While I don't really enjoy criticizing another's work when I can't write a book myself, this book deserves reviewing. I have not read the book "Bite Me" also by this author, but judging by this volume, I won't.
If you enjoy being irritated with a book you, as a reader, spent roughly $15.00- $20.00 on, please, go forth and buy this book; if not, spend your hard earned cash elsewhere ("Angel: The Casefiles" might be a better choice).
The first irritation of this book is although it is "supposed" to be about "Angel," Stafford seems to be writing a sequel to "Bite Me;" she talks about Buffy more than Angel. Don't get me wrong, I'm personally an avid fan of both shows. However, "Angel," whilst being a spin-off, stood on it's own two feet, following "Buffy"s storyline minimally, and Stafford attempts to make parallels between the two shows that just aren't there. It becomes a fly in the reader's ear after a while.
The second major irritation in this book are the menial episode summaries. Having seen every "Angel" episode, at least once, I know the basic plot of each episode and only need a refresher. However, Stafford leaves out MAJOR plot points. If one was trying to find a certain episode he/she missed, one may get a "ballpark" idea of which episode he/she i looking for, especially in Season 4, when the season is basically one long story arc, and if you miss one episode, you're clueless and confused. In my opinion, a plot summary should be like a Cliff's Notes version of the episode, and Stafford only writes about PART of an episode, usually the part I'm figuring that she find pleasing.
And finally, the last bit of annoyance... Nitpicks. Almost anyone who has read this book does not like the "Nitpick" section. I honestly don't want to know someone else's opinion of an episode, or a character's outfit in a certain episode, or any other gripe the author may have about the show; If Stafford like the show so much that she wrote about about it, why does she feel the need to gripe about it? And I apologize, but some of the comments she makes are crude, tactless, and seem uneducated, case in point sayin that Cordelia's outfit at the end of "Orpheus" (Season 4, episode 15) looks like it was bought at, and I quote, "Bondage Maternity Clothes R Us" is absolutely tasteless.
Of course the are a few shining lights within this dreary book: there is a humorous interveiw with Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce), It's humorous because the actor is witty, not the author; and there are a few little "jewels" throughout the book: a chronology of appearances by Phantom Dennis, and a Complete "Angel" timeline, pre and post Buffy. These few random lights are the only reason why this book gets ANY stars, in my opinion.
Stafford's sophomore effort just falls flat in this reader's eyes. If you MUST read it, rent it from your Library.