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Dark Congress (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) [Mass Market Paperback]

Christopher Golden
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

3 Sep 2007 Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Once upon a time, all the demonic races, together with the old gods, would send their ambassadors to the Dark Congress, which took place under a general truce once every hundred years. There they would discuss their different attitudes to humanity: some wanted to leave our world to its own devices, while others argued for conquest, and still others wanted peace with human beings. Mostly they would agree to live and let live. Centuries ago, the Congress and its pact was broken, and it has not been held since - until now. Called for the first time in over a thousand years, hundreds of supernatural creatures converge on Providence, Rhode Island. They need an independent Arbiter, someone to settle disputes between them; someone who understands their existence and shares it, yet who owes no loyalty to any faction amongst them. They choose Buffy Summers.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (3 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847391192
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847391193
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 654,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN is the New York Times bestselling author of such novels as OF SAINTS AND SHADOWS and THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN, among many others. He has co-written three lavishly illustrated novels with Mike Mignola, the first of which, BALTIMORE, OR, THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER AND THE VAMPIRE, was the launching pad for the Eisner-nominated comic book series, BALTIMORE. As an editor, he has worked on the anthologies THE NEW DEAD, THE MONSTER'S CORNER, and 21ST CENTURY DEAD, among others, and has also written and co-written video games, screenplays, and a network television pilot. His original novels have been published in more than fourteen languages in countries around the world.

Product Description

About the Author

Christoper Golden has been voted among the top ten science fiction and fantasy authors by the readers of SFX magazine every year from 2000-2005 inclusive. He is the author of several dark fantasy novels and comic books in addition to numerous Buffy the Vampire Slayer adult novels and reference books which have made him a major UK bestseller.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 2 Aug 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback
delivery was fast and the item is as described
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Next up on our Slayer's agenda? Demonic politics of course! 14 Sep 2007
By C. Crockett - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was only a matter of time before Buffy came up against a truly heinous evil --- politics!

Set after the end of the series (post Season 7), this is the second of only 2 novels that were written to depict events that occur after Sunnydale goes from being an outie to an innie (as Faith would say). Thankfully, "Dark Congress" is blessedly better than Queen of the Slayers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), although it's not without a few problems of it's own.

In this novel, Buffy and gang are slowly drawn to Providence, Rhode Island, were a bizarre collection of Demons and magickal Beings are quickly gathering. Why, and for what purpose? Through classic exposition skills (Giles, of course) they come to learn that all manner of magickal creatures are gathering to convene whats known as the Dark Congress -- an assembly of representatives from the magickal community who come together to iron out various squabbles and differences among their races, as well as ultimately attempt to decide the fate of humanity (as in, destroy and conquer, or live in semi-peace). Now, as the Congress reconvenes after thousands of years, Buffy is selected to act as arbiter of the whole shebang. Reluctantly she accepts this duty, as it would give her the inside scoop, and the possible ability to sway the outcome in favor of humanity -- but after murder befalls the sacred meeting, it is up to Buffy and Scoobies to discover the identity of the killer, or risk a declaration of war on humanity...

This was a fairly satisfying post-season 7 novel. All the main players were present, and the actions, attitudes, and personalities of each character were more or less intact. By the end of season 7 of the series, each character had grown considerably as a person, compared to how they had begun way back in Season 1. I liked that Xander was still coming to terms with the loss of his eye, and how Faith was a participating member of the Scoobies, but was still struggling to redeem herself from her past sins and control her darker instincts. Even Oz, stoic as always, is once again utilizing his Lycanthrop abilities to aid in the fight (he was sent to the Congress as a representative for the Werewolf community). These are the types of character consistencies that I appreciate, both as a reader and as a fan of the show. I would expect nothing less from a longtime Buffy author like Christopher Golden.

Now, on with the few things I didn't enjoy as much -- I felt the beginning of the novel was very drawn out and unnecessarily long, while the ending felt rushed and a little incomplete. The Dark Congress itself isn't even mentioned (much less explained) at all until around page 120 (out of about a 220 page book), so everything leading up to that point is nothing but setup. And, I hate to say it (and I'm sorry if this ruins anything for anyone else), but I was really hoping to see either Spike or Angel (preferably both) make an appearance. Keeping in mind at the end of Season 5 of "Angel" things are pretty much left at a cliff-hanger, with the feeling that we have no idea if they made it out of that last fight alive. This would have been a great opportunity to reintroduce one or both of those characters, and offer a creative explanation for what happened. Sadly, I guess I'll still have to wait for that. I also felt the Tara thing and the ending were a bit of a cop out. You'll know what I mean when you read it.

