Pretty Maids All In A Row

Pretty Maids All In A Row

-Written by Christopher Golden
-305 Pages
-October 2000


Summary: It's 1940 and for Drusilla's vampiric birthday, Spike decides he will acquire Freyja's Strand for her. The strand, a necklace, has the ability to allow Drusilla to view her reflection. After a dangerous trek, Spike and Drusilla strike a deal with the ice demon Skrymir: should Spike and Drusilla destroy all the current Slayers-in-waiting as well as the current Slayer, he will fork over the necklace. Up to the challenge, Spike and Drusilla acquire a list of the slayer-in-waiting from the Watcher's Council in Lodon and ravage the Earth, killing girls hideously as they go.

Meanwhile the current Slayer, Sophie, is alerted to the situation and sent off with her Watcher, Yanna, to rescue the remaining Slayers-in-waiting. Unfortunately Yanna has developed an unhealthy obsession with Spike and cannot fight against him when there is a run in between the two groups. But Sophie rescues a decent numbers of the girls and has them brought to the Council headquarters. Sophie leaves to retrieve the last girl and runs into Spike and Drusilla in Denmark who capture her Watcher. While Sophie hunts down the duo, Skrymir has grown impatient and manifests himself inside the Council headquarters where he wreaks havoc on the inhabitants. The Council must find a way to stop Skrymir from killing all the Slayer-in-waiting (which would end the line of Slayers) while the Slayer herself tries to track down her Watcher who may already be dead.

  Rating: 4.5/5

Review: This was an awesome book. The only thing (and it's major) that threw the book's credibility (in Buffyverse) TOTALLY off was Spike's murder of the Slayer. He's only ever killed two Slayer and this would make a third. That totally threw me for a look and I no longer felt like I was reading Buffy 'history' but rather fanfic. Don't get me wrong, it's an amazing novel, but that detail was a MAJOR flaw on Chris Golden's behalf.

That being said, the basis for the novel was extraordinary and the entire novel held up well throught. You know when you get a novel and the beginning is really good but then it starts to droop about halfway through and then you can't figure out why you're reading the damn book in the first place? That doesn't happen here. There's excitement everywhere and the whole idea of Spike and Drusilla killing off the slayers-in-waiting was absolutely brilliant.

The ending was spectacular too; when Sophie died and then one by one different girls get called while they have to fight Skrymir. That was insane, and brilliant too. Because the Council pretty much held a legion of Slayers in their hand. All they had to do was wait for the next one to die and the next one gets called immediately. I liked the story about Arianna, it's took bad she didn't get called. There looks like there might be a story with her and Travers that might be built up in a later book.

Anyway, an excellent novel, there's no Buffy involved if that's what you're all wondering but it's still extremely well written (save for that one continuity flaw) and was a pleasure to read.

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