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Previously, the only novelisations Pocket Books have given us have been adaptations of the BUFFY movie and selected television episodes. Now, Christopher Golden has novelised his OZ comic mini-series.

For those who haven't read the Dark Horse comics, the story picks up from Oz's departure in WILD AT HEART and his subsequent claim in NEW MOON RISING that he had control the werewolf inside him.

Most of Pocket Books' BUFFY novels have followed a fairly familiar route, with some or all of the Scooby Gang facing up to Sunnydale's latest threat.

INTO THE WILD therefore stands out from the crowd in several ways. The story itself is a tale of Oz's journey and subsequent attempts to control the wolf side of his nature, while apart from a brief appearance by the Scoobies, they only characters from the TV series are Oz and Cain the werewolf hunter from PHASES.

Oz's nature makes him one of the most difficult BUFFY characters to capture in print, and if the characterisation was off then INTO THE WILD would have failed dismally. Fortunately, Golden captures him well, and also manages to flesh out Oz's comment in PHASES about his cousin Jordy.

Of course, we know from NEW MOON RISING that Oz had at least a degree of control over the wolf, so we know to some extent how things will turn out. Golden uses this to his advantage, with the journey proving more interesting than the conclusion itself.

In fact, this was a little disappointing, as I'd guessed from a long way out how this would involve Oz conquering the wolf. But to be fair, it would have been difficult for Golden to have avoided this.

Nevertheless, this is definitely one of the better BUFFY books, even though Pocket Books have now jacked the price of the range up to a penny short of seven quid. BACK TO THE TOP

OZ: INTO THE WILD

Written by
CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN

POCKET BOOKS

£6.99


RATING: 8/10


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