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Currently reading

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: Retreat - Jane Espenson, Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens, Michelle Madsen, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt Despite the return of several long-missing characters from the TV series (Oz, Riley), I thought this was the weakest story arc in "Buffy: Season Eight" yet. Buffy decides that all of the Slayers need to "give up" their magic so that Twilight will stop being able to hunt them down. So she finds Oz in Tibet, where he has learned to control his lycanthropy. He and his Tibetan wife tell the Slayers that they need to take up an agrarian lifestyle and basically let their magic be drained into the Earth.

How exactly this fits into a long-term plan for defeating Twilight is unclear. Also, they go to Tibet in the first place by having Willow teleport a submarine. To Tibet. So of course Twilight finds them anyway. The subsequent battle between trained troops and a bunch of teenage girls who've lost their Slayer powers might have been supposed to have us rooting for the girls, but their inevitable defeat was neither inspiring nor tragic, just stupid.

Of course there were some interesting twists, both on a large scale, with ancient Tibetan "wrath goddesses" bursting out of the earth to kill everything in sight (more examples of the writers having fun with stuff they couldn't do on TV -- like the teleporting submarine) and on a small scale, with the hints that Willow is going to turn dark again, and hints of Xander/Buffy followed by Xander/Dawn.

However, overall I found this storyline to be a little confusing, and I'm not pleased that the army of Slayers seems to be turning into the Army of Expendable Extras. So only three stars from me this time. Buffy the TV series had its slumps too.