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Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon, Ron McLarty
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five
Ellen Datlow, Laird Barron, Conrad Williams, Ramsey Campbell
Locus Solus (Alma Classics)
Raymond Roussel
Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3)
Mira Grant, Paula Christensen, Michael Goldstrom
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Volume 7: Twilight - 'Brad Meltzer',  'Joss Whedon' The next-to-the-last volume of "Buffy: Season 8" was better than the preceding one, with the return of many familiar faces, including (as the cover reveals), Buffy's old flame, Angel, as well as the revelation of who the Season 8 Big Bad, "Twilight," really is. (And Buffy finally gets in a "Twilight" joke -- I was waiting for that all this time.)

Here, once again the writers are going for great big earth-shaking plots that the TV show's special effects budget would never have permitted, and it seems they are also trying to outdo the game-changing end of Season 7, when the world was left full of Slayers. In this volume, Buffy becomes even more powerful than she ever was before, and we learn that this is not necessarily a good thing. Also, Giles once again has a deep dark Watcher secret about the possible end of the world.

What made this volume good was the jokes. There was lots of Buffyesque humor and one-liners. Andrew and Warren "teaming up" with their mad scientist Iron Man & Captain America gadgets was particularly entertaining. The dialog between Xander and Buffy was also good.

What made it not so good: I found the plot a little confusing, Twilight's "Master Plan" stupid, and the whole "The universe itself has engineered this outcome; Mother Nature cannot be thwarted even by vampires and Slayers" was just a lot of gimme-a-break. Also, multi-page sex scenes are no less cringe-inducing in graphic novel format (with panels full of strategically-placed shadows and tree branches) than they are in fantasy/sci-fi novels, so just give us one panel to let us know they had awesome, earthshaking sex and leave it at that. This was fan service taken to absurd extremes, and it took itself too seriously to even enjoy the cheese/beefcake.