Joss Whedon – BtVS S8 Vol. 8: Last Gleaming
|Read my review of volume:|
|1. The Long Way Home
2. No Future For You
3. Wolves at the Gate
4. Time of Your Life
|5. Predators & Prey
Length: 160 pages
Where did it come from? The library.
Started/Finished: 12 July 2011
***SPOILER ALERT***SPOILER ALERT***
Summary: The creation of a new universe at the end of Vol. 7 opened up the floodgates of demons pouring into the old universe. It turns out that all of the demons are primarily after one thing (apart from killing, mauling, and eating as many humans as they can): the Seed, which is responsible for the separation of the universes and is also the source of magic in the world. So Buffy & Co. have to get to the Seed first… but once they find it, what exactly are they going to do with it?
Review: Whoo boy. In my review of the utterly insane and mostly nonsensical Vol. 7, I said “I would really appreciate it if Joss (or someone else) would take the reins and keep the whole thing from plummeting straight over the crazy cliff.” And, surprisingly enough, he did! Well, mostly. The direction that the plot took at the end of Vol. 7 isn’t something that even the most skilled writer could turn around in the space of one more volume, but given what there was to work with, I think Whedon took it in the best direction he could. He did cover a LOT of plot points very, very quickly, however, to the point that I was spending a lot of mental energy trying to make it all fit together in a logical fashion. I never quite got there, even after a few read-throughs, but at least the remaining plot holes are Sunnydale-crater-sized rather than entire-universe-sized. I also think I missed a lot by not reading the Spike or the more recent Angel comics, too; the fact that Spike shows up on a giant gold zeppelin piloted by huge cockroaches is just laid out there in this volume without any kind of explanation.
But, despite the “Whaaaaaa??!? Ooookay.” nature of the plot, there were a number of parts of this book that I liked. There are some simply wonderful character moments, with Buffy & Spike’s reunion (complete with the entire unresolved weight of what went down at the end of S7) at the top of the list. Everybody sounded like themselves, and a lot of the dialogue is just as sharp and witty as it ever was on the show. And, of course, Whedon can’t end a season without some major game-changing twists, and season 8’s finale’s got a few doozies. Unfortunately, I was too wrapped up in trying to understand the plot, so I think some of them didn’t have quite the emotional impact they should have, but they (for sure) left me eager to see where things are going to go from here. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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