This review was originally posted to The Geeky Waffle. It has been reposted here with permission.
I didn’t grow up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For most of the series’ run, I lived somewhere where the TV stations showed the older seasons occasionally, and inconsistently. As a result, I was generally aware of the adventures of Buffy Summers and her Scoobie gang, but remained ignorant of many of the overarching arcs. For instance, I thought “Spuffy” (Spike/Buffy) was a one-time thing, and not one of the major ships of the series.
It’s hard to walk the line between paying homage to a beloved story and beloved characters while blazing a path forward for new characters and adventures, but Kendare Blake does so wonderfully in In Every Generation.
In Every Generation follows Frankie Rosenberg, daughter of Buffy’s best friend Willow Rosenberg, coming into her powers as a slayer after all the other slayers are seemingly killed in an explosion – Buffy included. Having already inherited her mother’s witchy powers, Frankie feels overwhelmed and underprepared to assume a mantle she never thought she would have to. At least, not alone.
Not that she is alone. Like her Aunt Buffy before her, Frankie assembles her own gang of Scoobies including Jake, a werewolf, and cousin of Oz from the television series, Hailey, whose sister was one of the slayers apparently killed, and Sigmund, a half-demon whose mother is a friend of Willow’s. Together, along with Willow, Oz, and Spike, who is filling the role of Frankie’s Watcher, the team works to track down a mysterious new threat that has emerged in Sunnydale.
Along with the mysterious new events comes a mysterious new character, the Hunter of Thrace, who is just the kind of dark, broody, and tortured that appeals to me specifically. While it’s clear by the end of this book they are setting Frankie up for a novel series of her own, please consider this my humble request for a Hunter of Thrace-centric spinoff.
While In Every Generation does manage to strike a balance between the old and the new, I cannot help but wonder how it will land for an audience unfamiliar with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While I hadn’t seen most of the show, I was still familiar enough with the older characters that I could put a face to the name, and general pop culture knowledge means I am now aware of the major events of the series – such as the destruction of the Hellmouth and of Sunnydale High School.
Granted, I imagine most who seek out In Every Generation will be at least somewhat familiar with the television series. And if they aren’t, it might just inspire them to give it a try and see what all the fuss is about.
In Every Generation is out January 4, 2022. Special thanks to Disney Hyperion for the advance copy for review purposes.