In my generation, there are lots of Buffy The Vampire Slayer fans. I don't think this is prophesied anywhere, but it's a basic fact. I am one of them. Thanks to the phenomenally successful tv series, the books, the merchandise and the original movie (well, maybe less so the movie), it's indisputable: Buffy rules.
But while I've seen every episode, played the card game and even bought some of the scripts in book form, I'd never actually read a Buffy novel. So when I heard about this bind up of the first three titles, I knew I had to check them out. And I'm so glad I did, because these novels have everything we fans loved about the tv series - and with the added bonus that they're completely different stories.
Of the three novels here, my favourite is easily Coyote Moon. Set in the summertime when the Carnival is in town, it's the kind of story that gives you the creeps. Between the humor, the air of subtle danger that the Carnival brings to proceedings, and the new twist on a familiar legend, it has all the ingredients of a classic Buffy episode. Night of the Living Rerun is probably my least favourite - a tale of past lives that lost my attention in places and was occasionally hard to follow. The final novel, Portal Through Time, is the most epic of the three. Buffy - along with Xander, Willow and her watcher Giles - travel back in time to defeat a vampire plot to kill previous Slayers. It's fascinating and fun, and we even get a couple of cameos from other favourite characters. It's a story that would have had to run over a few episodes of the tv show, or be simplified a LOT - but in novel form, it's a satisfying helping of Buffy awesomeness.
The most impressive thing about this bind up is that all of the three authors - John Vornholt, Arthur Byron Cover and Alice Henderson - have faithfully recreated the essence of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but also given us three very different stories. They're fresh and intriguing in their own right. I'm not sure how they'll read to someone who has never seen the tv series at all, but I suspect that anyone who has caught even one or two episodes will find themselves easily able to imagine the actors speaking the smart and witty dialogue their characters are given in these novels. My only minor issue is that hardcore Buffy fans will probably want to work out where exactly these stories 'fit' in terms of the chronology of the tv episodes. Each novel does seem to link to what was happening in the tv series at a particular point, but rather than following directly on from each other they jump around a little along the timeline. However, this doesn't make them any less enjoyable.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer 1 pretty much rocks. It's full of 'Grrr' and 'Argghh' and more wiggins than you can shake a pointy stick at. Buffy fans will love it. Those who aren't yet Buffy fans should follow my sage advice: go watch season one, marvel in the greatness, then read this.
Out: September 2nd 2010, UK
Thanks to Simon and Schuster UK for providing a review copy of this book.
GIVEAWAY! I have FIVE copies of Buffy The Vampire Slayer 1 to give away, thanks to the fantastic Simon and Schuster UK.
- Contest is open to UK entrants only, and prizes will be sent out direct from the S&S UK.
- There will be five winners, of one book each, chosen at random using an online randomizer.
- Entrants must be aged 13 or over.
- Entrants aged under 16 must have permission from their parent or guardian, and must provide an email address for their parent or guardian - not their own!
- Contest closes at midnight GMT on the 9th September 2010.
- Winners will be chosen, announced and contacted by email on the 10th September 2010. If no response is received after 48 hours an alternative winner will be chosen.