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THE LOST SLAYER: PART ONE - PROPHECIES

After years of confining their Buffy novels to their own unique season three, Pocket Books finally seem to have decided to move things on.  On top of that, they're also serving up an increased number of formats these days, with Prophecies forming part one of the first Buffy serial novel.

Sadly, despite being written by probably the most successful Buffy novelist out there, it gets off to a rather uninteresting start.

Set at the start of season four, Prophecies has the benefit of hindsight with regard to character development and relationship, but as usual, Pocket Books haven't gone for this approach.  Instead we get a retread of the early season four episodes, with Buffy obsessing about her studies (including getting humiliated in front of the rest of her class - again) while Willow is so cool because everyone at university is only interested in studying.  The other regulars don't fare much better - there's no Riley yet (thank God), but Anya gets to bore us all with more sex-talk and Giles gets a visit from Olivia, who then goes up to the attic.

This wouldn't have been too bad if the serial had started with a bang, but while there's a fair bit going on, I can't say that I found a lot of it particularly interesting.  After an opening fight scene, my hopes for the novel as a whole took a bit of a battering with the reappearance of Lucy Hanover and the whole Ghost Roads idea.  I seem to be in the minority of fans here, but I really don't rate this concept at all, and it was disappointing to see it used yet again (apart from what seems like countless Nancy Holder novels, Golden himself also used it in his Blood of Carthage comic story).

There's plenty of other things that we've seen before on display here as well, and yet another Big Bad who didn't really interest me at all, while the kidnap of one of the regulars seems to be becoming the Buffy equivalent of that old Doctor Who chestnut of capture/escape/recapture.

I won't spoil the ending for anyone who hasn't read the rest of the book, and it certainly does offer potential (although since the novels can't really be considered canon, I could easily be very cynical about it).  Hopefully it will provide Golden with a springboard to better things with the remaining installments.

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THE LOST SLAYER
PART ONE: PROPHECIES


Written by CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN

POCKET BOOKS

$2.99 / 2.99


RATING: 5/10