Monday, 7 September 2015

Book Review - Demons of the Hellmouth: A Guide for Slayers

By Rupert Giles (AKA Nancy Holder)

Published by Titan Books

'Demons of the Hellmouth is a fully licensed guide to the vampires and other demons that flocked to the Sunnydale Hellmouth in Joss Whedon’s cult TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This in-universe illustrated guide is written by Rupert Giles, and also contains handwritten notes from Buffy and Willow. This unique book promises a diabolical romp through the highlights of the beloved show.'

I was a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in the day. I have the DVDs of every season, along with Angel, I had the season companions and I dabbled in the comics. I never really fell into it one hundred percent and it became one of my many nerd joys.

What drove the show for me were the characters - I don't think there was single character I didn't like in one way or another, and the baddies were just as much fun and could be as multi-layered as the primary heroes. Seven years of vamp-dusting and demon-busting later and we were left with an exhilarating conclusion to a great show.

When Demons of the Hellmouth: A Guide for Slayers landed on my desk I wasn't too sure what to make of it - I had my companions and I had seen the show, so what was this going to tell me that I didn't already know?

As it turned out, not a lot, but that's not why I enjoyed the book.

The book has been written as if Buffy's Watcher, Rupert Giles, has put his thoughts and experiences in order and put them down for prosperity. With little hand-written notes from Buffy, Faith, Willow and Xander sitting alongside the main text, it's a funny and somewhat nostalgic trip into the lore of the Buffy universe.

That nostalgia worked for me on many levels; I've not watched the DVDs for years but to see all the old Big Bads again and reading what Giles thought of them - as well as the funny little notes from the rest of the group - was a treat. Sadly, if you're not a Buffy fan or if you're expecting to learn something new about the universe, well I'm afraid this might not be for you. If you're not a fan then you'll not fully understand these characters and miss a lot of the in-jokes, and if you watch the series on a regular basis you'll find it all a little superfluous.

But if you were a fan and you've not stepped into the lore for a long time the nostalgia trip is excellent. It's also a great-looking hardback book with a faux-leather cover and elastic bookmark, so it's great for collectors.

Recommended for fans of the Scooby Gang.