Welcome to the Ninth Circle…

*I received this on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

ninth circleWhere things are not as they seem…

Okay that sounds distinctly ominous. But it kind of sums up my feelings, because this book defied my expectations. A huge part of why I picked it up was because I was on a serious Supernatural bender and the blurb sold me on its similarities- so you could say it fell into my lap when I was in exactly the right mood. Weirdly enough, however, the reason I decided to read it ended up being the source of some serious agitation- whereas what I ended up liking about it was completely unrelated and unexpected.

So let’s start with what I didn’t like: the “oh my goodness this is such a rip off of Supernatural” moments. Because, man, there is no way of getting round the fact that it starts off really fanfic-y. Though it may have plenty of action, good levels of description and snappy dialogue, a lot of that felt too similar to the show. Here are some of the parallels:

  • The sibling dynamic could have been copied and pasted. And while there are technically three sisters, it mostly focuses on two- who are basically female versions of Sam and Dean
  • Plot points- like constantly getting captured and having to save each other and even the missing relative at the start which brings them together
  • The chapters, while there’s nice attention to detail in their organisation, are literally episodic
  • Demons, sirens, hellhounds… you name it- if it’s a monster in the show, it’s made it into this book. There was even a reference to an “orange eyed whelp” (yellow eyed demon anyone?).
  • And worst of all, even though the dialogue frequently made me chuckle, lines like “here I thought you were like Ken dolls” were virtually lifted from the show.

I wanted to give this the benefit of the doubt, cos yes, I know the show too damn well to pick it apart this way, buuuut it shouldn’t have been that closely related. Even the nine circles seemed shoehorned in to make it seem less unoriginal.

Fortunately, that all changed somewhere in the middle of the book. Just when I was thinking of giving up on this Supernatural-with-girl-power deal, the plot totally changed gear and switched direction.

And that point when it started to diverge away from the show, I actually started to enjoy it. All of a sudden, it became imaginative, explosive, thrilling. I absolutely loved the colourful new mythology that came into play and it completely upped the tempo to deliver a phenomenal conclusion. In the end the strengths lay in the differences, not in the similarities. I’d imagine you’d enjoy it more if you are not particularly well versed in the show to be honest. In the end, I’m a little conflicted about this one- but I gave it:

3/5 bananas

 hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

Expected publication 22nd October 2017

So are you planning to read this? What books are you conflicted about? Let me know in the comments!

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28 thoughts on “Welcome to the Ninth Circle…

  1. daleydowning says:

    October?! By then I will have forgotten its existence.

    Thanks for the honesty, though, really. I had an entertainment-crush on Supernatural SO badly a couple of years ago, I proceeded to catch up on all the reruns – and the new episodes – pretty much all at once. So I know a TON about the show, too, and if I’d read this and determined this book was really just fanfic (omg, having flashbacks to the musical special), I would’ve been mad.

    Maybe I’ll skip it, anyway – these days, Supernatural has worn thin for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      hahaha I get that- to be honest I thought it was out earlier, but it’s already been a ridiculously long time since I read this, so thought I’d better review it before I’d forgotten 😉

      Thank you! Ah I know right- I went through the same thing (though it’s on the back burner now that GOT is back). yeahhh that was my contention with this- luckily it turned it around at the halfway point, so I was able to actually enjoy it

      Fair enough!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    Ok, don’t hurt me but… I’ve never actually watched Supernatural? I mean, I did, a few episodes here and there if they happened to be airing on the TV but I never actually watched it from beginning to end and was utterly confused about most of what I saw anyway XD
    I’m glad that you could distance yourself from all the obvious references and end up enjoy this one 🙂 The cover is so beautiful! (I have a thing for stags ever since Harry Potter hahaha)
    Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LizScanlon says:

    Interesting.. I saw this on NG as well and considered requesting it but changed my mind… going by your review it actually might be something I would enjoy as wlel… and even better for me, because I haven’t watched Supernatural at all?!
    I’d say I would watch Supernatural but there’s a danger, once i start a series, I won’t stop until I’ve seen it all, and reading will be forgotten for god knows how long 😀
    Great review… and kinda crazy that there was so many similarities in between the show and the book… o.O

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Yeah it was a total whim of mine. Ahh yes, if you haven’t read Supernatural, you won’t constantly be making parallels like I did!!
      hahaha I am the exact sam about shows lol! That’s why I went on a total marathon of the series where it was all I watched. I’ve still not finished it, cos I am so worried about falling down that rabbit hole again!!
      Thank you!! Yeah it was- it got better for me when that eased off!

      Like

  4. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    Huge fan of Supernatural, not fanfic so much haha. Now I see the reasons behind previous rant 😉 I think I will take a hard pass on this, as it sounds like it will frustrate me more than anything, though I am glad you enjoyed it a tad. I have to say, I really love your approach to reviews. I always walk away feeling like I have plenty of insight to make the safest decision ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

    You’re on a roll with these fanfic’y themed books nowadays huh? hahahah Glad to hear that it stopped being fanfic’y (Okay… something about this word you created just sounds so good) halfway through the book. Those similarities are however pretty curious though! 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    Fascinating review! Odd that the writer kept such similarities to a VERY well known show with a huge fan base… or maybe they thought that would sell it…? Definitely sounds like a fanfic ripoff… I’m glad I didn’t go for this one now… I would have been upset with such blant copying. ❤️ thanks for taking the hit!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Naty says:

    Great review! I got this book from Netgalley a few weeks ago and I’ve been seeing it being compared to Supernatural a lot, as you say. I don’t know the show too much, so let’s see!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Zezee says:

    Aww man. It sounded good for a while there because I wouldn’t mind reading a book that’s similar to Supernatural, but this one seems a bit too close to it. I would get annoyed by that too.

    Liked by 1 person

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