Tales of the Slayer, Vol. 3
Authors: Christopher Golden, Nancy Holder. Mel Odom, Yvonne Navarro
Release Date: November 2003
Three volumes into this series and some trends are appearing. First, I think some of the authors are basing their stories more off the movie than the show (dreams and birthmarks playing big parts in the film but hardly at all on the show). Whereas the first book dealt a bit with slayers last missions, most of these stories deal with inexperienced slayers. The biggest difference with this collection is fewer but longer stories (4 stories at 220 pages instead of 10 stories at 250 pages in volume 2). Here’s how I’d rank them from worst to best:
Dark of the Moon – A very average story about a Native American slayer’s first mission; this one was a slog until the end when some family drama entered the story.
The Code of the Samurai – A story about an American slayer during the 1990’s fighting the 47 Ronan from Japanese myth. This one felt like the author enjoyed “Shogun” a bit too much but I liked the flash back story about Asano’s seppuku.
Voodoo Lounge – This story about early Hollywood and a popular demon bar felt the most like the tv show I loved. The female watcher (a potential slayer who never got the job) was my favorite watcher from any short story so far.
Ch’ing Shih – The longest story yet, this felt like it could have easily been stretched into its own book. Instead, the story took several turns I didn’t see coming, and both the watcher and slayer ended up being characters I was invested in. The overly happy ending keeps it from matching the best stories from volume 2 though.