Author: Jeff Mariotte, Nancy Holder, Maryelizabeth Hart
Publisher: Pocket Books
Packed with information, photos and hundreds of great quotes from seasons three and four of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Watcher's Guide Volume 2" is just as comprehensive as the first "Watcher's Guide". For newcomers, the background to the Slayer, her Watcher and their duties to fight the forces of darkness are sketched in, then the book moves rapidly on to character profiles and brief episode guides for seasons three and four, all liberally sprinkled with chunks of razor-sharp dialogue and explanations of pop culture references. An insightful section, "The Pain", focuses on the doomed relationships, deaths of loved ones, experiences of betrayal and lack of trust that have forced the characters to develop and change. These are the serious stories about growing up that have always been at the heart of "Buffy".
Having thoroughly dissected the characters, the book then goes behind the scenes with profiles of the actors, an in-depth look at the many aspects of production, listings of featured bands and songs and a brief section on merchandising. The main omission is any focus on monsters--for that, turn to the excellent "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Monster Book", which goes into encyclopaedic detail on all the monsters to have appeared on the show. This book is a more general companion, and performs its duties as well, and as sassily, as the Slayer herself. --"Elizabeth Sourbut"