Return to Sunnydale in a brand-new series by New York Times best-selling author Kendare Blake, set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Frankie Rosenberg wasn’t yet alive when her mom, Willow, her aunt Buffy, and the original Scooby Gang destroyed the Hellmouth and saved the world from the First Evil. These days, life in New Sunnydale is blissfully quiet. Frankie is just trying to survive her sophomore year at the rebuilt high school and use her budding magical powers to make the world a better place.
But that world is suddenly plunged into danger when the slayer community is the target of a deadly attack, leaving the future of the line uncertain. Then Frankie discovers she’s sort of freakishly strong. Oh, and there’s something Willow never told her about her true identity.
Cue the opening credits.
Quicker than she can carve a stake, Frankie discovers there’s more to saving the world than witty one-liners and stupid hot demons. now everyone looks to her for answers, but speaking up has never been her strong suit. And it’s hard to be taken seriously when your mom is such a powerful witch she almost ended the world once, while your greatest magic trick is recycling.
Despite the many challenges standing in her way, Frankie must assemble her own bumbling Scooby Gang, get dressed up in Buffy’s (vintage ’90s) clothes, and become a new slayer for a new generation―before whatever came for the rest of the slayers comes for her next.
In Every Generation by Kendare Blake is a riveting and even, at times, emotional beginning to a new generation of slayers and slayer fans.
What I Loved
What I loved the most about In Every Generation is how true it stays to the original TV series it is based on. Even the most minor details are not overlooked, including the tone and atmosphere that reminded me of the first few seasons. I actually double-checked those details against pivotal episodes in the series. Happily, I found that every element that stood out to me was spot on. It is a young adult story, but OG fans, like me, who are no longer YA but still enjoy stories targeted to that age group, also have something to connect to regarding the next generation.
Spike, Willow, Oz are active characters, and Xander calls with updates, mentioning Dawn often. Vi, the slayer played by Felicia Day in the last season, is also significant in the story. Catching up with those characters made me incredibly happy. I found it so heartwarming that Willow stayed faithful to her word and never stopped waiting for Oz and that they have entered a close, loving friendship, much like she shares with Xander. Not surprisingly, Oz still shows minor signs of romantic love for Willow, but he is Oz. And Oz will always take what is offered without insisting on more, which is good since Willow openly declared her LGBTQ+ status all those years ago. Though the teens have thrown out conjecture about the nature of their relationship, they have not shown any more than a close, loving friendship and a much-needed support system.
The new generation, led by Willow’s daughter Frankie, has lots of room for development in upcoming stories. Most of this book saw Frankie living in Aunt Buffy’s shadow rather than finding her own strength and identity as a slayer. But she is a witch slayer, so as she continues to grow and find her own identity, I can easily see her blooming right before our eyes. I’m just giddy with the thought of all the possibilities. She is joined by Oz’s nephew/cousin, Jake, a werewolf, Vi’s sister, Hailey, and Sigmund, a half-demon who is the son of one of Willow’s demon friends. They are all fun and bring so many different dynamics to the group.
The basics of how Frankie is activated are a little hard to swallow. Still, as the book progresses, you learn that it’s unclear who perished in the explosion, what caused it, and where any possible survivors would be. This is a compelling mystery that may last for several books in the series. And I really loved that it is the point where Frankie finally admits to herself that the indestructible Buffy very well might have been one of those who died in the accident is the exact point where she begins to come out of the shadows. I found myself a little emotional at that, as well, as I realized I was admitting its possibility to myself at the same time. As a long-time fan, that’s a harsh realization.
As I mentioned, the OG characters are so like their television counterparts. I thought the author did an excellent job of capturing their distinct voices and mannerisms. And the new support characters all have strong personalities that will be fun to see grow over time. Frankie is the only one that stood out as a vague representation of what I expected, that is, until she stepped out of the shadows and owned her power. At that point, I could see a world of possibilities and loved that a quiet, environmental witch could turn into a strong, independent slayer taking on the beings who threaten life itself.
Reminds Me Of
Obviously, it is as advertised – the new generation of vampire slayers based on the world created in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
What I Wish
My wishes are forward-looking rather than towards this particular book. I wish that Frankie continues to grow in her strength and identity and allows the reader to experience the world of possibilities that I can imagine are possible.
To Read or Not to Read
If you loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer and/or have a next generation of your own that you’d love to introduce to this women-empowered world, you MUST buy this book, read this story, and introduce your next generation to all the wonderful things this world can bring to them.