Bottom line, this book is still a lot of fun, despite some of it's flaws. It's an interesting story, and it's done well. Buffy fans definitely shouldn't miss out!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Congress: A step up from Queen of the Slayers.............. 29 Aug 2007
By Bob James - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This novel is a definite improvement on Nancy Holder's Queen of the Slayers; while an enjoyable, fun read, that novel seemed to be trying to please too many fans and masters. This effort by Christopher Golden has a much more cohesive story, with a reason for each characters presence (and that includes at least one HUGE surprise return), and a story that involves them in constructive ways, in tandem and on seperate adventures. Faith and Oz are especially enjoyable here; we get some more insight into Xander's continuing journey as he copes, contributes and matures; and as for Willow's journey............well, read the book. We get a more than usual insight into the demons, baddies and anti-heroes as well; they are all genuine characters, as opposed to plot devices. It all hangs together well, and leaves the door open for more, which is, obviously what Buffy fandom wants. The current and ongoing Dark Horse Comics Season 8 Buffy stories are much more enjoyable and fun, but this is also an enjoyable addition to the continuing BuffyVerse.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buffy the Vampire Slayer without the Star of the show 17 Sep 2009
By Jonathan C. Reider - Published on
Very disappointed in this book. It had an interesting premise, Buffy is named to be the mediator in a demon congress. Unfortunately that aspect of the book was barely touched. In fact Buffy is only in about 5% of the story.The first 100 pages are mainly introducing 15-20 characters and it jumps around between these characters every other page, so you really can't get into any flow. It's a choppy, poorly written book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bait-and-switch 22 Jan 2009
By warriorbard - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Christopher Golden has written several "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (BtVS) novels. As has Nancy Holder. And they've also collaborated on a few. I think Christopher Golden's books are pretty good, the Golden/Holder collaborations are acceptable, and Holder alone is perfectly dreadful.

So what's my point?

I don't believe that this is a Christopher Golden novel. It's a Nancy Holder novel.

Her style is very distinctive. For one thing, there's an archness about it. A smugness. And a kind of over-the-top melodrama (but not in a good way). Original characters in her books die in horribly gory, painful, shocking, sadistic ways. (And honestly, that was never BtVS. Just because it's technically in the "horror" genre and deals with vampires, doesn't mean revelling in gore.)

There's a lot of time spent on the back story of each of the bad guys, which irritates me because it takes time away from the BtVS characters. I've read all of the BtVS novels simply because I want to spend more time with the Scoobies, and, in this one, they were only present in about half of the scenes.

(Also, every woman in the book--and I do mean every--is "stunningly beautiful" or "breathtakingly exquisite" or, in one case, "a woman of singular beauty". One character was referred to as "the beautiful witch" three times in four pages. Not a big point, but it started to exasperate me after awhile.)

I'd bet money on the theory that, for some reason, Nancy Holder wrote this, not Christopher Golden. Perhaps he'd contracted to write the book, but circumstances prevented him, so Holder stepped in? Or perhaps the publishers preferred to use Golden's name, since Holder's last BtVS novel (and the only other novel to be set post series), "Queen of the Slayers", seems not to have been very popular?

If I'm wrong, and Golden really did write it, then I can only say that I think he's been working with Holder too long.

As for "Dark Congress" itself, you'll probably want to read it if, like me, you're still missing Sunnydale and eager to have news of the Scoobies. And, it was great to see Xander, Faith, Oz, Giles...and a couple of others that I'm not supposed to mention. (One thing that disappointed me was that Dawn was absent.) I just would have preferred not to have the story cutting back and forth from them to the bad guys. (Eventually I started skipping those parts and flipping ahead to the next Scooby scene.) This story didn't really sate my thirst for BtVS...but it was a nice sip.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quick, interesting read 11 Oct 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It seems the more Christopher Golden novels I read, the more I love him! He has a true flair for BtVS characterization, enough that I can easily and fluidly imagine them acting out his novels.

The storyline for this one kept my attention and involved duos that worked together well, even ones I was worried about: Buffy & Faith, Xander & Oz, Willow & Tara (read it to see what I mean!), and Giles & a female watcher. The story itself takes place after the Sunnydale Hellmouth has closed, so it's a nice look at the characters after the tv series ended.

The only qualm I have with it is that, even with all the action that causes some serious reminiscing, there is no mention of Buffy's thoughts on Spike. I don't want to give away anything that happens in the book, but there were plenty of times in the story that I felt Buffy would have likened events to her last couple weeks with Spike...yet she mentions her thoughts on just about everything except that. Minor point for most people, but if you were hoping to get some closure on the Buffy/Spike thing in this book, be aware that won't happen.

Other than that, I found the action and ending quite satisfying. Reading this book was time well-spent.
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