Most helpful critical review
Jhaeman's Buffy Reviews
on June 15, 2008
By Richie Tankersley Cusick, based upon scripts by Joss Whedon (1997)
RATING: 3/5 Stakes
SETTING: Season 1
CAST APPEARANCES: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Darla, Giles, Cordelia, The Master, Luke, Jesse, Joyce, Principal Flutie, Harmony
BACK OF THE BOOK SUMMARY
"New school. Same assignment. Something's wrong in Sunnydale, California . . . something more than the usual bad hair day. As long as there have been vampires, there has been the Slayer. One girl in all the world, to find them where they gather and to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers. In this generation, she is Buffy Summers, 16 years old and a new student at Sunnydale High. Her experiences at her last school persuaded Buffy to try to resume the life of a normal teenager. But it is no coincidence that Buffy has come to this town at this time. The area is a center of mystical energy, and all the signs point to an imminent, crucial upheaval. Once in a century comes The Harvest: a night when the Master Vampire can draw enough power to break free and open the portal between his world and ours . . . unleashing havoc. With the help of new friends and a new Watcher, Buffy's back in business . . . ."
The first in what would become an amazingly successful line of Buffy television tie-in novels, The Harvest is a novelization of the first two episodes: Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest. Cusick sticks very closely to Joss Whedon's script; the novelization matches almost scene-for-scene, word-for-word with the final televised episodes, the only differences being an occasional minor change to a line of dialogue.
The downside is there's nothing here that wasn't on the screen, but the upside is that Whedon's humor shines through bright and clear. As The Harvest doesn't add anything to the episodes, this book is probably only for two classes of people: those who can't obtain the original episodes on VHS or DVD; and those who collect all things Buffy.