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July 07 2006

New Faith novel, "Go Ask Malice" positively reviewed by Sci-fi-Online. The novel by Robert Joseph Levy has only recently been released. It also has four glowing reviews from people on Amazon.

The book is also out in the UK (for Amazon page see here.

Now I maybe biased because I'm a massive fan of Faith's character, but I thought this was a superb read, the best Buffyverse novel I've read in several years. It avoids the continuity problems of so many Buffyverse novels and instead bravely paves some interesting continuity of it's own. As far as I could see there were no contradictions with Buffyverse canon (the one possible exception being that the book states that Faith's 17th birthday is December 14th 1997, which makes her about one month older than Buffy - I always got the impression Faith was younger than Buffy, is that right? But maybe that's just because she acted immaturely).

I previously said on Whedonesque that Pocket Books were not making it's Buffy books adult enough. Well they proved me wrong in this case - the book features very dark themes, and as might have been expected Faith's past contains a great deal of sex and violence.

This is not a light read by any means, and one of my friends who read it, disliked it for being too miserable. However the events in Faith's life before she arrived in Sunnydale.. which eventually led her down the dark path she took in Buffy Season Three, were never going to be a "happily-ever-after, candy mountain place where all our dreams come true".

It's too bad that many fans who might have really appreciated this novel won't read it because of bad experiences with past Buffyverse novels. But that is Pocket Book's fault for allowing so many of the Buffyyverse novels on the shelves without adequate quality control.

I just hope this and Blackout sell well so that Pocket Books can see they don't have to try to do the impossible and recapture the magic in a bottle that was "Buffy" onscreen. Spotlighting on one character, IMHO, really seems to be the way that Pocket Books should be going. I'd be pleased if they can continue to greenlight more books that expand on the mythology, and reveal more about our Buffy peeps, especially ones that did not get explored as much as they could have during the shows' runs (a Giles novel anyone?).

I keep thinking with,"Blackout" focusing on Nikki Wood and this one on Faith,maybe a novel about Kendra could happen at some point.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2006-07-07 17:32 ]
As far as I could see there were no contradictions with Buffyverse canon (the one possible exception being that the book states that Faith's 17th birthday is December 14th 1997, which makes her about one month older than Buffy - I always got the impression Faith was younger than Buffy, is that right? But maybe that's just because she acted immaturely).


They got her birthday right as per "Five by Five" but going by that review it sounds like Giles's parentage may go against Tales of the Vampires. Then again, trying to figure out family trees makes me nauseous.
I don't think Giles parentage is wrong. Faith's Watcher, Diana Dormer, said she dated Rupert Giles father for a while. Edna Giles of "Tales of the Vampires" was Rupert Giles' grandmother. I've put it into a chart here.
That makes sense. Thanks, Paxomen.
What's going on it appears this novel is actually consistent with canon!

Liking the positive reviews. I don't usually read the Buffy books but shall give this one ago.

Also cheers for bringing to attention that article about Buffyverse canon. It's got info on lots of interesting Whedonverse tidbits like "Corrupt". But I'm very sad to see that Muffy the Vampire Layer along with some other high quality films ("Buffy the Vampire Layer" and "Muffy the Vampire Slayer") have all been ruled uncanon.
Thanks for the review, that does sound interesting. I'm one of those who has been disappointed with the verse novels in the past and have hung to only one ("Pretty Maids") that I read. But this sounds like something to look into. And I must have missed seeing discussion of "Blackout" which also sounds intriguing.
This is an incrediable book. The author really captures the Faith voice and mannerisms. I felt like Faith could litterally have jumped out of the pages. A big must for a Faith fan.

I too, had always thought Faith was the younger slayer. But I guess age never can really tell the maturity of someone in this field of work. I had also gotten the impression Faith went to Sunndale looking for Buffy, not just running blindly , but that is such a minor thing in a big sea of plenty.

I thought the part about where this dairy was found and the stalking of one of the objects found with it was particularly both intresting and funny.
This is the first time I've felt tempted to try a Buffyverse novel. The diary style and the theme both appeal to me.

