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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

The Lost Slayer

Reviewed: November 19, 2004
By: Christopher Golden
Publisher: Simon and Shuster
592 pages, $10.99

Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been a guilty pleasure at our house for the last several years, and I have tried a couple of the novelizations of various story arcs from the seven year series. None of them were as satisfying as this one, an original novel using the settings and characters from the show in an innovative way.

Christopher Golden has written a number of Buffy novelizations, as well as working on the Dark Horse comic book series, so he's well acquainted with the type of story which works and the sound of the characters. In addition, the alternate history/time travel paradox story is a staple in comic book circles, often used as a way to tell an unusual tale without it having any effect on established continuity.

That's what Golden has done here, creating a story that would have occurred off screen just near the beginning of the t.v. show's fourth year. This long novel was originally published as a four part serial novel, (following the lead of Stephen King's The Green Mile). In part one what seems to be a simple, ordinary Buffy caper goes awry and Giles, her mentor, is captured by a new evil force which has entered Sunnydale. In trying to find him, Buffy gets tricked by a supernatural entity which hurls her essence several years into a future in which a vampirized Giles has become the most deadly evil in the world and she has been his captive for five years.

Naturally, she has to escape, hook up with her friends, find an effective way to defeat the Big Bad and them get herself back to her own timeline in order to prevent any of this happening in the first place.

If they ever decide to revive the franchise with a Buffy movie or mini-series, this story would be a good one to adapt. Golden has captured the spirit of the show, nailed the dialogue, and created a thoroughly enjoyable romp in the Buffyverse. It's not great literature, but it was fun.

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