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Go Ask Malice: A Slayer's Diary (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) Paperback – July 1, 2006
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"Go Ask Malice: A Slayer's Diary" is certainly an attempt by Robert Joseph Levy to create a canonical story regarding Faith before she showed up in the third season "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" episode "Faith, Hope & Trick." It ends in June of 1998 with Faith on a bus on the first leg of a trip that will have her ending up in Sunnydale, and begins on December 14, 1997, on what must be Faith's 17th birthday, when she is given a diary by her counselor at school. Living somewhere in the Boston area, Faith hates her mother, gets into fights at school, and has started having dreams that smack of Greek mythology and the bloody story of the Bacchai. Abandoned by her mother and finally incarcerated for her acts of violence, Faith is rescued by Professor Diana Dormer, a professor in the department of Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University, and a representative of the Watchers Council.
Dormer explains to Faith that she is a Potential, and with great potential power comes great responsibility. Having already encountered her first vampire, Faith is willing to believe and so she starts training to be a Slayer. Faith is not exactly into studying, but she is even less used to having anybody treat her like she is worth anything as a human being, so she buys into the program. Meanwhile, she continues to have dreams in which her imaginary friend Alex turns out to be something different and quite older. Alex warns Faith that an ancient force is coming for her, something whose name is Malice, and as the memories and fantasies begin to merge, Faith comes closer to her first battle with a Big Bad. The other key character in the book turns out to be Killian, the drummer for her favorite band, Freak Wharf, who tends to drink a lot because when he does not he tends to make people he thinks about materialize.
How well does Levy work his novel into the "BtVS" continuity? Well, Faith becomes a Slayer on May 12, which is the same day that "Becoming, Part 1" aired and Drusilla killed Kendra, but what happened after the sun had set in Sunnydale on the left coast should not translate into dinner time for Faith back in Boston (a minor point). Most readers should catch out that it is going to be Kakistos that is waiting for Faith at the end of this one, and that proposes a major problem for Levy, because on the one hand when Faith shows up in Sunnydale with Kakistos on her heels she is seriously freaked out by the vamp that killed her Watcher, but on the other hand you do not especially want to end your novel with your heroine having been defeated and fleeing town. Actually, I do not think there is anything wrong with that given Faith's divided sense of self, which was explored to great effect on both "BtVS" and "Angel," but Levy decides not to play it that way.
The diary device works for the most part (if you get a phone call from an ancient vampire telling you he has your Watcher, would you really stop to write down what happened in your diary?), and it is really just a way of allowing Faith to tell the story in the first person. As Faith says when her teacher asks why it is significant that "Dracula" is an epistolary novel, "I guess it makes it more personal or whatever." You just have to go along with the idea that Faith would be such a diligent diary writer, because multiple page entries would certainly seem to tax her interest, not to mention her attention span. On balance, "Go Ask Malice" ends up slightly ahead on points. We do find out the origin of her signature "five by five" phrase and how she became a Slayer, but the ending does not fit completely with her advent in the television series. Still, for those of you who were wondering about the complete back story on Faith the Vampire Slayer, this is going to be as good as it gets.
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We get peeks into her childhood & "imaginary" friend, meet her first watcher, & see her...Read more