As a fan of Supernatural since its premiere on the now-defunct The WB network (it currently airs on The CW) on September 13, 2005, I’ve looked forward to seeing the story of Winchester brothers Sam and Dean unfold for twelve years. These two brothers have given up their lives for “the family business,” pursuing supernatural evil that threaten the safety and lives of innocents. They’ve battled demons, ghosts, witches and more. Not to mention gods. The later were often egotistical and not above taking human sacrifices (Remember Leshi in the Season 5 episode “Fallen Idols”?)
In his novel Supernatural Mythmaker, author Tim Waggoner has Sam and Dean face deities again by putting them on a case in the small town of Corinth, Illinois involving the ultimate god competition. This is not your Olympics where the winners are awarded gold, silver or bronze medals. This is a winner take all “In the end, there can be only One” sort of thing. But instead of Highlander’s Duncan MacCleod’s Quickening, in Supernatural Mythmaker, as each god defeats the other, that god takes the loser’s power. This brings the winning god closer to the Apotheosis, an end game to ultimate power and domination. Where did these gods come from? Apparently the mind of teenage artist Renee Mendez, though the novel doesn’t explain how or why she has this ability.
The gods amass a group of followers who support them in their quest. The head followers (dubbed priests by the gods) are Geoffrey, a homeless man supporting Adamatine, a silver skinned female god with a high volt of electrical power and Lena, a physician who works for Paeon, a god with the ability to heal. In the story, readers meet other gods vying for the crown, but they are easily dispatched by Adamatine and Paeon.
Getting wind of the miracles and mayhem, Sam and Dean head to Corinth to investigate. The Winchesters draw on their skill as hunters and a past case from when they were teens to help them with their current mission. As Supernatural Mythmaker takes place during Season 10, readers will see Dean dealing with the effects of the Mark of Cain. Is the Mark a hindrance or asset to the older Winchester as he faces the gods?
For fans and viewers of Supernatural, Tim Waggoner expertly captured the essence of the characters through his writing. I could hear Jared Padalecki’s Sam and Jensen Ackles’ Dean speaking as I read Waggoner’s words. There is also a segment in the novel where like the series, we see how in sync the brothers are. I think the toughest challenge of a writer of a novel based on a television series is creating a new story without losing the integrity of beloved characters. When reading a book like Supernatural Mythmaker where you’re expecting to find some resemblance to the television mythology (no pun intended), in my opinion, it’s difficult to care about what’s going on in the narrative if the characters don’t sound or act like themselves. Of course for the casual reader who doesn’t know Supernatural, this is a non-issue in reading Supernatural Mythmaker. The story stands on its own merits without the show connection; Bob and Joe could have been the protagonists facing the gods. So, I applaud Tim Waggnoner in writing a tale for Supernatural fans and non-fans alike. In addition to the dialogue, Waggoner provided enough description to give the reader a sense of who the gods were and their motivations. Ironically, despite the body count racked up by each god, the reader could almost feel that their actions weren’t entirely their fault. It’s hard to call Paeon and Adamatine antagonists (though between the two, one is more of a “bad guy”) as they are creations following a destined path set for them from the mind of their creator. In a way, these gods are almost like San and Dean, on a road to a journey larger than themselves.
For Supernatural fans, Supernatural Mythmaker is a good old fashioned Sam and Dean hunting mystery. It’s the brothers’ adventure without other show characters in the story. If you are a Supernatural viewer who enjoys the Sam and Dean face the monster stories, I’d encourage you to check out Supernatural Mythmaker. It’s a real page turner that will keep you engrossed until the end.
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