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BOOK
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Queen of Slayers

Author: Nancy Holder
Pocket Books
RRP 8.99
ISBN 1 4165 0240 8
Available 06 June 2005


With the closing of the Hellmouth and the awakening of hundreds of potential slayers, Buffy Summers thought she had earned herself a much-deserved break. But the thrill of victory is short-lived. The forces of darkness are not ones to graciously accept defeat, and the collective rage unites disparate and powerful parties more eager than ever to reclaim dominance...

Willow's magical distribution of the Slayer essence left girls across the world discovering their latent power. Giles races to reorganise the now much needed Watchers Council, and the Scoobies relocate to Europe. And there, in Rome, Buffy is drawn to the Immortal - a charismatic, if inscrutable, figure. But then comes word that a number of the fresh Slayers are being coerced to join an army of Slayers governed by the mysterious 'Queen of the Slayers', an awesome evil determined to claim the intoxicating Slayer essence for herself.

Xander is sent to Africa to leaner more about the origin of the Slayer essence. Instead he returns to report that alarmingly, there's not enough hoof in the world to counteract the overabundance of evil and that the deciding apocalypse is drawing much too near. Alliances are formed and loyalties betrayed as it comes down to Slayer versus Slayer, leading to an ultimate battle of champions - from Buffy's past and present. And then an unimaginable gift arrives.

I just can't make my mind up about Queen of the Slayers. It's like a rollercoaster; a mix of ups and downs. Overall its brilliant, but when you tackle a story, which in essence was left open for fans to think up their own ideas of 'what happened next', well it kinda takes away the concept of what might have happened.

Fans might have had their own ideas of what came next, but when you sit down and read this, well, it's like you're being told, and your ideas might have been different. However, saying that, Nancy Holder, one of the Buffy-verse's best novelists, has given us a great story which puts together loads of things we'd all like to know about. The story begins exactly where the final episode ended, and also ties in with episodes of Angel's final series where Andrew pays a visit, and Spike and Angel travel to Italy to find Buffy. People's relationships change and grow; you get to hear from the likes of Anya, Tara and Oz, and you find out how they dealt with the creation of Slayers around the world, and what happened with the Watchers Council. Then, even with all this going on, you've still got an ok, apocalyptic story line.

Personally I think this is what let the book down. The story was great when it came to the Slayers and the Scoobies, but the baddies are quite weak, and the story is quite bitty. Also, the ending just goes a bit weird, and I don't think its really explained very well, so it can be a bit of a let down.

But, for those who like the idea of a 'what happened next' story and can't get enough of their favourite Buffy characters and storylines; both old and new, this is definitely worth checking out. It's a real mixed bag of a book, with a variety of great and weak moments, but overall it does add something new for those who still pine for one of the greatest sci-fi shows of our generation...

Keri Allan

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