This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"One of these days you're going to wake up in a coma."
11943 members | you are not logged in | 17 April 2014












May 27 2005

"Queen of the Slayers". The first ever Post-Chosen Buffy book is now available, with possibly the greatest cover and definetely the greatest tagline: 'Sunnydale was just the warm up..." Written by Nancy Holder. Welcome to Season Eight.

Hell! I am so buying this!

Interesting!
It's not Holder's first book about Buffy: how is she? Decent writer?
Um, so I heard rumors there's a...um...'special' new character in this book. Can anyone confirm or deny this? If you know what I'm talking about, a simple yay or nay will suffice. If you don't know, you don't want to know yet, probably.
I've only read one of hers "Heat", a Buffy/Angel crossover. I have to admit it wasn't my most favorite book in the world!

I may well check this out though, just to see where she takes season eight!
Rogue Slayer, if I think I know what you mean, I have heard: yes.
Forgive me for asking if it's been explained before, but does JW have any say into books? Is it like George Lucas, where everything needs to be cleared through him, or can just about anybody take whatever liberties they want?
A) Nancy Holder is not my favorite Buffy author and I won't read her unless she's paired with another author -- Chris Golden or Jeff Mariotte, say.

B) IIRC Joss has said that he has no control over the books and doesn't consider them any part of canon at all. Given some of the . . . odd . . . characterizations, I'd say they can pretty well take whatever liberties they want. (A couple of the novels make me wonder if the writer even watched the show -- or if they watched the same show as I did.)
Magickal with a k? That's just icky.
Forgive me for asking if it's been explained before, but does JW have any say into books? Is it like George Lucas, where everything needs to be cleared through him, or can just about anybody take whatever liberties they want?"


Well, the only things I've ever heard Joss say about the novels is that he has no clue what they're about, and that he's never read a single one. He once said: "For all I know, they go 'and that's how Buffy learned abortion is wrong' or something. I really don't know."

Which frankly, shows. I've tried a bunch of novels, and while one or two weren't *too* bad, most were just very very weak. There's not a single one I would consider even slightly to be 'canon' in terms of plot, flashbacks or characterization.

A couple of the novels make me wonder if the writer even watched the show -- or if they watched the same show as I did.


Well said. And from what I know of this one, it doesn't sound like it's very different in that regard. (But I obviously haven't read it, so who knows.)

One of my main problems with many of the Buffy novelizations is that the people in charge of it seem to be convinced that the only Buffy fans in existence are 15 year old girls and tailor a lot of the books to that demograhic in terms of style and content. (Which, in the stores, is definitely the section they put the books in ...)
I just finished reading this yesterday and Rogue Slayer, I can answer you with a disgusting yes. I try not to read ANYTHING by Nancy Holder.. most of you would know why, but because there was FINALLY a book out about Buffy post-Chosen, I just had to get it. How wrong I was...

If you can, avoid it. You'll be bored to death by some of the characters introduced and you'll find yourself repeatedly asking why you spent your money on it. I've read WAYYYYYYYYYY better fanfiction than this. I just can't express how frustrated, disappointed, and cheated I felt reading this story. Please don't just go out to buy it because of the pretty cover and interesting tag line. Please.

[ edited by Christopher on 2005-05-27 17:20 ]
Is this a "real" novel? By that I mean that some months ago it was touted as being a "you choose the path the story takes" type of book, like for grade-school kids. Did Ms Holder change the story, or what?
By that I mean that some months ago it was touted as being a "you choose the path the story takes" type of book, like for grade-school kids.


You're probably thinking of this book also by Nancy Holder.
I think Nancy was trying to solve the Spuffy/Spangel/Bangel shipper wars. ;)

[ edited by twiggy on 2005-05-27 17:56 ]
The only redeeming feature this book has seems to be that FINALLY it puts the Spuffy and Bangel thing on equal terms, and has Spike depicted as a Champion ,not a villan. The rest...well..it's a bit...odd.
My feeling, not having read the book, but reading these comments, is that Ms. Holder came down on one side of the triangle or other, thereby earning some extra wrath - no matter how bad or good her books are. Now I'm a mite curious.
The only redeeming feature this book has seems to be that FINALLY it puts the Spuffy and Bangel thing on equal terms

But why is that good? Spuffy isn't a romance, so why compare it to one?
Rogue Slayer -- I'm not going to read this book, but now you've piqued my curiosity. Could you use invisotext to let me know what "special" new character yo're talking about? Otherwise I'll spend hours and hours wondering ...
I've enjoyed the books that I've read (which isn't many, just the hardbacks, the gatekeeper trilogy, the lost slayer, and a few others) except for Chosen, which I stopped reading halfway through, it was just badly written, which apparently Nancy Holder knew and insisted on having her name taken off it. I was going to get this, but now I'm hearing bad things.

