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

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Expected publication 22nd October 2017

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