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Books for Review should be sent to: Don D'Ammassa, 323 Dodge Street,  East Providence, RI 02914

Last Update 4/21/19

Power of Persuasion by Elizabeth Massie, Pocket, 1999  

A Buffy novel. A mysterious woman and her two daughters arrive in Sunnydale. All of a sudden a very militant women’s rights group springs up and most of the male inhabitants seem to have been placed in thrall. Buffy, Oz, and Cordelia are the only holdouts and even the local vampires are acting strangely. The women are actually related to the Greek gods and have obvious magical powers, but eventually Buffy figures out how to deal with them, even without the help of Willow and Giles. For young adults. 4/21/19

Return to Chaos by Craig Shaw Gardner, Pocket, 1998 

A Buffy novel. There is a band of druids in Sunnydale, supposedly to help, but they plan to do so by ending the current world and creating a “better” one. At the same time, someone has been organizing the local vampires and they have Cordelia in thrall as well. Alternates between serious and humorous with the usual banter mixed into the two almost unrelated plots. 4/17/19

Here Be Monsters by Cameron Dokey, Pocket, 2000 

A Buffy novel. This is actually a young adult novel in which Buffy kills some vampires after which she is called upon to face a test in a magical house in order to rescue her mother from a supernatural being called Nemesis. It’s more silly than scary and for some reason Buffy is barely able to deal with rather ordinary vampires. The rest of the gang provides some background but not much in the way of help. Very minor. 4/13/19

Sefira & Other Betrayals by John Langan, Hippocampus, 2019, $20, ISBN 978-1-61498-192-3

I believe this is the author's third collection of short stories. I had only read two before and a couple are original to this collection. They average a bit longer than most horror shorts. The title story is in fact a novella, original to the collection, about the conflict between a woman and an unusual monster. Monsters are not a major element in the others, at least not supernatural ones although the supernatural may be involved, and the fantasy element in many of them is more a question of setting than of plot. It is the characters who are important, with a variety of emotions and attributes, not all of them admirable. Some of the stories are more fantasy than horror and some are really just suspense tales. Langan has a gift for odd imagery, everything from a mysterious picnic cooler left by a road to enigmatic balloons that drift through the life of a writer. Horror fiction is usually more effective in short stories than in novels, and that's particularly true when the writer is, as in this case, so very good at it. 4/10/19

Sons of Entropy by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder, Pocket, 1999

Final volume in the trilogy. The master demon has entered our world. The Gatekeeper dies and Xander temporarily acquires his powers. The Sons of Entropy break into two factions and their leader summons a second demon. His adopted daughter changes sides and helps Buffy defeat the demon. Ethan Rayne fights on the good side for a change, since the end of the world would do him no good. Joyce Summers is kidnapped to Hell for a period of time and has to battle the Minotaur. The world is, unsurprisingly, saved again. This trilogy was the longest single Buffy adventure. 4/8/19

The Ghost Roads by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder, Pocket, 1999 

A Buffy novel. The Sons of Entropy are trying to engineer a supernatural apocalypse by destroying the Gatehouse, which imprisons countless monsters. The Gatekeeper is dying and his son and heir has been kidnapped, the Flying Dutchman is off the coast of California, and other dark forces are appearing. Can Buffy and Angel rescue the boy in time, and will their friends be safe while they are off on a round the world search? We won’t find out until the final book in the series. 4/3/19