The Heart of the Dragon was a ronin, a Samurai warrior, an honorable man. He's called to make a judgement in 1859 Japan (I think, the book's in the other room). He's betrayed by a demon and decried by the village. He's burned at the stake by a demon who watches him burns, and waits for an opportunity to use this noble spirit for ignoble means.
Flash forward to 2009 where the Winchesters have just figured out the Trickster is Gabriel, and are looking at omens. Something is killing people in San Francisco, slicing them to ribbons and burning them to a crisp. As they research, they discover this spirit has appeared every 20 years, and that in 1969, their mother and grandparents fought it.
The story flashes back to 1969 and 15-year-old Mary Winchester and her parents learn, like the Winchesters, that a spirit is killing people in San Francisco. They travel there, and we get to know Samuel and his protectiveness of his daughter when it comes to boys, his trust in her when it comes to her fighting skills. I enjoyed reading about his very real partnership with his wife. I could absolutely picture Mitch Pileggi as I read it.
The Campbells manage to vanquish the ghost for 20 years, when John Winchester hears about it and goes to hunt it. That's as far as I've gotten. I'm halfway through the book and there haven't been many Sam and Dean scenes, but I really liked getting to know the Campbells. I'm looking forward to reading more about John.
I was wondering how the author, Keith R. A. DeCandido, could write the book so quickly, since the 2009 parts take place after "Changing Channels." I guess the reason is that the bulk of the book is in others' point of view.
I wasn't too intrigued by the mythology, but that's just my taste. Have you read it? Did you like it?