Buffy: The Making Of A Slayer: The Official Guide by Nancy Holder (book review).

The TV series ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ has its own large hardback guide to everything you wanted to know about our favourite Slayer and her friends as they protect the world from various demon threats. Here, you see what goes on in front and behind the camera and get a bit about their history. It’s initially a little off-putting having two page insets in the middle of sentences and does make me wonder why they just didn’t go for smaller chapters and group these together.

Things I learnt. Discovering that Joss Whedon created surnames for Kendra and Dawn for a role-playing game. Then again, we also get Whedon’s own complete name as well, although no the explanation as to why the change. I’m touching bases here as there’s far more than that here. There’s also a lot of cross-connection to the ‘Angel’ TV series that I’m surprised that there wasn’t a companion volume for this book at the same time. Maybe that’s being scheduled for next year.

What is outstanding is the variety of colour photographs included and some of these are really superb. Many are full page and some double-page which makes for a good selling point. At the back of the book, there is an enormous bibliography in case you missed any of the associated books, let alone all the comics, canon and otherwise, to this point.

This book won’t be much good to the novice fan as a straight history of the show. When there are references to the Buffy robot, the magic shop and such, it isn’t given at the point it happens but when it is significant for some other event. That’s all very well on some things but when it’s done with Dawn’s introduction, you have to wonder how much time writer Nancy Holder had to put her text together. Granted that you don’t necessarily want to re-read the same things every time but it does tend to come out of the left wing leaving you thinking, what did I miss earlier if it was also supposed to be a continuity history?

There are comments from a variety of the cast, although strangely not Sarah Michelle Geller herself, and the production team, although not directly from Joss Whedon neither but considering he was up to his eyeballs with a certain ‘Avengers’ film, that would be understandable.

Despite these criticisms, if you’re looking for a book that looks like an annual in all but name for a Buffy fan, I suspect they’ll be more than happy and quiet for a few hours devouring this book this December Yuletide, assuming they haven’t bought it for themselves already. All I’ve got to decide is stake or magic.

GF Willmetts

(pub: Titan Books. 175 page large illustrated hardback. Price: £19.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78116-246-0)
check out websites: www.titanbooks.com


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

2 thoughts on “Buffy: The Making Of A Slayer: The Official Guide by Nancy Holder (book review).

  • Hi there! Just wondering of anyone could give some kind of indication how much detail this book has on the creative aspects of the show beyond the writing and acting. Is there much on the costumes, sets, and makeup?? Is it a lot or only a little?

    • Hello Sarah
      For sets and costumes, not a lot I’m afraid. I do agree, though, you would have thought someone would have done a book on that area of the series.


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