I think Fox have a say on what the authors are allowed to do, I'd imagine they can't, for example, have Xander jump into bed with Giles and have Dawn die or something.

[ edited by Ghost Spike on 2005-05-27 18:58 ]
"Is it like George Luca"

The reason Geoge Lucas gets a say in all of that is because he owns the Star WArs characters. Fox owns the buffy characters so I don't think Joss does anything with any of the book tie-ins.

As for this book. Eh. I don't like any of the Buffy novels so I'll pass.

" Spuffy isn't a romance, so why compare it to one?"

I don't think that statement is a fact but everyone has their own interpretation of the characters. To each their own.

[ edited by eddy on 2005-05-27 19:03 ]
Spuffy may not be a romance to you Grounded...but to a lot of others it was and I simply commented that the author of this 'book' seemed to serve both ships.....pretty equally.
If I remember correctly in the Angel Season 5 TGIQ episode I do beleive Andrew told the 'boys'...Buffy loved them both...so I imagine Holder picked up on this...whatever...it seems both ships got the nod.
To bobothebrave and anyone else who wants to be spoiled for the book:


Rogue that spoiler you just put up hurt my brain. I feel a aneurysm coming on. Ow.
Poor Eddy's brain!

I think we're all better off in fanfic land, but that's just me....
<nods in agreement with eddy and grabs the Advil>

Okay! That's $10 saved. Thanks, guys.
Aaaand the end of Chosen is spun as a bad thing in the first Buffy book set after it.

Gee, thanks.
I can't even begin to explain my thoughts on that "spoiler"...

stunningly bad comes to mind, though...
That makes the Xander/Giles affair and dead Dawn seem run-of-the-mill!
Chosen the book was particularly bad, made the Watcher Guide Vol 3 look good in comparison. Anyone know if there's any non-shipping (shipper?) books in the horizon? Wasn't there talk of a pre Buffy season 3 Faith novel coming out?
Didn't Holder write another novel where I suspect much of the fan fiction out there is better than the novels, but I'll stick with my DVD's and the new comic books.
That spoiler reads like bad fanfic! Seriously, I've come across fanfic like that, and then I ran away screaming. That's just so BAD.
There is a Faith book, set to come out next year. It is a diary of her times from before she came to Sunnydale. So while these are not canon,they will have to get somethings from Fox, such as what happend to her watcher exactly, what her life was life as teenager before being called, and how she even knew about Buffy and Sunnydale. It is written by a guy I believe.

I know I look forward to it.

As for the shipper things, no book is going to change how people believe.No interviews and no other characters. Just the ones involved. Only live and on screen. Though I seriously doubt any firm decison on that front will ever be made.

[ edited by FalenAnjl on 2005-05-27 19:47 ]
Rogue Slayer -- .... Wow ... That sounds ... well, yeah. Wow.
Are Buffy, willow, Xander and Giles treated with some basic level of respect and have a decent arcline?
Xander has a nice one. And you get some fun on his trip to Africa. Giles is not so pod Giles. Wills is much more grounded. The group is much more family oriented in this book then they seemed on the show during the last season. Faith and Wood are there too. Buffy is Buffy.And though she does seem to be a bit over the top in meladramtic in the early pages, she springs back to normal Buffy, bad decisions and all by the middle.


The scoobies, like in all the novels have big parts.
Are you serious about that spoiler RogueSlayer?
Its so hard to believe that I'm almost tempted to read it out of morbid curiosity!
Thanks, Rogue Slayer - I would probably not have read this book anyway, but, now - gross, much????
Are you serious about that spoiler RogueSlayer?

