SUNNYDALE WAS ONLY THE WARM-UP…
NO VACATION. NO BENEFITS. AND THE ONLY RETIREMENT IS AN EARLY DEATH. THIS BOOK SHOULD LIKEWISE BE PUT OUT OF ITS MISERY.
Queen Of The Slayers
(Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
Genre: Media Tie-in, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books
Format: Paperback, 392 Pages
Date: 30th June 2014 (First Published 2009)
It has been mentioned in a previous book review that media tie-in novels have a poor reputation, and that this negative perception is well earned. There’s no need to repeat, here, the various reasons for this; it is enough to state that everything wrong with media tie-in novels is present in Queen Of The Slayers―a hopelessly irredeemable Buffy The Vampire Slayer novel. As a result, this review will likely be very short given that this book has practically nothing going for it.
In short, Queen Of The Slayers is Nancy Holder’s attempt to tell the story of what happens after the events of the final televised episode of Buffy. Picking up in the aftermath of those events, Holder’s tale reads very much like a really bad example of online fan-fiction…only worse. At no stage does this woeful effort try to offer up a plausible narrative of what may have transpired if an eighth season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer had been aired. This book feels like little more than an authorised wish fulfilment fan-fic written by a fan with an axe to grind about certain storylines that played out during the seventh televised season. For readers who are also fans of the TV show it won’t be a spoiler to let slip that early on in the story a polarising relationship between a certain redhead witch and newbie Latina slayer is brought to a contrived, unceremonious end.
As bad as the book is, the problems aren’t due to the quality of the writing; this is by no means a poorly written book. Where the story’s downfall is caused by the various plots running through it are far sillier than almost anything that occurred in the TV show; and this silliness becomes ever more pronounced as the story progresses. While these storylines, frankly, have no redeemable qualities, the book’s most glaring flaw lies in the depiction of the established characters from the show. What’s written on the page never truly syncs with the on screen portrayal of these characters; and that the author fails to adequately capture the voices of these familiar characters is probably the hardest thing to forgive.
It’s not an exaggeration to call media tie-in books cynical cash grabs aimed at pre-existing fans of a “property” in another medium, in order to capitalise on name / brand recognition. And while Queen Of The Slayers may very well have been a profitable venture for the publisher, it’s hard to imagine many Buffy fans will enjoy what this novel has to offer.
In conclusion, while the reviews posted on this blog endeavour to be as objective as possible, once in a blue moon that commitment is severly put to the test when there is simply nothing positive to highlight in a book. Queen Of The Slayers is just such a book; it’s too poor an effort to even recommend to die hard Buffy fans, therefore it doesn’t even merit a library loan.
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Telling it like it is. Giving you honest and balanced, spoiler free reviews. Completely devoid of irrational fanboyism, or shameless astroturfing.