Book Review: Queen Of The Slayers By Nancy Holder



Book CoverQueen Of The Slayers
(Buffy The Vampire Slayer)

Nancy Holder

Genre: Media-Tie-In, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books
Format: Paperback, 392 Pages
Date: 30th June 2014 (First Published 2009)

ISBN-10: 1500369489
ISBN-13: 9781500369484




With the closing of the Hellmouth and the awakening of hundreds of potential slayers, Buffy Summers thought she had earned herself a much deserved break. But the thrill of victory is short-lived. The forces of darkness are not ones to graciously accept defeat, and the collective rage unites disparate and powerful parties more eager than ever to reclaim dominance.

Media tie-in novels generally have a poor reputation, at least among discerning readers, and there’s no doubt that this negative perception is well earned. The reasons are numerous, but beyond the scope of this review, so it’s enough to state that everything wrong with media tie-in novels is present in Queen Of The Slayers―a hopelessly irredeemable Buffy The Vampire Slayer novel. As a consequence, this review will be very brief given that this is a book that has practically nothing going for it.

In short, Queen Of The Slayers is a flawed attempt by Nancy Holder to tell the story of what happens after the events of the final televised episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Picking up in the aftermath of those events, Holder’s tale reads very much like a really bad example of online fan-fiction… only worse. At no stage does this woeful effort try to offer up a plausible narrative of what may have transpired if an eighth season of Buffy had been aired. This book feels like little more than an authorised wish fulfilment fan-fic written by a fan with an axe to grind about certain storylines that played out during the seventh televised season. For readers who are also fans of the TV show it won’t be a spoiler to let slip that early on in the story a polarising relationship between a certain redhead witch and newbie Latina slayer is brought to a contrived, unceremonious end.

As bad as the book is, the problems aren’t due to the quality of the writing, because this is by no means a poorly written book. The story’s downfall is the result of its various plots being far sillier than almost anything that occurred in the TV show, and this silliness becomes ever more pronounced as the narrative progresses. While these storylines, frankly, have no redeemable qualities, the book’s most glaring flaw lies in the depiction of the established characters from the show. What’s written on the page never truly syncs with the on screen portrayal of these characters, and the failure of the author to adequately capture the voices of these familiar characters is probably the hardest thing to forgive.

Some might consider it an exaggeration to call media tie-in books cynical cash grabs, aimed at pre-existing fans of a “property” in another medium, in order to capitalise on name/brand recognition for financial gain. And while Queen Of The Slayers may very well have been a profitable venture for the publisher, it’s hard to imagine that many Buffy fans will enjoy what this novel has to offer.

In conclusion, while the reviews posted on this blog endeavour to be as objective as possible, once in a blue moon that commitment is severely put to the test when there is simply nothing positive to highlight in a book. Queen Of The Slayers is just such a book. It’s too poor an effort to recommend to die hard Buffy fans, never mind readers unfamiliar with the source material, therefore it doesn’t even merit a library loan.







Purchase the paperback from:
Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop UK | Bookshop US

The ebook edition is also available from:
Amazon | Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo

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