Well, it seems some folks have read it and confirmed it!! EEK is all I can say!
Could someone invisitext some more details about how the hell that thing happened? I have no interest in B-continuity (if this even can be considered as much), but I'm curious as to how it's possible to get to that point.
Wow, that is one horrible plot twist. That's got to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard anyone come up with. I wasn't planning on buying the book anyway but thanks Rogue Slayer for at least letting me know how bad it was going to be. I bought 'Chosen' for my daughter and it was horrible.

I'd be interested in a Faith prequel story if it was by Joss or some other ME writer.
Well, that's great and Buffy wouldn't be Buffy without the melodramatics, huh? :)
Xane, that part is something I also know from another source. So, I really think it's true.
Ok, this is completely gacked from other people because I haven't read it, and maybe someone who has can shed some light on it, but what I heard is

Clear as mud, eh?
But,but,but....For anyone who's curious about the suggested storyline indicated by RogueSlayer, but hates that idea, try Shades of Grey, a fanfic by Dee Bradfield (story id 791123 on the fanfiction website). Mind-blowingly fab fanfic of the very highest order. The characterisation is wonderful, and beautifully observed. Go on..you won't be disappointed.
Thanks, Rogue.

I've been curious, is there some sort of authority when it comes to the continuity of these books? Or are the writers free to stomp all over what other people have 'established'?

[ edited by pjalne on 2005-05-27 20:36 ]
O-kay - well, that's just really, really lame.
I hate these fanfics!

I prefer the canon comic books, like Tales of, and Fray.
Or the semi-canon, like the new Angel: The Curse.

[ edited by Angel TheVampire on 2005-05-27 21:23 ]
I can't be the only one to find sublime irony in a romance novelist writing BTVS books? Right?
Even if a really good Buffy or Angel book comes out in the near future, it'll never be as good as Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids All In a Row. That was the best Buffy novel ever. Period.
Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids All In a Row.

That was a pretty good book. I also thought the one about little pixies was cute. There's another one that's a crossover of Buffy season 6 and Angel season...whatever season Angel was in then, that I couldn't even finish.
Wow. Just... wow. They should just put a warning label on the book "WARNING: Unless you are a late blooming 14 year old Buffy fan, this book is probably not for you." That book seems to stem from the mentality that all Buffy fans are girly teenies who would read any guff, and so the ideal fodder lacks the witty and intelligent stories and situations of the series. Excepting those written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner. (Sorry! I still haven't forgiven her for "Touched").
I also liked the Spike & Dru book. There's been a couple of them I liked but I always felt like they were Buffylite and never truly captured the essense of the characters. Always something a bit off.
I do wish the books were better written and geared more toward adults.

I did order it because I buy all the books that feature a positive Spuffy and/or Spike characterization.

Spuffy certainly wasn't a conventional romance but that's one reason I love it. But it was a love story.
I've never read any of the 'media tie in' novels, the few pages I've looked at in book shops have not encouraged me to do so. However I would recommend the 'Tales of the Slayer' series. These 4 books are collections featuring stories about various Slayers from the past. They remain very true (IMHO) to the spirit of the series in that the Slayer usually finds her major problem is the position of women in her society rather than her Vampire or Demon foes.

There are a very few stories featuring characters from Buffy but they tend to be by people with a connection to the show like Jane Espenson and Todd McIntosh, the make up supervisor on Buffy. Not many shows have their make up man writing short stories afterwards! His story is pretty good and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the description of the monster is excellent.

The first 'Tales of the Slayer' book begins with the story of Thessily Thessilonikki, the Slayer at the battle of Marathon who was 29 at the time of the story. She is the only slayer who is mentioned as being older than Buffy. I think she is also the only one who is portrayed as tougher than Buffy. I think I fell in love with her and at least two or three more Slayers, which must say something about the stories.

The status of whether the books are canon or not is unclear. Since few of the stories have any direct connection with Buffy or Angel the question is also rather academic.

I'd like to believe they are canon because Thessily is also described as fighting with a labrys, which is a sacred axe supposedly invented by an ancient matriarchal society. This was written before we ever saw the Scythe so although her axe is not the scythe itself there seems to be some connection.

