For the diehard fans, there is just something special about the universe that Joss Whedon and others created to tell the story of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It has stood the test of time as a television series, a spin-off television series, loads of comics and, now, the latest entry, a book by Kiersten White, Slayer.
The Buffyverse has been explored across time and locations before but this book starts nearly directly at the end of the seventh season of the television series, which is where you need to know that Buffy and crew unlocked all the potential Slayers in the world, upending the dynamic that there would be only one at any given time. And then they went on to defeat evil.
Only the perspective of the season and series ender is much different from the Watchers perspective, which is where we find the narrator of Slayer, one of the twins of Nina and Artemis. Nina takes the lead voice and there are some tropes that are pretty easy to see coming if you are into the Buffyverse. There is an inciting incident and a new Slayer is chosen, even when everyone thought that part of the magic was done for. And the new Slayer isn’t who everyone would have picked or bet on becoming the new Slayer.
Of course, the new Slayer isn’t the best student of the arcane and winds up having to do her best against challenging odds. Thankfully because it is set in the Watcher’s castle, there is a nice and solid group of other teenagers she can rally around her. It would be pretty easy to map each person in the new entourage to Buffy’s old crew, but I also think there is enough of a difference there that we get closer to fully formed characters versus someone becoming JV Xander.
But, as you can imagine, shenanigans occur and pretty quickly you wind up with a new untrained Slayer and her Scooby gang heading out, all the while butting up against authority, a lack of knowledge and training, and just trying to their best.
It has been nearly 16 years since the airing of that final episode of Buffy so there are some places where you have to give the book a little grace. And you shouldn’t go into the story thinking that White is looking to author the next great work of fiction. But it is a really solid story told in a YA novel format that I think is worth checking out if you are a fan of the previous Buffy works, especially as this is rumored to be a part of an ongoing series in the future.