The conclusion to the alternate history trilogy is a wonderful dark read that is a delight to read until the disappointing cop-out ending.
In this book, Willow sinks deeper into darkness and insanity as she is prepared to do vile things to Giles, Xander and Dawn to get Buffy to co-operate with her. Meanwhile Oz returns to his human form to assist and then Spike becomes sane just in time to help too, then the two inexplicably disappear just before events reach a climax - seriously what was the point of their inclusion in this series?
The creep factor of what is done to Xander, Dawn and Giles is enormous and makes truly nasty reading. Meanwhile ghost!Tara continues to hang around doing nothing, it seems dying has stripped her of her personality and she utters nothing but platitudes.
Despite everything Buffy continues to try to reach out to Willow but Willow has gone over the edge and the novel heads toward a very familiar ending. The conclusion of this book was seriously annoying, the book was going to wonderfully dark places and then slaps us in the face with a recycled pat ending where Xander gets compared to Jesus and there is a useless tacked on epilogue about Jonathan and Andrew. Seriously what was the point?
The first 231 pages are excellent stuff and then it all descends into broken yellow crayon redux. This was a good trilogy but the ending is a huge disappointment.
If you can overlook the lazy ending this is a good book but the ending is a letdown.
P-Con V March 29th/30th 2008