I'd rate them in the order 1,2,4,3.
if spuffy and bangel are on the same terms, i dont think i'm going to read this one because I don't think they are close to the same thing. OH Well, there's plenty of other books.
Seems to me that the novels are in fact aimed at teens, and the comics at a more adult audience. The comics are more hit-and-miss, but they have much higher highs. The novels are middling at best. I know in Canada all the Buffy novels are in fact classed as a series for teens at Chapters/Coles/Indigo Books.
This one? Seems to rival some of Yvonne Navarro's stuff for the wacky fanfic-like UCness.
Spike and Dru: Pretty Maids All In a Row *is* the best of them. Little Things, about the vampire fairies, is 2nd best. As for any of the others that I've read, a big hint can be found in the fact that they are all in the "Young Adult" section of the library (at least the one in my neighborhod). All of those that I've read sound like the stuff I read when I was 10 yrs old--i.e. "Young Adult." Unfortunately, "Spike and Dru" is also found in the YA section, and IMHO it really doesn't belong there.

BTW, my excuse for reading most of this dreck is that I am *so* hungry for anything new in the Buffyverse. I mean, I adore my DVDs--all 12 sets of them (sorry, I don't have "Firefly" yet)--but I really, really miss having new, fresh "fixes" every week. Sigh.

This is my first posting. Did I do okay??? :D
Heat,The Gatekeeper series, Evil Willow, Monster Island, The Lost Slayer series and The Book of fours are all adult books and in my Barnes and Noble in their own section in the sci-fi area.

All of these books are very well done. The Lost Slayer one is creepy at times. The Book of Fours , very good if you love Slayer stuff.

And Christopher Golden's and Nancy Holder's Gatekeeper series is one of the best of all the books runs.

The Tales of the Slayers are different then the fiction books. These characters are created for back story and to connect in the universe. They have history all they way up to Buffy.

[ edited by FalenAnjl on 2005-05-28 08:40 ]
i miss Buffy so much; i'm going to buy this book.
I thought Cursed by Mel Odom was quite good. Imo, NH's best book was Blood and Fog. Her being a B/Aer and dealing with a book that incorporates some Spuffyness actually helped her writing because most of her trademark over-the-top romanticism was missing.

I also enjoyed Tempted Champions.
I read a lot of books from the childrens and Young Adult section. As someone who reads hundreds of books a year, I've figured out how to pick books that are worth reading and find authors with real ability. The problem with the BtVS books aren't that they're aimed at a teenage audience. (And truthfully, very few books written with teenage characters are filed in the adult section, no matter what the author intended.) Unfortunately, the books aren't written for a general audience, they're not even written for who would buy the books. Like most products, it's created for who they think would buy it.

The publishers put a number of restrictions on the author, and then don't require other restrictions that we would think basic. It's not enough to work with a listing of each character's traits, one has to actually understand the characters. It's not enough to work with a listing of the Universe, especially when the author has preconcieved notions about vampires.

There's plenty of blame to go around, but to me that's not the point :D I've taken some BtVS books out from the library. There's definitely a range of quality. But nothing that I'd pay to read again.
It is intresting the range and character traits. I have found NH to be one of the best. Golden was another. I like the scooby books, mostly the non-shipper ones. And there are more of those then there are shipper ones.

I find it funny how some authors can write about them and as you said have no clue really about the character they are writting about. I think Faith is a perfect example. She is either a slut or a simpering idiot. And reguardless of what you thought of her, there was MUCH more to that character.
I've read The Book of Fours and The Lost Slayer. They were okay. No rave reviews, but kinda nice sorta when you just want a fix. If you read them knowing beforehand that they aren't written for an academically advanced audience, and maybe you just want some beachy summer reading, I recommend them. The characters often do sound like the characters we know, they just aren't as deeply explored and not quite so funny; you get the drift. I find them better than some Darkhorse comics and other e-comics but I guess that doesn't exactly speak volumes. I've glanced at some of the shorter novels but don't consider them worth a purchase because the longer novels can be read in one long afternoon. Think back to one of those Buffy episodes you don't really remember as well as the others because for whatever reason you'd rank it in the lowest ten. Sorta like that. And even those episodes had some okay parts.

ETA: I just saw the date on the thread. Oh well.

[ edited by April on 2005-05-31 01:06 ]
i dont know about you, but i just hate all this stuff "writers" come up with, trying to expand the franchise. To me it just ruins the whole buffy story, adding in all these unnessesary stories that really detract from Joss' masterwork. and it also seems to me like theyre just trying to make a buck. and ruins it for me, so i dont go near it, and the stories are REALLY lame.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home