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BOOK
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Go Ask Malice - A Slayer's Diary

Author: Robert Joseph Levy
Pocket Books
RRP: 8.99
ISBN 1 4165 2635 8
Available 03 July 2006


Faith has always been a loner. Growing up in a broken home in South Boston, shuffled from relative to relative, her only companion was an imaginary friend named Alex, who helped her escape into a fantasy world of monsters and the supernatural, far from the real-life horrors of the waking world.
Now, taken away from her mother by social services and shipped off to a foster home, Faith learns that some nightmares are all too real, that the inventions of her childhood really do haunt the night, hungry for blood. Enter Diana Dormer, a Harvard professor and representative of the Watchers Council who has come to tell Faith of her destiny, to train her, to prepare her for what is to come; Faith is the Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. But she's not alone. When Alex, her childhood companion, returns in her dreams, she warns Faith that someone else is coming for her, a force so deadly and unforgiving that it has inspired fear in the underworld for a thousand generations. As memory and fantasy begin to merge, Faith's two worlds collide, with cataclysmic results. A violent battle for the Slayer's soul is staged, winner takes all. This is her story.

Go ask Malice is definitely something new from the Pocket Books family, and inspires a real mix of feelings. Sometimes dull and slow, other times gripping and insightful, this is the story of how Faith came to be chosen, plus it also delves pretty deep into her life up to that point.

The style is different as it's written as a diary, although at first I had my reservations. I did enjoy it after a while, and found it much easier and quicker to read.

It's a very dark story, and although, at first, I found it quite slow, the story of Faith's past more than the supernatural tale itself really dragged me in. Quite disturbing at times, you can understand why Faith is the way she is. Her childhood consisted of abuse, parents dying, abandoning her, family wanting nothing to do with her, and her teenage years weren't much better. No wonder she has so many issues.

The actual story itself, rather than Faith's history, does speed up a little as the book moves on. Of course you're waiting for her to be called, then you remember what you know of her past so far - Kakistos anyone? - and so you want to see where the story takes you. It pretty much comes to a big head after a long wait, but as everything comes together, it's a pretty gripping read.

Of course you have those special little nuances that make the Buffyverse books fun to read - nods to other characters, a cool little tale that Diana tells of her lost love; another watcher who eventually married someone else and had a son called Giles, etc. These are what really finishes the book of.

So, in a nutshell, not a great story in its own right, and non Buffy fans won't get too much from it, however those who know their Buffy lore, will find this book top notch.

Keri Allan

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