Supernatural: Coyote's Kiss (Book)
Published by Titan Books
Have you ever seen a spinoff episode of a TV show? One where a longstanding show has a "very special" episode with big guest stars, clearly designed to kick off a spinoff series? That's how Coyote's Kiss fits in with "Supernatural" and the other Supernatural tie-in novels.
In this one a truck of illegal immigrants is pulled over by the Border Patrol, and everyone involved is massacred by something inhuman. The Winchester boys get involved and wind up in the middle of a struggle featuring a pantheon of gods that they've never faced before. Helping them in this hunt is Xochi Cazadora, the Mayan version of a hunter. Knowledgeable in that unique and specific world of monsters and magic, Xochi assists the boys in a chase that eventually takes them below the Border to stop an evil god from manifesting in this realm and destroying us all.
Let's get it out of the way: This is Xochi's book. Dean and Sam are there, but largely they're along for the ride. Xochi is portrayed as a complete badass: part witch, part gunslinger, all woman. She is to the Mexican/Mayan world of the supernatural what Dean and Sam are to the European/American universe.
What we're left with is a good story that both is "Supernatural" and isn't. If that's an issue for you, best stay away from this one. Sam, in particular, is relegated to the background. Dean is the focus for their side of the tale, and it's his interactions with Xochi that make things interesting.
This is also a bit of a weakness with the book. These aren't random gringo hunters A and B; these are the Winchesters. For them to not even be aware of the existence of this alternate pantheon and the rules surrounding it is far-fetched to say the least. It's okay with me that Xochi is the expert and the boys are the hunky backup, but they're just a little too out-of-the-know here for a fan of the show to buy them as the Winchesters.
There are also the (unfortunately) usual typos and grammatical errors I've gotten used to with the Supernatural tie-in novels. I know these things are likely turned out pretty quickly, but this is just sloppy, and it keeps getting repeated book after book. Pay someone to proof these things, guys!
Overall, I liked the book. I like the Xochi character and would love to see more of her, preferably on the show itself. Find out if Penelope Cruz or her sister is available for a guest shot. As a Supernatural novel, it's sub-par. As a standalone novel with a new hunter character, it's quite nifty. If you're okay with all that, enjoy your very special spinoff episode of "Supernatural" and read Coyote's Kiss.
3 out of 5