Throwback Thursday: ‘Dragon Teeth’ (2017) isn’t really a dinosaur story, but it’s an enjoyable example of early Crichton (Book review)

In our Throwback Thursday series, we’re looking back at movies, TV shows, books or comics that are more than a year old and don’t fit with our regular “flashback” features. Maybe we missed it when it was new, or we want to revisit an old favorite. Basically, we’re reviewing old stuff because we feel like it.

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‘Buffy’/‘Angel’ flashback: ‘Cursed’ (2003) (Book review)

“Cursed” (November 2003) is a rare novel with “Buffy” in the title that doesn’t have Buffy in it (aside from a phone conversation on the last page). This “Buffy”/“Angel” crossover by Mel Odom is truly a “Spike”/“Angel” crossover, and a good one (despite a big continuity problem I’ll get to later). I never tire of tales of Angelus, Darla, Spike and Dru cutting swaths of terror across Europe, and “Cursed” is a prime entry in that subgenre, while also bringing Angel and Spike together in present day.

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Throwback Thursday: Hornby’s ‘Funny Girl’ (2014) zeroes in on 1960s British TV, but has appeal beyond that (Book review)

In our Throwback Thursday series, we’re looking back at movies, TV shows, books or comics that are more than a year old and don’t fit with our regular “flashback” features. Maybe we missed it when it was new, or we want to revisit an old favorite. Basically, we’re reviewing old stuff because we feel like it.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Hornby’s ‘Funny Girl’ (2014) zeroes in on 1960s British TV, but has appeal beyond that (Book review)”

‘Buffy’/‘Angel’ flashback: ‘Seven Crows’ (2003) (Book review)

As he did with his only other “Buffy” novel, “Coyote Moon” (1998), John Vornholt gives a different – and not precisely right, but still intriguing – feel to the Buffyverse with the “Buffy”/“Angel” crossover “Seven Crows” (July 2003). The continuity glitch is less forgivable this time. Vornholt wrote “Coyote Moon,” set in the summer after Season 1, before he knew Buffy goes to LA for the summer. “Seven Crows” is set in the late summer before Season 7, but Buffy inexplicably already holds her guidance counselor job in summer school.

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‘Buffy’/‘Angel’ flashback: ‘Monster Island’ (2003) (Book review)

With “Buffy” and “Angel” on different networks, massive crossovers weren’t in the works on TV, but “Monster Island” (March 2003), by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski, rectifies that. Not surprisingly, the mixing of the two character groups leads to continuity errors (more on that later). Most of the novel, set in the early part of “Buffy” Season 6 and “Angel” Season 3, is good reading, although it has the usual problem in the “epic” novels of ending with a long, overblown battle.

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‘Buffy’ flashback: All 4 stories from ‘Tales of the Slayer, Vol. 3’ (2003), ranked (Book review)

It’s like an all-star writing contest when Yvonne Navarro, Mel Odom, Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder get together to write four novellas for “Tales of the Slayer, Vol. 3” (November 2003). At this point in my reread, they are four of the five best Buffyverse writers (with Jeff Mariotte filling the other spot). Here are my rankings of their contributions in this third “Tales” volume:

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Preston & Child take readers to Egypt and through the sands of time in the gripping ‘Pharaoh Key’ (Book review)

It has become comfortingly familiar at this point: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child take us – via their adventurous leads – to some corner of the Earth that still holds mysteries in the 21st century. Or that we can imagine still holds mysteries, if our knowledge of the place is sketchy enough that we can fool ourselves. The latest locale is southeastern Egypt in “The Pharaoh Key” (June 2018, hardcover), a novel that does its part to get the correct spelling of “pharaoh” back in the lexicon after the success of that darn horse.

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‘Buffy’ flashback: ‘Mortal Fear’ (2003) (Book review)

I was intimidated by this latest “Buffy” novel on my shelf, “Mortal Fear” (September 2003). It’s 479 pages, and it had a bookmark toward the front, so apparently I hadn’t actually finished it back in the day. As it turns out, this novel by husband-and-wife Scott and Denise Ciencin is the most pleasant surprise of my re-reading project.

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‘Buffy’ flashback: ‘Blood and Fog’ (2003) (Book review)

Nancy Holder’s “Blood and Fog” (May 2003) starts off with a delicious premise for fans of both “Buffy” and history, as Jack the Ripper enters the Slayer’s sphere. But like the 2002 “Angel” novel “Endangered Species,” co-written by Holder, the last third of the book totally falls apart; it’s filled with copy-editing errors and reads like it was delivered to the publisher minutes before being typeset for the press.

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‘Buffy’ flashback: All 10 short stories from ‘Tales of the Slayer, Vol. 2’ (2003), ranked (Book review)

Drawing a better overall crop of writers, “Tales of the Slayer, Vol. 2” (January 2003) makes a huge jump in quality from the first volume. The authors have a blast playing with our expectations of how Slayers, Watchers and vampires should behave while using familiar Buffyverse beats to teach us about societies throughout human history. Here are my rankings of the 10 stories:

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