Tuesday, August 16, 2022

‘In Every Generation’ Review: Kendare Blake Takes Us Back to the Buffyverse

BOOKSBOOK REVIEWS‘In Every Generation’ Review: Kendare Blake Takes Us Back to the Buffyverse

“Into every generation, a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the Slayer.”

Just typing that brings back all the nostalgia from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the 90s television series that meant a lot to so many and impacted its audience. Well, good news! It is time to revisit Sunnydale and all that comes with the town’s name — Slayers, monsters, the Hellmouth, and high school — with In Every Generation.

This journey is brought to us by the New York Times bestselling author that wrote the Three Dark Crowns series, All These Bodies, and the Anna series, Kendare Blake. Blake is bringing fans back to the Buffyverse in a new trilogy beginning with In Every Generation. A little more about the author, and because I love the names, Blake and her husband have two cat-sons named Tyrion Cattister and Armpit McGee, dog-son Obi-Dog Kenobi, and dog-daughter Agent Scully.

Since we are returning to Sunnydale in this story, it means that after most of the city was a sinkhole at the end of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it has been rebuilt, and the Hellmouth is still closed and even monster-free.

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Readers are introduced to Frankie, a sophomore at Sunnydale High School who is very passionate about the environment and learning magic. Even though most of it happened before she was born, Frankie knows about the history of Sunnydale and even grew up around magic, Slayers, and monsters. I mean, her aunt is the one and only Buffy Summers. Oh right, Frankie’s last name happens to be Rosenberg. Sound familiar? Yes, Frankie is the daughter of the one and only Willow Rosenberg. Being the daughter of a powerful witch and having your aunt being the legend Buffy means your life is anything but ordinary. A fact that Frankie and her friends will soon find out.

It begins with all the Slayers going to an annual event where they gather together. But something happens. Back at the Rosenberg women’s home, Frankie finds out what happened and gets asked if she has had any moments of exceptional strength, for example. That question confuses Frankie at first. Now, she is dealing with the fact that she is a Slayer and gets a crash course in what that means by learning on the job, even getting her ass kicked a few times. At least this world is not entirely new for her. Plus, she has her own group of Scoobies to help her out. Meanwhile, the word about what happened to the Slayers travels fast, and soon, vampires, demons, and more want to return to reopen the Hellmouth and take over the town of the legendary Buffy. Unbeknownst to them, there is still a Slayer there, who is now Sunnydale’s protector.

Reading this book brought me back to that initial giddy feeling that I had when I first got into the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There are excellent references back to the series, including one of my favorite episodes, “Hush.” Fans can look forward to hearing from and mentioning beloved characters from the television series, both present and past.

I got invested in Frankie’s journey right away. I found her to be a likable character because my favorite character from the television series was Willow. The writing made it effortless, and you cannot help but cheer her on in her journey. Blake gets the characters’ voices and mannerisms so wonderfully that I can picture them doing/saying the words coming off the pages and bringing their personalities alive. I would seriously love to see this become a television series, hint-hint powers that be.

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Knowing that this will be a trilogy and this being the first book gave more time to focus on who the new characters were and do a natural development in their character growth that did not seem rushed. I cannot wait to read the following two books Blake pens surrounding Frankie Rosenberg, Slayer-witch. This is a book that any Buffy fan, old or new, would love. Blake did the Buffyverse justice.

In Every Generation is available now; stay tuned for our interview with the author coming out later this week!

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