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December 20 2014

Angel and Faith Season Nine Library Edition Volume 2 up on Amazon. Containing A&F Vol. 3 Family Reunion along with Spike: A Dark Place and released on August 25th 2015.

I still think the choice to mix up the minis is pretty bad, releasing the Willow mini before this just doesn't work in terms of the story.
I can see why they did though. Willow shows up at the end of Buffy arc 4 in The Watcher. You need her mini before that. Shoehorning it in between Welcome to the Team and The Watcher is a bit awkward and doesn't flow with the paperbacks.And the mini only has a sentence or two about her time with Angel. Plus you can see the "faceless Dawn" in the mini before the actual talk in the Buffy story.

You need to read the Spike mini before Death & Consequences. And Spike sticks around after and is in the start of A & F arc 5. Reading The Watcher first also gives you Buffy's reaction to talking to the call with Faith that caused Spike to leave London.
But you are completely disregarding the fact that Family Reunion comes directly before Willow's mini. I guess if you're reading them all the way through Buffy then all the way through Angel and Faith it makes more sense, but it wasn't designed to be read like that, these are the premium Hardcovers and I doubt many people at the point of only reading one series would be buying these and these Library Editions aren't being released in that order.

I don't think completely messing up the reading order(Willow coming out ~2 months before the arc it's set after) is worth setting these up for people who are only reading one of the series. In either case they are releasing both minis preceeding the arcs that come after them and it works, but the way they are putting them out now messing up the preceding order to help people only buying 1 of the series, which isn't really needed anyway.
It does seem like it would've made more sense to swap them around and have the Willow in the A+F and the Spike in the Buffy, but before the Volume 3 TPB.
Maybe. But collectors already know the story. If they are aiming for show fans who see these large book on the shelf and want to check them out, the story order sort of works. At one point they had 4 books in four weeks so with plot happening that close together it always going to be rough to combine it all into the larger trades.
It isn't really that rough, other than a few certain moments all the series are happening at the same time with no interaction. I find it helps if you visualize it in sections.

Section 1: Pre-Crossover
This section takes place before any crossover between the series' happen it comprises of the first 10 issues of both Buffy and A&F, and fits nicely into the first 2 library editions.

Section 2: Everyone is doing something
This could arguable be two parts but to fit it in better I'll make it one. This is the section where the story is extended to more books, good news though, they mostly don't connect in the reading so all you have to worry is what each goes between. There are 3 distinct threads in this section but they branch a little weirdly so I can understand confusion. The threads are Buffy's Story, Spike's Story and Willow's Story(I know you're saying where's Angel and Faith's story, well Arc 3 of Angel and Faith for the purposes of this being simpler is entwined Willow's Story), Buffy's Story comprises of Buffy issues 11-15 and is reading concurrently with Spike's Story(His Mini) and Willow's Story(Angel and Faith 11-15), now the branches continue after this with Buffy's Story continuing just fine(The whole Buffy series can be read without any crossover or anything until around issue 20 or 21(whenever Willow comes back) and is the easiest thread to follow.) Willow's Story separates from Angel and Faith's and goes off on it's own(Willow's Mini) while Spike's Story meets up with Angel and Faith's(Angel and Faith 16-20). The way this is 30 issues with 15 issue sections kind of messes up the Library Editions and that's where the problems we are talking about come in. The current problem with the Library Editions is that when thinking about it in these threads, Willow's thread ends up all tangled up, the thing is, with their choice of arc 3 and a mini for each library edition the fact that Willow's mini comes after the arc 3's/spike's mini and happens at the same time as the arc 4's messes with the whole flow of the season, since they have to release arc 3/mini's together to have the season fit into 10 issue library editions they should have just put Willow's thread together into one book(A&F11-15+W:W 1-5) which solves the whole chronology problem.

Section 3: It all comes together
This is the big conclusion of each series, featuring the last 5 issues of each which feature everyone going back to Buffy along with the Billy story.

Wow that was way more writing than I expected. I think this is important however,(Bad analogy warning) this is like if you were watching through B4/A1 and they had Five by Five and Sanctuary before This Year's Girl and Who Are You.

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