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The prolific partnership of Golden and Holder is reunited for this, the first "Buffy" hardback novel (also available as a double cassette audiobook).

Following a run-in with a group of vampires, Buffy finds herself up against the immortal, or rather eternal Veronique, who is reborn into a new body every time she is killed in her old one.

Veronique's past is told in a series of flashbacks; from sixth century Constantinople, to the destruction of the Knights Templar in mediaeval France through to her battles with nineteenth century Slayer Angela Martignetti, who has a somewhat different relationship with her Watcher than Buffy does!

This being a Golden and Holder book there is also the apparently obligatory guest appearance from Slayer Lucy Hanover.  With the BBC churning out "Doctor Who" novels featuring previous Doctors, how long before Pocket Books hit upon the idea of a range of novels featuring previous Slayers?  I'd be happy to see more of Angela (although not in the same way as her Watcher!), but to be honest, it's getting just a tad boring to have Lucy popping up all the time.

Veronique's immortality brings home to Buffy not just Angel's lack of ageing - especially as he meets a blast from his past - but also that her mother is definitely not immortal as a cancer scare sees Joyce rushed into hospital.

Buffy is thus torn between her duties as a daughter and a Slayer, as she tries to prevent Veronique unleashing the power of her masters, the Triumvirate (or the Triumverate as the cover calls them). 

Unfortunately like many TV spin-offs, including "Buffy", the characterisation isn't great.  Throwing in a few expressions used in the TV series (whether it's as speech or not) does not make up for some rather out-of-character comments from pretty much all of the Scooby Gang.  Incidentally, if Cordelia's making money from her own website, what's on it and, more importantly, what's the URL?

Overall, though, a good hardback debut for the Slayer, although younger fans in particular might prefer to save their cash and hang on for a paperback version. BACK TO THE TOP

IMMORTAL

Written by CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN and NANCY HOLDER

POCKET BOOKS

£12.95


RATING: 8/10


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