Top positive review
Well worth a read!
Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2013
I never expect much from TV tie-in novels – more often than not, they’re badly written, uninteresting, or the characters bear little resemblance to their TV counterparts. So, as usual, I started reading “Fresh Meat” with very low expectations.
The first third of the book had me sighing, “Okay. Another waste of money,” because the author included a lot of painfully long clumps of backstory that we as fans already know. The book is set early in Season 7, prior to Bobby’s death, when Sam is still dealing with Hallucifer and Castiel is presumably dead – so for page after page we have Dean, or Sam, mentally recalling the events of the first several episodes of the season (including the agonizing Amy saga), with no new insight into any of it. Yes, there were several action sequences, but they passed by quickly, in favor of more mopey backstory.
Apparently, the author cracked open a six-pack of Red Bull. From about the midway point through the end of the book, the action moves at a rip-roaring pace. The boys and Bobby fight their way from one harrowing challenge to another – and I’ll point out to my fellow fans, if it’s “whumpage” you’re looking for, this book is where you’ll find it, in spades! Sam, Dean, and Bobby are all battered, kicked, sliced, impaled, crushed, frozen, nearly suffocated… (Though, true to the TV series, they recover from each life-threatening injury in a miraculously short time.)
The original characters didn’t quite satisfy me; the author sacrificed getting into their heads in favor of continuing the action, and I’m sure that’s fine for most readers. We don’t find out anything new about Sam, Dean, or Bobby, either - but again, the breakneck pace of the last part of the book will keep you reading, and you won’t worry about how Dean is dealing with the loss of Cas, or what’s going on with the Leviathans. There’s a mystery involved, a great new monster, considerable amounts of gore, our boys being smart and inventive – it’s tough to ask for more. (All right, chopping out a bunch of the backstory would help, but I won’t quibble.)
Long story short: do I recommend this book? Heck yes! If you’re patient with that first third (go ahead, skim through it), you’ll be rewarded with that blazing second half. Enjoy!