Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Demons of the Hellmouth: A Guide for Slayers
Rating: 5 Stars
*Sigh* I really miss this show.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer consumed my high school years. I saw the show by accident one time and cursed myself for months following that I had not witnessed the greatness from the beginning. I very clearly remember the first episode I ever watched: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered. It was life-changing. I was obsessed. I was also way behind, as season 2 was nearly over so I had to process everything before, through the season 2 finale, in a very short amount of time. And Angel being sent to hell, don't even get me started. I sobbed. Over a tv show. And a fictional character.
But they felt so real to me, and that is the beauty of Joss' creation. The Scoobies might have been battling mythic beasts and big bads, but the message was clear: they were (usually) metaphors for very real things teenagers and young adults face.
But I suppose I should be on to the book now, no?
I did not purchase this one intending to learn new information about any of the demons Buffy and her pals faced in their seven years on the Hellmouth. That is not the point, and people expecting anything more kind of missed the boat on this one. This was a nice walk down memory lane with characters I know so well. Given that it is intended as a guide for all the new slayers, it made sense for Giles to be the one to "write it", and I was also pleasantly surprised to see the introduction from Anthony Stewart Head. An addition to the text are comments in the margins from Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Faith. I am conflicted on these. The comments feel right in terms of context and in keeping with their characters' personalities, but would Giles really have allowed them to write in his guide? On the other hand, given that nothing else was typical about Buffy and her slaying, perhaps it should not be a surprise that he allowed it. I don't know. It was nice to "hear" their voices again, but I could have also done without them and not been bothered either way. The one that will seem out of place to many people is Faith, given her history with Buffy and her friends. However, people should also remember how she finally was 'rescued' herself and became the slayer they needed her to be. Still, the purist in me would have liked if it had just been the originals, Giles, Buffy, Xander, and Willow.
This book is a must for die-hard fans. Casual fans may not be as interested, but those like me who want any and every scrap of Buffy-related stuff we can find, will enjoy this comfortable chat with old friends.