I absolutely loved this Supernatural story. It had monsters created from a combination of science and magic, human tragedy, a mad scientist, and some seriously gross bits. We also find out more about Sam and Dean’s childhood through a story that echoes their current case. It’s set during Season Seven of the TV series, so contains references to the on-going plot.
Carved in Fleshsees the Winchester brothers in Brennan, Ohio – usually a quiet uneventful type of place. Not somewhere you’d expect to find an overly aggressive creature that resembles a dog (or several dogs actually) attacking local residents and leaving behind empty husks. Dean’s concerned they are wasting their time chasing after some ‘Frankenmutt’ when the real danger is the Leviathan, and Dick Roman in particular. But, ever the smart guy, Sam reckons they might be on the trail of something new, and therefore of use against their most recent nemesis.
I’ve read a few Frankenstein-inspired stories recently, so was curious to see where this would take the theme. It combines several strands, including a bereaved doctor, a very old practitioner of the black arts, and some cutting edge medical technology. The dog is just a foretaste of the main event. Sam and Dean have to figure out a way to destroy the revenant creature, an experiment that doesn’t go smoothly. Sam sustains an injury, but whether it’s that or an increase in his hallucinations, he’s definitely not firing on all cylinders. He’s majorly sluggish, and keeps glimpsing someone off in the distance. As usual, he keeps his problems to himself, until forced to talk. Will the brothers never learn to share their worries?
Overall, I thought the story was exciting, with some good new creepiness. There are some disgusting scenes, really gross-out, which add to the fun. There’s also a whole new level of pathos for the brothers as they revisit their youth; we see when the very last shreds of innocence torn from the pair. I’m giving Carved in Flesh a big thumbs-up.
Thanks to Titan Books for sending me a copy of this book for review. It’s available now in Paperback.