Buffy thought she'd finished the Master when she dusted him.
But in Sunnydale things have a way of coming back... The Master
may be dead, but he is not forgotten. One of the vampire lord's
devotees sets out to alter the past so that he can resurrect
the Master without Buffy's meddling. When he conjures up a
portal to transport his minions through time, the vampires
are poised to murder the most powerful slayers in history.
It is up to the Scoobies to stop the Master's followers before
they break the chain of slayers. Giles, Xander, Willow, and
Buffy pursue the vamps back in times through the portal to
save the slayers of the past. They must track the bloodsuckers
from the French Revolution to the American Civil War without
getting detected - or worse. But you can't change the past
without changing the present...
Through Time is
one of the best Buffy books I've read. However, I'm
going to be mega critical here, but only because I enjoyed
it so much and have a few nit-picks I want to raise.
at the age of 15, I went to the cinema to see Back to the
Future, almost over night I became a paradox geek and
would spend break times discussing the numerous pitfalls that
most time travel movies fell into. To be fair the Back
to the Future trilogy did cover itself pretty well but
there are still plot points that need clearing up (click here
to see some of the nit-picks our resident anorak has been
asked on the Back to the Future movies).
Portal Through Time was a book that I was itching to
read. And it didn't disappoint. Even the accidental reprinting
of a sentence on page 316 made me chuckle. It looked like
a deliberate time gag - although sadly it wasn't.
basic plot follows Buffy and the gang as they have to travel
through time attempting to stop a band of vampires killing
off old slayers. This is being done in order to ensure that
Buffy is not turned into a slayer and doesn't prevent the
Master from opening the Hellmouth. It's quickly explained
that they can't just go back and kill Buffy just before she
kills the Master, or when she is a small girl - both of which
they try to do. So, with the help of an ancient artefact,
they manage to track down four slayers from the past that
need to be killed in order to ensure that Buffy is never called
in the first place.
of the points I wanted to raise though include:
do the Scoobies assume that they can go back to save the slayers
in any order they want? Surely it would make sense to start
from the oldest time period and work forwards in time. If
the vampires have already gone back and altered time, then
after the earliest slayer was killed and the vampires had
returned to the present day before going back again, the next
slayer to kill may have changed. Originally four slayers were
chosen in order to ensure that Buffy was never called as a
slayer. The Scoobies need to start saving the slayers starting
with the one furthest back in time and following the time
line that way.
how come every time they make a jump any vampires they have
staked in a previous confrontation are not there? This would
only be the case if the Scoobies jumped back in time in exactly
the same order as the vampires. It would be quite possible
for Buffy to stake one Vampire in one time jump, but then
meet up with him again on the second time jump (if he had
gone to that time period first and then to the time period
he was dusted at a later jump).
super clever, couldn't the Master's followers just have gone
back and killed the surprise edition to the fourth and final
jump? Without giving anything away, there is a surprise awaiting
the Scoobies on their final time jump. But, we later learn
that the person killed there affects the present day, and
without them the Scoobies wouldn't be able to jump back and
stop the vampire gang in the first place. This being the case
the Master rises (as we discover when they return to the present
day). So, killing this person in the first place would have
been much easier than jumping back through time four times.
But I suppose that would have resulted in a rather dull book.
Alice Henderson, has really gone to town doing her research
for this book. Not only are the time periods recreated accurately
(without seeming as though she is trying to thrust the finer
details down the readers throat), but all of the characters
live and breathe like the TV characters. What a shame the
show is no longer running, as this would have made a perfect
episode - or perhaps a Buffy movie.
I have one complaint, it's only that everything is resolved
a little too quickly. The final time jump is so quick that
I got the feeling that Henderson had plenty more material
but that someone had cut everything back to keep the book
under 350 pages.
is one of the few Buffy books that I've read and then
felt compelled to reread again almost immediately. If
you read only one Buffy book, then make sure it's this
one. It's certainly worth investing your time in.