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Tales of the Slayer, Volume 1 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) Paperback – October 2, 2001
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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About the Author
Best-selling author Nancy Holder has published sixty books and more than two hundred short stories. She has received four Bram Stoker awards for fiction from the Horror Writers Association, and her books have been translated into more than two dozen languages. She has written or cowritten twenty Buffy and Angel projects. A graduate of the University of California at San Diego, Nancy is currently a writing teacher at the school. She lives in San Diego with her daughter, Belle, and their growing assortment of pets.
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The seven tales compiled here are no exception to this problem. While I found several quite interesting, only a couple managed to bring their heroines completely to life and none completely escaped a grim fascination with the dark side of the Slayer mythos. For me, one of the things that makes Buffy a cut above most fictional characters is her acceptance of the bleak future that faces a Slayer and her determination to rise above it. In other words, she doesn't give in to the tragic side of the job. Too many of the Slayers here are trapped in the tragedy and never have a chance to win their way out.
My favorite story is 'Mornglom Dreaming' about Mollie Prater, set in the Kentucky countryside. Mollie, soon to be married, suddenly comes into her heritage and faces a demon that compulsively turns celebrations into funerals. Mollie's attitude makes her a winner despite the trauma of her new job. Another interesting story is 'Unholy Madness,' which is the story of Marie-Christine Du Lac, a member of the court just before the French Revolution. What is remarkable here is the shallow and elitist role that the Watcher's Council forced on the Slayers in a time of great social oppression. Only slowly does Marie-Christine realize that not all vampires wear fangs.
The other tales are all acceptably written, but most lack the spark that makes a tale more than an example of a very limited genre. My own perception is that the trade paperback 'Tales of the Slayers,' is really more successful. If for no other reason than the creation of Fray, who went on to star in a comic series of her own. No surprise, Fray is another Joss Whedon creation, and demonstrates that what makes a Slayer great is her ability to dance on the line between horror and hope.
While the writing here is uneven, it is never poor, and many of the author's demonstrate an excellent grasp of historical periods and their impact on Slayer and Watcher behavior. Therefore, the book is hardly a failure, even if it isn't a complete success. Personally, I would have likes to see more variation in development and outcome. In any case, this is a required addition to the shelves of Slayer Watchers everywhere as a memorial to those who were chosen.
So, while this book is an interesting read, I probably won't be purchasing the second volume to quell my need for things Buffy. The DVDs of the real thing will have to quench my thirst.
The first story is set in a Native American community, and I have to say I found it rather bland and confusing. I expected more action and most of the time the story is quite predictable.
The second story takes a lot of time to get to present the Slayer and by the time it does you may have lost interest in the story. It is set in China and the Slayer is not sure if she wants to be a selfish brat or a selfless savior. The watcher is a character used before by the author in another Tales of the Slayer volume.
The third story is set in 1920's Hollywood and revolves around a series of murders. It is pretty good since you keep guessing who the murderer is and till the last minute the answer is not revealed.
As I said the fourth one was my favorite as it combines romance, martial arts, a little bit of comedy and slayer action.
This volume has the talents of Nancy Holder and Christopher Golden, two of the best Buffy novels writers.I hope this review was useful and sorry for any mistake but it is my first review ever. Thanks for reading!
As you would expect from a group of writers each story is different, some even have historical references. I considered the ancient Greek story as one of the best(and,at 29, the oldest slayer I've ever read of), the Virginia Dare story was also good (and is full of those historical references), the 1880's Kentucky and 1950's Florida stories also had their points.
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RATING: 4/5 Stakes
SETTING: Before Season 1