New Sunnydale, New Slayer (In Every Generation – A Book Review)

In Every Generation

Author: Kendare Blake

Published: 2022

On Goodreads

My Rating:

Rated N for never-ending nostalgia and new life in the battle of good and evil in the next generation.

Into every generation a slayer is born.

The next generation starts now.

Frankie Rosenberg is passionate about the environment, a sophomore at the New Sunnydale High, and daughter of the most powerful witch in the world, Willow Rosenberg. Growing up in the life of witches, vampires, Slayers, and more is actually pretty quiet. Frankie has lived a quiet life while learning magic but only to make the world better.

New Sunnydale isn’t a hotspot since the Hellmouth closed, but when Hailey—Vi’s sister—shows up after a major blow-up at the slayer convention, everyone is left at a loss. Things take an even bigger twist when Frankie awakens as the next generation. The next slayer. Slayer-witch to be more precise. With the help of Hailey, Jake a werewolf she grew up with, and a sage demon named Sigmund, Frankie is determined to figure out what happened to her Aunt Buffy as well as keep the Hellmouth shut for good when vampires and demons start sniffing around.

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As a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, I squeed like an idiot upon discovering this book out in the wild. All the nostalgia and geekery came swirling out like a violent tornado. Blake understood the assignment when she took on writing this book. This is how a beloved series moves forward and stays alive. This is how you do it. The next generation.

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It’s hard to figure out where to begin. First, I was so thrilled to see how closely tied these characters are to the original ones. Frankie wasn’t a copy of the original. Not by a long shot. Sure, Sunnydale was reborn which was super freaky, but Frankie was unique all onto her own. And, with a new Scooby Gang comes new evil. OF course, I guess it is easier to visit old stomping ground and if we’re honest? Sunnydale is one of those places that just never dies, even when it’s a crater. LOL.

I was totally enthralled by the inclusion of Willow, Oz, and Spike. While they each held important roles to the show they also held so much for the future and beyond it. They really were the perfect fit for this book. And while the others’ inclusion was incredibly limited that doesn’t they won’t be peeking around in the next book. I really enjoy the subtlety of the character inserts. It gives this new Scooby Gang of Frankie, Jake, Hailey, and Sigmund room to grow. Not gonna lie though, it would be rad to see Clem or Giles make an appearance though.

Book Squad Goals

One thing did get to me a little bit. The book got a tad too reliant on the nostalgia tidbits. I enjoyed looking back on the greatest parts of BTVS and its easter eggs like the yummy sushi blanket and even Willow’s homecoming dress. Nostalgia lane is fantastic, but I kept wondering when this was going to stand on its own rather than rely oso much on BTVS. It took a little too long but better late than never. I will say that I was surprised and bummed that The Bronze hadn’t been revived. Maybe in the next book…

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Still, the fact that Slayerfest was reborn into something epic was so wicked. Sad, too, since everybody blew up and lost characters I loved and grew to appreciate. I don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t share too much. Blake did leave me guessing and desperate to know who survived the explosion and it drove me crazy. Still, It was heavy but a great callback.

Looking outside how much I just melted over this book, I loved the page breaks. Little moon phases?! How witchy and perfectly BTVS! Ugh. My heart just keeps stopping. And the transitions? Absolutely grand. Just as if scene switching in the show. So easy to follow and keep up with. I devoured this book so fast. There were the heart-filling moments of friendship that grabbed a hold of me like BTVS seaosn 1 did. There was the big bad that definitely gave some Master vibes. The Countess was definitely bloodier. This was fresh and even took the legendary show into the future with technology-an Instagram demon.

Overall

Total geek-out happening. So fun, goofy, emotional, and so Buffy. For any Buffy fan and even those who haven’t gotten hooked on Buffy, this is phenom. It really keeps in step with tone and storytelling just as BTVS did. Entertaining on old stomping grounds I always want to revisit.A total vibe. Now, time to go re-watch some Buffy.

Quotables:

“Crap. I am a fricking, fracking vampire slayer.” (Frankie, p. 55)

Leaking Hellmouth. There’s a menstruation joke in there somewhere if we look hard enough.” (Frankie to Hailey, p. 92)

“You guys. We live above an old Hellmouth, okay? Sometimes that’s going to mean multitasking.” (Frankie, p. 137)

“A brooding demon comes to town with a tortured, romantic sob story, creeping on the new slayer. Where have I heard that one before?” (Spike, p. 252)

More to come soon…                                                                                               

  -K.

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