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Buffy: One Thing Or Your Mother (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) Mass Market Paperback – 3 Mar 2008
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About the Author
Kirsten Beyer is the author of Star Trek: Voyager--Children of the Storm, Unworthy, Full Circle, String Theory: Fusion, the APO novel Alias--Once Lost, and contributed the short story "Isabo's Shirt" to the Distant Shores Anthology.
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Like a TV episode, there is a main plot (why is everyone in Sunnydale continually falling asleep, how is Principal Snyder connected, and how can Buffy put a stop to it before everyone falls into permanent slumber?), and a small subplot with Angelus, Drusilla & Spike (still in the wheelchair). The theme of the sub-plot also ties in with main plot's theme. There are a few surprises, and there is some foreshadowing of both events in "Becoming" and the Third Season of Buffy.
I really enjoyed the story and recommend it to any Buffy fan looking for a good new story to excite their imagination. Kirsten Beyer has a great feel for both the characters and the story flow, and it's a shame that this is probably the only BTVS story we'll be able to read of hers.
Kirsten Beyer (2008)
RATING: 4/5 Stakes
SETTING: Season 2
T.V. CHARACTER APPEARANCES: Buffy, Angelus, Drusilla, Spike, Willow, Principal Snyder, Giles, Joyce, Xander, Cordelia, Larry, Johnathan, Oz, Detective Stein, Detective Winslow, The Mayor, Allan
MAJOR ORIGINAL CHARACTERS: Josh Grodin (demon summoner), Paulina Snyder (Principal's mom), Todd Harter (tutor), Callie (child vamp)
BACK-OF-THE-BOOK SUMMARY: "It's tough being a teenage Slayer. On the verge of failing her junior year--thanks to annoying Principal Snyder, who seems to be acting even stranger than usual lately--Buffy agrees to meet with a tutor. Not helping her studies is the fact that lately she's been exhausted, waking up each morning feeling more tired than she did the night before. To make matters worse, she's tasked with investigating the disappearance of a child . . . a little girl who happens to have gone missing mere hours before a child vampire surfaced in Sunnydale, accompanied by a wheelchair-bound male who fits Spike's description perfectly. Fighting off exhaustion and uneasy at the prospect of staking a child vamp, Buffy learns that Principal Snyder is the target of a sleep-deprivation spell that has taken over Sunnydale. Putting aside her fear that her tutor is out to get her, and hoping that the sleeping spell is affecting both humans and demons, Buffy investigates Snyder's off behavior. She follows him to his childhood home to discover that he has arranged to have his abusive mother banished to the demon dimension. Meanwhile, Drusilla, who has been playing mother figure to the child vampire, is learning how difficult it is to be a parent. As sleep takes hold of the citizens of Sunnydale, Buffy beings to realize that unless she breaks the spell soon, the nightmare is just beginning."
Whew! The summary on the back of the book is almost as long as the book itself! With such a thorough description of the plot already provided, I can move right into some commentary. One Thing or Your Mother is set in Buffy Season Two and the author has paid close attention to continuity and included several minor characters from the show, like Larry, Allan, and police detectives Winslow & Stein. The revelation that Principal Snyder had to make a deal with The Mayor to have the abusive Mrs. Snyder sent to a demon dimension is done quite well and adds some strange sympathy to the figure of Principal Snyder. The subplot involving Drusilla deciding to be "mother" to a vampire child is also well-written and includes excellent portrayals of Drusilla's fickleness, Angelus' volatility, and Spike's ability to show tenderness as surprising times. Overall, the book has a creepy, dark feel that is missing from too many Buffy novels. It's one worth picking up.
A very good Buffy book. Shame this author hasn't written more Buffy novels, she seems to know the show very well.
OToYM takes place after the episode 'I Only Have Eyes For You'.
First off I loved that Buffy was dealing with a normal teenage problem, her failing grades and the interest of her tutor, and at the time also dealing with multiple Slayer issues. So many times I've read a Buffy novel where the author didn't put a believable or any human/normal teenage problem and it would bring the book/story down for me.
I loved Angelus (when don't I?), loved Dru and Spike, and even though I know there was no Callie on the show I wish the author hadn't had to kill her off, she was so cute with Spike and Spike was wonderful with her.
Although there were a few minor issues here and there it wasn't enough to bother much at all.
I'd recommend this book to any Buffy fan, you won't be disappointed.