The second book in the Gatekeeper trilogy which is set on the third season after Revelations and before Lovers’ Walk.

Publication year: 1999
Format: print
Page count: 370
Publisher: Pocket Books

The Gatekeeper in his house in Boston is responsible for keeping dimensional rifts closed and imprisoning all monsters which have managed to slip into Earth from other dimensions. However, he is getting older and weaker. A cult of robed men called the Sons of Entropy have taken advantage of that. Their feared leader Il Maestro has commanded them to attack the Gatehouse and capture Buffy for his own sinister purposes. Buffy and her friends defended the Gatehouse from the attacks earlier but now they have more important task: to find the Gatekeeper’s eleven year old son who has been kidnapped. The boy had been in a school in London and time is short, so Buffy, Angel, and Oz use the Ghost roads to get to Britain in just a few hours. There, they are contacted by a man sent by the Watchers Council. Unfortunately, the man is a spy and sends the trio to a trap. However, the boy isn’t in Britain so the trio will have to do a road trip around Continental Europe.

Meanwhile, Giles, Willow, Cordelia, and Xander defending Sunnydale. Dimensional rifts are opening up and Willow uses her spells to seal them. One rift even opens into the Summers’ house and Joyce has to confront a supernatural threat. Also, the Flying Dutchman has broken free from the Gatekeeper’s bindings and is gathering live people to kill.

However, the Sons of Entropy don’t know that their Maestero is just a pawn. Il Maestro serves a demon who demands a sacrifice: Buffy or the Master’s beloved daughter. The Master is a vile man who has served evil for centuries. He enjoyed killing and torturing other people. Yet, he loves his adopted daughter and would like her to be his successor to the all-male Sons of Entropy.

Again, there’s a lot of action. Buffy, Angel, and Oz battle various creatures and groups of Sons of Entropy. Some of the Sons are low level sorcerers but powerful enough to give our heroes a lot of trouble. There are also more horror in the book than is usual for Buffy: the Flying Dutchman flies around and kidnaps people. This is often told from the point-of-view of the kidnapped, and to-be-killed, men and women, and so it’s more horrific because they aren’t the main characters and anything can happen to them. There’s a great sequence with the Dutchman and one of the regular characters. Also, since the Sons of Entropy are human Buffy’s gang is in fact killing and brutally wounding them which is quite different from the show where the villains tend to be various monsters.

Cordelia’s, Xander’s, and Willow’s parents are talked about several times which a bit unusual. The Scooby Gang stays out long into the night, battling evil, and are worried that they are going to be grounded until graduation. Cordelia and Willow also have a nice bonding moment which we didn’t really see in the series and is very ironic considering what happens in the episode follow the book. Buffy and Oz also talk more than probably in the series as a whole.

Spike and Drusilla have kidnapped the boy and are holding him. There are a few scenes with them but putting them on the cover is almost false advertising. Again, Faith doesn’t make an appearance.

The Ghost roads weren’t used much which was a bit disappointing. Only people with a connection to the supernatural can walk them and that’s why Buffy, Angel, and Oz are the only ones to use the roads. Apparently, being a witch doesn’t count. Unfortunately, the Ghost roads are declared immediately very dangerous and not to be used lightly, so the trio uses a car most of the time. In the first book, Angel was confronted by Jenny and I would have loved to see more of that sort of character torture. Alas, it didn’t happen. The ghosts attack the trio, when they try to use the roads, and demand to be let back into the world. Of course, Buffy couldn’t let that happen. Also, there are monsters walking the Ghost roads.

This is as good Buffy entertainment as the first book and the characters are mostly themselves. However, there’s no clear attraction going on between Willow and Xander, which is a bit odd considering the next episode. I didn’t care for that plot twist at all, so I’m not complaining. 🙂

The book ends is huge cliffhanger!

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