found it helpful?! Come on…it’s worth at least two helpful ratings!
I feel like I was trying to be too nice, on recollection it’s definitely not worth the three stars I gave it.

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