Four Buffy books set at the beginning of season four.
Publication year: 2003
Original books: Prophecies, Dark Times, King of the Dead, Original Sins, all published in 2001
Page count: 573
Publisher: Pocket Books
Yes! This was an excellent Buffy alternate universe story!
The story starts when Buffy has started collage and is determined to be both 100 % Buffy and 100% Slayer. Unfortunately, this means pushing away her friends as she’s trying to protect them. Willow especially is hurt by this behavior and Buffy seems to drift apart from her friends.
While patrolling, she encounters four vampires who have glowing eyes and can siphon off her energy with touch. They talk about their master Camazotz. Giles finds out that Camazotz used to be a Mayan god of bats. A dead Slayer Lucy Hannover appears to Buffy in a dream and warns her that the Prophet has foreseen that Buffy will make a huge mistake.
After a bit of bickering and research, the group finds out that Camazotz and his vampires have come over the sea. Giles and Buffy head for the harbor master’s office. Unfortunately, they are overwhelmed and Buffy has to flee and leave Giles behind.
Willow summons Lucy to help them and Lucy says that the Prophet can help them. The group isn’t familiar with her but they have no choice. The Prophet appears and says that she can give Buffy a vision of the future. Buffy agrees. However, when Buffy touches the Prophet, she sends Buffy’s soul five years into the future and inhabits Buffy’s body.
Buffy realizes that she has been a captive of the vampires for five years and meanwhile the Vampire King and his minions have taken over Sunnydale. Back in the past, the rest of the group will have to deal with the weirdly behaving Buffy.
Each book ends in a cliffhanger, except for the last one, of course.
The future is bleak. Everyone in Sunnydale has either fled or is under the vampires’ rule. Buffy has been in isolation for years and has hardened, both body and soul. Fortunately, she has little trouble with integrating her current and past souls. The younger Buffy is often horrified with what she finds in the future and is determined to find a way to chance it. There are still a few who fight for Sunnydale. The surviving Slayerettes have banded together with the Watchers’ Council and the military, and are trying desperately to save the town.
Like in any good alternative reality, the Lost Slayer has several canon characters who have gone through different experiences and are therefore different from the canon characters. Xander is perhaps the one who has changed most. He’s become bitter and a great fighter. Willow is the unofficial leader of the paramilitary group, even Council leaders refer to her charisma and leadership abilities. There are several others, but I won’t spoil them. Many of the characters are rather desperate and hardened from battle.
The books have several original characters, too. Perhaps the most intriguing one was Christoper Lonergan who seems to have a paranormal ability to sense when a vampire is near and how powerful that vampire is. He’s also a Catholic priest and yet he’s joined in with the military effort to clean out the vampires from Sunnydale. Anne Kuei is a young new Slayer who is fighting for the first time. Understandably, she’s bit afraid and anxious but she’s also very brave, and able to fight her fears. None of the Initiative characters made appearances which was a little disappointing.
It seems to me that Buffy’s friends were a bit too competent in battle. Willow’s witch powers are more flashy and powerful than in the show. She’s very powerful in the future but she uses quite powerful magicks in the present, too. For example, she conjures up a wall of fire to keep vampires back. Oz, Xander, and Anya are able to fight of several vampires at once. The vampires here are supposed to be stronger and faster than the normal vampires and yet they seem almost ridiculously easy to kill, when convenient for the plot.
Buffy is the main POV character through out the series. In the first book, Willow and Giles are also POV characters, but not nearly as long as Buffy. In the last two books, there are more POV characters than in the previous ones.
The pacing is quick, except for the first book. The first book spends quite a lot of time before the plot really gets rolling, focusing instead on Buffy’s difficulties in collage and problems with her friends. Oh and Giles’ sometime girlfriend Olivia makes an appearance and we get to know more about her than in the show.
This series is written for the fans for the show.