Hannah Scribbles

Saving People, Hunting Things, The Back Story: 10 Reasons to Read Supernatural’s Expanded Universe

In Books/Authors, Bookworm, Movies/TV, Pop Culture! on February 13, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Supernatural books, supernatural nevermore, books about the Winchesters, Keith R.A. DeCandido Supernatural, Sam and Dean's childhood,

If I learned one thing from Nevermore, the first book from CW’s Supernatural tie-in series, it’s that the Expanded Universe novels are not to be missed.

When Sam and Dean Winchester head to New York City to help an old rocker with a ghost haunting, they stumble on a series of bizarre deaths modeled after Edgar Allen Poe stories. Between long nights at the bar and attempts to put a rock n’ roll spirit to rest, the brothers face long odds finding the person behind the ritual killings. Even teaming up with NYPD detective – and amateur hunter – McBain, the the Winchester boys might not have enough time before the ritual is complete.

Nevermore follows the show’s standard pattern but offers a deeper insight into the back story of Sam and Dean Winchester. The first Supernatural tie-in novel starts a wonderful tradition of covering the jobs Sam and Dean work between television episodes. Nevermore takes time to allow the characters down time and to explore character tics like the TV show can’t afford.

Here are 10 things you never knew about the Winchesters:

  1. Sam doesn’t actually like coffee.
  2. Dean never finished Moby Dick or The Scarlet Letter but read the entire works of Aleister Crowley before high school.
  3. John Winchester actually signed Sam’s financial aid documents for his freshman year at Stanford. Sam then had himself legally emancipated so he could keep his scholarships (he disowned his dad).
  4. Dean is admittedly bad at lying, which is why he relies on Sam to get them out of awkward situations. He once spent 30 minutes explaining to a hotel clerk that he needed the suspiciously large tin of rock salt they’d left behind for his lactose intolerance.
  5. Sam plays up his musical ignorance to annoy Dean.
  6. Dean refuses to drive in New York City because he can’t navigate the boroughs.
  7. As of Season 2, Sam and Dean already have a better reputation as hunters than their father.
  8. Dean is secretly jealous of the gas mileage a Prius gets.
  9. John Winchester once packed Sam and Dean’s backpacks full of useless items, hiked them 3 days deep into Colorado’s backcountry, and told them to find their way home. Dean was 14. Sam was 10.
  10. Dean has hunted monsters since he was in the single-digits, but it’s only after John tells him to either protect or kill Sam that he begins to have nightmares.

While the Supernatural novels aren’t going to win the National Book Award any time soon, Nevermore and subsequent books are captivating genre stories written with nuance and insight into the original material. The Supernatural novels do justice to beloved characters and are a clever homage to in-show writer Chuck Shurley, author of the fictional Supernatural book series from the TV show.

It’s meta as hell and, really, that’s all you can ask for.

Rating:  3.5 Stars
Top Reasons to Read:  Because it’s fun and you can
Should I Buy It?  If you can’t find it at your local library, check for used Amazon copies

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