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Good morning, everyone. I hope you’re all right. Today was going to be the day that I reviewed Angel & Faith Volume II, however, I am not. The reason being that I am reading Buffy Season 9 in tandem with Angel & Faith. Since I have completed the first volumes of either series, it was time to move forward and read the second edition of Buffy.

With Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 2: On Your Own I was pretty excited for this one, actually. In my previous review of the first volume, I had stated that I was enjoying Season 9 greatly. The first book was a thrill ride with a classic feel to it. I was still walking through the fantastical experience of Season 8.

It is hard, admittedly, to review a book without entirely spoiling it. But On Your Own didn’t light the torch the way the previous installment had. It could be that the torch was already lit with the fast paced and twisting start to the season. On Your Own had to carry that fire. It did and it didn’t, which is a little strange to explain.

In the first volume, I was tickled with the villains, and stoked to see Buffy return to her back-alley roots. If you’ve read Fray – which you should above all else – you’ll know that many of the vampires we are dealing with these days are starting to resemble our future friends the Lurks. In Volume II, Buff is still facing these menaces, while trying to overcome a tremendous human issue. She is being forced to face this issue like an adult, and we see some beautiful flashbacks and exposition that fills holes and references to past events that got me smiling.

One of the features I struggled with was the return of Simone. Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s a fantastic villain. I’m down with revisiting the evil slayer concept, especially with one who is driven in a self-twisted sense. She could possibly transcend the evil Faith once exuded. So it’s not Simone I had trouble with, it was the events she was involved in. She is after Buffy and ready to kill, as always, but she encounters something much different that seemed out of place. As I said previously, Buffy is facing an incredible, adult, decision. The result of this is torn away with the course of what takes place during Simone’s return. I seriously don’t want to ruin it, but I will say this: It’s always a bit awkward when we’re looking at two of the Chosen One.

Something else that I have been waiting to culminate into an actual story is Xander and Dawn. If you don’t know already, the two have hooked up. Hell they live together. I understand that throughout the series these two have been relatively out of the limelight. They are support, and they know it. But now we are seeing a major change with them and I feel like it’s unfortunate that they still take the side role. Hopefully these two get some development soon.

All in all, I guess it tides me over on Season 9, but it should be obvious that I am on the fence about it. What I am hoping is that it allows the bigger events to come to be fruitful in an appropriate manner. For now it did not quite live up to its predecessor.


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