Supernatural may not be returning until October for its eighth season, but until then, fans can get a taste of the Winchesters in the new tie-in novel from John Passarella, Rite of Passage. Gather.com had the chance to interview the author (check out part 1 and part 2) and read Passarella's second Supernatural tie-in.
First things first, one thing you have to realize is that when writing a tie-in novel that takes place in between two episodes (this one takes place between season 7 episodes 8, "Season 7, Time for a Wedding!" and 9, "How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters"), the author can't do much in terms of character development. That was the case with Sam and Dean in Rite of Passage, but it didn't take away from the story. There are mentions of Lucifer for Sam and drinking and "dealing with...everything" for Dean, just like you would expect, along with the boys in different cars (they had to leave the Impala behind beginning in episode 6, "Slash Fiction").
With the novel placed where it is in the season, Bobby's also around (alive, not as a ghost), but he does have a scare when the hunters are facing off with the monster-of-the-novel, the oni, from Japanese folklore, and it's impossible not to think of what happens to him on the show when reading that passage in the book. If you miss having Bobby around and also like his interactions with other, older hunters, this is the tie-in novel for you.
Speaking of, Roy was an interesting character and a nice addition to the hunting world, as well as a good way to show that it's not so easy to get out of the hunting life and it usually only ends one wayÂ—bloody. Something else the novel brings forward about the hunting life is that a hunter's job is never done. The novel begins with Sam and Dean hunting harpies before moving into them picking up reports about the deaths in Laurel Hill. Touches like those make this a good tie-in novel for the series.
The case itself was an interesting one, though some of it was predictable. The deaths caused by the oni had an almost Final Destination feel at times, and if this were a story told on screen, it would be a gory one. With all the monsters the series has already shown, the oni was a good choice and this was a case that played out well on paper. A significant amount of time was spent on the oni, the characters in the town, and those linked to the conclusion of the case, which is to be expected when there's only so much you can do with the main characters.
Overall, it's an entertaining read and worth checking out if you're a Supernatural fan, like a good case and monster-of-the-week, and want something to pass the time until season 8 begins. It draws you in, from the bloody deaths to Sam and Dean's investigation to the original characters for the novel, and it's hard to put down.
Will you be checking out Supernatural: Rite of Passage?
Â© Meredith Jacobs 2012