Posted on April 19, 2010 by Steven Dawes
Available at Amazon.com
Ok everyone, take your best “Wizard of Oz” impression out of the closet and chant along with me: “ Monsters, Spirits, Demons and ghouls, OH MY!”
As of this last weekend I read “Supernatural: Book of Monsters, Spirits, Demons and Ghouls” and thus wrapping up my three part supernatural quest. If you haven’t been keeping score, my first venture into the quest was tangling with a book that forgot that it was based on the Supernatural TV show and did its own thing. My second part of the quest proved to be an improvement that led me into the depths of John Winchester’s history, mind and research via his journal. So how did the last part of my quest go? Let’s just say that I managed to save the best for last.
I didn’t read these books in any particular order; I literally just picked them at random. In retrospect that may not have been the best way to handle it. Both “The Journal” and “The Guide” were written by Alex Irvine, but the Guide was written first, and you could tell that it was. Besides this small insight, I had a great time reading this particular book. Now THIS is how you write a “Supernatural” book! The Guide was written from the point of view of the Winchester boys and was much more believable than how John’s memoirs read. The boys went into their experiences in dealing with the particular fiends they were discussing, they sometimes took jabs at each other and shared other insights unique to them and it was all just plain fun to read.
And the greatest compliment I had to give to the Journal is carried on here as the research into the supernatural and the occult were simply spot on! Alex (or whoever gave him the details) REALLY did their homework and managed to dig up all sorts of obscurities and oddities concerning monster lore. All the knowledge brought up in the TV show was here in detail, but Alex was sure to add an impressive amount of info that while not necessarily relevant to the show, it’s relevant to the creatures detailed within the guide.
The how impressive was the compilation of creatures here? I’d say it was quite impressive, considering most of the creatures discussed make their way onto the show at some point. The menagerie of menaces ranged from all parts of the globe; from the Far East to the Middle East to the East coast of the USA… all types were fair game. Included in their details were the legends, folklores and superstitions that our ancestors practiced to stay safe from them. The last section of the book offered appendix’s for easy demon hunting research and tips. The first appendix details a variety of oils herbs and their common uses in your everyday demon hunting and occult practices while the second one gave the names and details on lots of demonic legions a demon hunter may deal with on a given day.
If there a gripe I could cough up on this otherwise excellent guide, it would that there are references from “The Journal” I mentioned earlier. Now, while the Journal is an important part of the show and it only makes sense to include passages from it, the issue I had may have come from the fact that I’d read dad’s journal first, so the notes from it here felt duplicated. But again, I read the journal first and this may be an over exaggeration because of that, but I still wanted to mention it.
But when all is said and slain, this is the ideal book for fans of the TV show to read and enjoy. Lots of monsters, spirits, demons, ghouls and the Winchester brothers are splattered all over the guide and makes for a good read (even if you’re not a fan of the show.) And as for me, now that my supernatural quest is over, I will now return to hunting down and dissecting the many legions of horror and dark fantasy books that terrorize the world over for your reviewing enjoyment.
Review by Steven Dawes