In some ways, Coyote’s Kiss is a return to the classic monster stories of the first few seasons of Supernatural. There are no demons or angels or even much reference to the myth arc at all.
There is however, an introduction for Sam and Dean to a different kind of mythology. The novel centers on a hunt which takes place right on the Mexican border near Tijuana.
A woman who seems to shift between human and beast forms has attacked a border patrol, and when the brothers come upon the case, they first think it might be a werewolf, but it’s something much different from the monsters they have seen before.
They encounter a hunter from Mexico, a girl called Xochi, who is used to hunting a completely different kind of monster.
She talks of vampires and ghosts, the same as the brothers, but most of her monsters are from the Aztec tradition. The concept of multiple mythologies around the globe – each with its own pantheon – is clearly reinforced here.
Xochi, who is capable of communing with the Aztec gods, tells them that they are dealing with a borderwalker, a woman who died in a traumatic way, and was brought into the supernatural fold as a sort of vengeance spirit.
As the team explores the circumstances of the woman’s death, however, they find that there are some suspicious circumstances. The investigation is further complicated by the appearance of Xochi’s sister, Teo, whose motives are not for the common good.
The Appearance of Teo is the most literarily interesting element here. She seems to be a representation of what Sam would have become to Dean had the story run slightly differently. Family has always been a strong theme of the Supernatural stories in general, but here we get a clear parallel to the brothers drawn with the brush of a pair of hunting sisters.
Teo has gone off the path of good, and it is her plans which are causing confusion and danger to the unlikely three person hunting team.
The bit of myth arc exploration we do get is for Dean’s failed relationship from the beginning of the season. Dean is attracted to Xochi, and he feels a lot of guilt for these feelings, as if he’s being unfaithful to Lisa, just by looking at this hot hunter.
The book as a whole is refreshing for its departure from the Christian Mythology stories which have dominated the last three seasons of the show, and the characters are depicted faithfully, and even explore some additional development beyond the show, something that tie-in novels rarely do well. If you enjoy the classic Sam and Dean who were frequently learning about new monsters and new mythologies, then you should pick up this tie-in, as it will put you right where you want to be.
Coyote’s Kiss is available now from Titan Books. The seventh season of Supernatural airs on The CW starting Sept 23 , 2011.