From the synopsis: Enter Diana Dormer, a Harvard professor and representative of the Watchers Council who has come to tell Faith of her destiny, to train her, to prepare her for what is to come; Faith is the Chosen One.

This implies that Faith wasn't told there was another slayer (until later). Why not? Of course, Kendra and Buffy weren't told either, so there seems to have been a consistent policy on the part of the Watchers Council to keep the slayers (and their watchers) ignorant of each other.

EDIT: I couldn't resist--I've just ordered it.

[ edited by tichtich on 2006-07-07 19:08 ]
Faith knew about some of Buffy's deeds.In Faith,Hope and Tricks, she knew about Buffy using a rocket launcher and she already knew some about Angelus. She had to find out those particular stories from somewhere.

And I doubt those are stories a watcher tells another slayer. Nor was Faith researchy girl.Thought I guess she could have heard from a demon snitch or hanging out in a demon bar. Maybe eavsdropping on a COW phone call.

I am thinking a Watcher would not want a Slayer to focus too much on her death or the fact that if she dies another is called right away. It would make the slayer careless. I don't think all Slayers had a death wish. Watchers want to be the Slayer's whole world. Like with Kendra. Talking about past Slayers would only make them real people not history and bring up questions about fault.
I would agree it is likely the Council were trying to control information. Dormer seems to reveal almost offhand that there is another slayer, Buffy, but perhaps she has just decided she can go against what the Council have instructed her.

I had also gotten the impression Faith went to Sunndale looking for Buffy, not just running blindly


(spoilers follow for those who havn't finished the book)
I noticed that the Sci-fi Online site has reviewed a number of the Buffyverse novels in the past (the reviews are now in its reviews archives)
This actually sounds pretty interesting. I read 'Tales of the Slayers Vol. 1' and found it to be very variable in quality but this sounds worth picking up.

As an aside, keeping the Slayers in the dark as much as possible seems pretty consistent with the Council's past actions. Makes sense not to want the super-powered hero types to get together just in case they decide to go it alone (the Council's clearly a bit nervous about the Slayers actually thinking for themselves and getting out from under their thumb - see for instance 'Checkpoint' - though I guess with some reason - see for instance 'Damage' ;).
hmm, i may have to check this out. :)
Hello everyone! I'm the author of Go Ask Malice (hey, us Buffy book writers rely on Whedonesque too—go ask krad). It was actually visiting Whedonesque so often that I came up with the idea for the novel, as I found a lot of people commenting on how they wanted a Buffy book for adults.

I just wanted to thank Dalton for posting this and everyone for their kind words. This book was a blast to write, especially because I first started watching Buffy beginning with Season Three (well, actually with the Season Two finale, which was more like a "what the hell is going on and why haven't I been watching this show" kind of thing), and Faith was immediately my favorite character; I've always had a special place in my heart for her. Writing in her voice was daunting and humbling and I can only hope that you find I've done her justice.
I hope you will try and write her again. Maybe something in season three? This was such a great read and I think you perfectly captured the scared woman/child Faith is.

It makes me wonder if you are this good with such broken characters like Faith, what you could do with someone like Xander.
aka 'Malice doesn't live here anymore.' (Tee hee!)
I too, had always thought Faith was the younger slayer.

Funny, I always thought that Faith was older than Buffy - just goes to show that no set of two eyes will see the same thing the same way!

Hey rjl, thanks for posting! This sounds right up my alley as Faith is one of the few characters that I was fascinated by from the start and I've always been intrigued by her backstory. This is going on my list for sure.


I think Faith seemed older than Buffy because she has more of a worldly sense to her, whereas Buffy had a very bubble-like existence, very normal with high school and friends. Faith was all about slaying, all about living in the gutters.
rjl, you had the same experience as i did! I missed Faith so much when she wasn't on the show anymore. I'll have to buy this book and support you so maybe we'll get more Faith books. :)

[ edited by themayor on 2006-07-08 18:53 ]
Well Faith might have seemed younger because she was the only teenage character played by a teenager at that point on the show. :)

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