By Nancy Holder, Titan Books

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PERHAPS one of the most innovative, empowering and entertaining fantasy television series of recent years, Buffy the Vampire Slayer turned horror conventions on their head in its presentation of a blonde teenager kicking seven hells out of any number of supernatural creatures, and set creator Joss Whedon on the road to his subsequent box office success with The Avengers.

But beyond the genre-defining conflicts waged by Buffy (Sarah Michelle Geller) and her friends, the show also examined various issues including the sudden loss of a parent, same-sex relationships and addiction, but never patronised or preached to its audience. There were also episodes which broke the TV mold, including one largely without sound and another performed through song, proving BTVS was never afraid of pushing new boundaries.

Celebrating 15 years of the TV show, this luxury volume takes an insightful look behind-the-scenes, covering the creation and characters, the mythology at the heart of the Slayer’s world, the story of all seven seasons, and bonus material such as a map of Sunnydale, a look at the live music featured on-screen and an exploration of the show’s legacy in novels and comics.

Nancy Holder has already carved out a reputation as a Buffyphile after penning various works of authorised fiction, and her understanding of the series is evident throughout this volume, avoiding the pitfalls of cheaply-produced companion books to ensure this is a well-researched and comprehensively detailed account of the TV show’s genesis, development and legacy.

A must-have purchase for any BTVS aficionado, which succeeds in offering a fresh look at the much-loved series.

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