Roswell High creators Laura J. Burn and Melinda Metz make their Buffy novel debut as the range finally reaches season 7.
I've spent a lot of time during previous Buffy novel reviews complaining that giving us another end of the world scenario and putting the characters in mortal danger doesn't work when we know that the world can't end and none of the characters can actually die.
Yet, as the title suggests, Apocalypse Memories features an end of the world threat, and, for a change, I'm not going to moan about it.
We all know from the outset that the apocalypse can't actually take place, but while many writers will put our heroes through the wringer as they try to prevent it happening, Burns and Metz take a different approach - the joy of reading Apocalypse Memories isn't in how the apocalypse is prevented, but the characters themselves.
As demonstrated by A Tale of Two Parties, their contribution to Roswell's third season, characterisation is one of the pair's strong points, and they get a pretty good fix on the Buffy regulars.
With very little space wasted on fight scenes, Burns and Metz also manage to give all the regulars a decent chunk of action, including the likes of Anya and Dawn.
They also come up with a charismatic villain in Michael, a angel whose job it is to bring apart the apocalypse. Not a bad guy, just someone doing their job, like Buffy herself.
Apart from a slightly rushed ending, my only real criticism about Apocalypse Memories would be my usual bitch about continuity. Set during the early part of season 7, it has Giles back in Sunnydale, but certain aspects (the lack of Potentials, Spike's behaviour) seemed out of sync with the television series.
However, for a change, I didn't find myself groaning at all the continuity gaffs as I went, so it's less of a problem that with some other Buffy novels.
A change from the usual "Buffy finds monster, Buffy fights monster, Buffy kills monster" novel, and all the better for it. Just a shame about the continuity slips and a slightly lightweight plot (albeit for understandable reasons). back to the top