Clover's Reviews > Witch's Canyon

Witch's Canyon by Jeff Mariotte
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Jul 11, 11


Prologue: Begins Forty years in the past with a small child seeing a chilling ghost. Like the kid, his thought-patterns and the ghost is suitably creepy. So far so good.

Chapter One: Much better writing in this book. No huge infodumping of back story. What is there is woven in without being jarring. Descriptions use a range of senses. The boys’ voices sound like them. They are in Arizona since they got a tip from the cop they met in Nevermore. A slew of supernatural seeming murders go rampant every forty years. (Not a spoiler since it’s on the back cover)

There’s a funky characterization of the boys though: Dean, having worked with Dad longer, was used to taking orders. More than that, he seemed to thrive on it, as if Dad had crushed the independent spirit he’d been born with. What was left behind was a Dean who Sam bossed around whether he meant to or not.

Um, that’s uh, never how I saw the boys. Could be just a matter of opinion thing. Idk. Anyone else want to weigh in on this? Anyone else see Dean as spineless and Sam bossing him around?

Weird. Especially since Dean’s voice and mannerisms aren’t written to comply with this random statement. His character so far is reflecting the spunky un-bossed around Dean we all know and love from the show. Maybe the writer threw that paragraph in to see if we were all paying attention.

Chapter Two: Victim of the week’s POV. He’s not a penny-waste, and I gotta say, the “whatever” that killed him was satisfying and gruesome, truly supernatural, plus even though we get to see it, we still don’t know exactly what it is. So far, this book is pretty good.

Chapter Three: Dean feels guilt as backstory of Mom’s, Jess’s, and Dad’s death are thought about. They follow the small town sirens where the body of the first victim has been discovered. Suitably eviscerated and gory. It’s only chapter 3 and the story is moving along without any boring spots. This writer knows that Dean’s eyes are green, though Sam’s are plain brown. There’s a scene where they talk across the roof of the Impala. Thumbs up.

Chapter Four: Starts out in a flashback with John training the boys, 13 & 8, and being hard on Sam who can’t make it over the wall until Dean encourages him. Back in real time, they discuss the case.

Chapter Five: Nasty cow mutilations by some unknown creature are discovered.

Chapters Six and Seven: The little town is building a new mall right where a lot of activity is happening. Mall cameras catch a ghost in old cavalry uniform kill a mall cop with his saber.

Chapter Eight: Another victim dies. Gory-factor goes up a notch.

Chapters Nine – Twelve: More deaths, more clues, one of the boys’ new friends is cut off at her home. The boys follow a bear like creature, but the trail suddenly disappears. Different ghosts from soldiers to Native Americans to mountain men keep brutally killing people. A guy who lived through the last forty murder spree tells the boys about how all sorts of spirits and creatures come out for those few weeks every forty years. The guys are getting anxious that they can’t figure out how to stop more people from getting killed.

So far I am enjoying this book. The mystery is of the supernatural variety, a bit gory, and even though we know there are ghosts and some sort of monster involved, we don’t know how or why. The boys characters are in sync with how they are and act and speak on the show and the back story that has been seeded in hasn’t been too much and fit what is going on. I’m on page 100 and haven’t been bored yet.

Chapters Thirteen – Seventeen: Several more murders take place- bam, bam, bam, all by different ghosts, shape-shifters, spirit animals. Sam and Dean don’t know what they are dealing with. The Sherriff tries to call for outside help, but none of the phone lines work, no cell reception. Everything is escalating and I’m enjoying it.

Chapters Eighteen: Deputy tries to leave town to get help. SUV stalls and all sorts of bugs & spiders kill him pretty nastily. It’s cool. Faxes, emails, nothing works. Towns shut off from outside help.

Chapters Nineteen – Twenty-Two: Scared teen pulls a gun on Sam. Dean saves him. They meet a guy who has been hunting the ghosts and creatures for the past 3 murder cycles. Dean shoots a ghost just before it almost kills a woman.

ChapterTwenty-Three: Another interesting flashback to being kids. Weechester fans will love this. With the old-timer’s help, they figure out what the spirits/creatures are, but now have to figure out why.

Chapter Twenty-Four: Ouch. Sam’s hurt.

Chapter Twenty-Five – Twenty-Seven: Sam and Dean have an awesome fight with several ghosties. Big clue about what might be going on is revealed.

Chapter Twenty-Eight – Forty: Did I mention these are short chapters? And these last ones went quickly, built momentum. The boys figure out what is behind everything. I gotta say it wasn’t what I expected, which makes me smile. I love it when I don’t guess the ending, yet in hindsight it still totally fits with all the clues. Sam and Dean split up to take on different tasks. The concern over not being there as back up for each other was given some momentary worry. The chapters flipped back and forth as both boys separately take on some major whumpage. Gotta love that. For a second, Sam was up to his eyeballs and I seriously didn’t know how he was going to get out of that. Then of course, good guys win, but not without a serious gory bloody body count.

All in all, I liked this book. The writing flowed really well, the back story wasn’t intrusive. Descriptions well-placed and sensory. I could tell this writer actually watched the show as except for that one random comment I pointed out earlier, the boys stayed in character, even having a few bro moments where they mimicked things like talking over the roof of the car and Sam’s healthy eating patterns. The weechester flashbacks came into importance during the climax so I was real happy about that, you know make every scene count and all that instead of just throwing in some fluff. Although admittedly I’m just as happy with fluff too. The Baddie turned out to be truly scary bad and the secondary characters were all fleshed out characters with interesting personalities all their own.

Witch’s Canyon is a Supernatural book that I’m happy to recommend.
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