My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a fun and interesting prequel about Spike, Drusilla, and Darla. I really liked getting more information on them without the need to involve the titular BtVS characters, Buffy and Angel. We get to meet a lot of new, unique characters from their past and the author did a good job making sure this story could fit in the canon of the Buffyverse without contradicting anything. I especially liked getting a bit of an explanation about a minor detail that while completely inconsequential to the show, is just a really fun thing to know.
I do have to admit my only small complaint is that the characters that are from the show didn’t really feel like they stuck with the personalities that were established for them. I liked these characters and they worked in the context of the book, but they just felt off from the way we know them. It is however easy to overlook for the simple fact that canonically, these are technically not connected even if this story COULD be.
All My Thoughts
May contain spoilers.
I honestly really enjoyed this book. The characters were fun and I genuinely laughed aloud at a few parts. It was clever and witty. On that note too it did stay within the realm of a YA book, so nothing was too dark, no jokes were too adult, and nothing was complicated to understand. It balanced these things well. The interactions between all the characters flowed nicely too and we were treated to some genuinely amusing pieces of conversation.
While Spike himself is the main character of this book, we see many scenes that focus on Drusilla and most especially Darla. This book works to explain a bit more about why these characters end up going separate ways as, particularly her aspect of it. It was fun getting to know these characters that we meet originally from the show. I do think these characters were written without their show counterparts in mind though. They all came off much nicer both in general and to each other than I had anticipated them being. Technically yes, the book is its own thing and we can’t exactly compare it to the show. I do however think this still has to be kept in mind since it is the source material. While these characters feel different, they were still enjoyable to read about regardless.
All of the events in the book are a prequel story that happens well before the start of the show. The author did a really good job of presenting us with a fun new experience that, as far as I can tell, does not conflict with anything learned in the show. In fact, this book attempts to give us an explanation for something that I’m not sure had ever been a question. Drusilla is seen early in the show with a doll she affectionately always calls Miss Edith. This means absolutely nothing in the bigger context of the show, but the book actually provides us with both where she got it from and why that is its name. I adored this. It was just a fun little piece of information that adds additional depth to the larger narrative of the source material.
We also meet a slew of new side characters that realistically we may never meet again. (This is considered part of a series of planned prequels so it’s anyone’s guess.) These characters were fun and quite unique. Again the author did a pretty good job of creating quirky new non-human characters, and at least one human, that feel like they fit into the world as a whole. They all had depth and purpose in the story.
This was a really fun read that I think fans of the show will really appreciate. Even going into it without deeper contextual knowledge, I think those who have not seen the source material would find the characters charming and likable as well.
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