Read: 12th April 2019
Spoilers in review: Only if the characters’ opinions about events and characters from the TV show count as a spoiler
Set two years after the end of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, the Watchers’ Council has been mostly wiped out. Nina, and her twin sister Artemis, are part of the handful of people who are left. Except Nina has never been allowed to train, just barely being permitted to learn how to deliver first aid, while Artemis has been training in all areas of being a Watcher since she was young. Then they discover that Nina is a Slayer.
Obviously it helps if you’ve seen at least some of the series, but there’s a lot that’s explained even if you haven’t! I actually haven’t seen most of the least two seasons (I’ve seen their respective finales and know the jist of the plot) and didn’t have any problems, and I’m pretty sure that enough is explained that anyone can pick it up if they want to.
I enjoyed reading this! The characters were mostly likeable, the plot was interesting, and there are a few twists near the end that keep you on your toes. One of them didn’t surprise me, but one of them definitely did.
There were elements that were frustrating though. It made sense for Nina to think that the Watchers’ Council were right about everything and that Buffy and ruined everything, seeing as she’s from a family of Watchers, but having watched the show I know full well that this isn’t the case. This situation doesn’t last, thankfully, but it lasted longer than I was okay with.
I despise the twins’ mother. I know what she was trying to achieve, but honestly she picked the worst way to go about it and I’m not forgiving her any time soon, or likely ever.
Another frustrating element was the relationship between Artemis and Honora. Personally, I’d never be able to sustain a crush on or relationship with someone who’d bullied my sibling in any capacity. I certainly wouldn’t defend said bully against said sibling, and get angry with said sibling for disliking said bully. And nothing excuses bullying. There can be reasons for it, yes, but that is not an excuse. Artemis meant well, but that girl is wayyyy too gullible and forgiving. Wesley needs to find himself some better relatives.
Speaking of Wesley, the majority of references to him were mean about him, which like I get because these are Watchers, but have they considered the fact that I Love Him??????
There are lots of little easter eggs for things from the show !!! I found it entertaining that the vampire working as an investigator in LA and Buffy’s vampire boyfriend were never said to be the same person. Kennedy is mentioned, but only how annoying she is (I never watched much with her so have zero opinion but I’m under the impression that the fandom doesn’t like her). There’s also references to and brief appearences of some other characters we know and love. But at no point did any of this feel like it was getting in the way of the story, which I appreciated.
If you like Buffy, you’ll probably enjoy this. If you haven’t seen Buffy, you might still like this if urban fantasy is your thing. If you dislike Buffy, then I’m unsure as to why you’re even here?
Fun fact about this book, I was approved on Netgalley for an arc, but it got archived before I had a chance to download it 😦 so I did end up reading the published version. Sad times.
Review originally written in 2019