Struggling to cope with the demands of college and Slaying, Buffy Summers finds herself torn between the two, with her friends caught in the middle. Then, a fatal mistake leads to a magical 'hijacking', and Buffy's soul is flung forward in time, five years, to an Sunnydale ruled by vampires. Trapped in the body of her twenty-four year-old self, Buffy must defeat her greatest and most personal nemesis, while struggling to cope with the drastically changed world around her. "The Federal government doesn't want the rest of America to know what's going on... They've given us two months." "Then what?" "I'm guessing napalm." This is a superb book. First and foremost, that should be thrown out there. Chris Golden is the King of Buffy tie-ins, and The Lost Slayer is up there as my all-time favourite. His characterisation is always right on the money, and the 'alternate' scenario allows him to play with relationships and evolve the characters along the path the book sets out. It's shocking to see how the characters have been affected by the events portrayed in the book: Oz is a melancholic spirit, his wolf side now completely at his will, Xander is a broken, bitter military type, shattered by past events, while Willow has grown into a powerful leader and Wiccan. But the most terrifying change is with Giles... Giles-as-vampire tears at our hearts. When FutureWillow first reveals that Giles is the Vampire King, we cry out "Why?". There are so many little moments in this book that are just spectacular. There are throw-away lines to tie in with both book and show, an appearance by Lucy Hanover (a common idea in some of Chris' bigger Buffy books, but an excellently portrayed one), season four's Parker Abrams, as well as a brief mention of the Initiative (this story takes place just after the beginning of Season Four, shortly after "The Harsh Light of Day"). It is the ultimate Buffy tie-in book, and one that all Buffy fans should read. By the end, I promise you that you will be so hooked, you will be staring open-mouthed at the conclusion of the 'alternate future' storyline. It's an idea that would have worked just as well (or perhaps less well, even) on the screen (small or big), and the scope is simply astounding. Spanning five years, heartbreaks, loss, and change, The Lost Slayer is a book that should be on every Buffy fan's shelf.