|'The Book of Fours'
by Nancy Holder
In the third hardcover installment of the bestselling Buffy the Vampire Slayer™series Nancy Holder, coauthor of Immortal ("Golden and Holder smartly expand on the show's slangy lingo [and] display deep insight into the characters" -- Entertainment Weekly) presents an epic tale that bridges the gap between Buffy and her immediate predecessor. Here, the Slayer is united with her sisters, and all are pitted against an ancient force manifested in the four elements.
The Book of Fours
When an old classmate of Buffy's from L.A. is killed and Willow is severely injured in a car accident, both in the space of one week, the Slayer must yet again face the vulnerabilities of her mortal friends. No one is invincible, least of all the Slayer herself. After all, Buffy's very existence as the Chosen One bears witness to the demise of countless Slayers called before her.
At the same time, from a place of nightmares -- which Buffy and Faith share -- a terrible evil invades Sunnydale, setting off a quartet of disasters: A controlled burn of some old forest growth escalates into a raging fire that threatens to devour the town; astonishingly high tides at the beach take out boats, oceanfront property, and innocent bystanders; a hurricane pummels the beleaguered town, but does not quench the fire; and a massive earthquake erupts, disgorging pockets of natural gas from huge sinkholes.
Clearly, these catastrophes are linked to the Slayers' nightmares, which revolve around four strangely swathed, indistinct figures. One is burning, one is dripping wet; one is covered in mud, one shrouded in windswept linen. Each trudges across pristine desert sand dunes carrying a box of grafted skin and bone that Faith thinks she recognizes from a previous battle. Research leads Giles to the Watcher's Diaries, where he learns that the last Slayer to encounter a similar container was India Cohen -- Buffy's immediate predecessor.
Strangely, Buffy has never given much thought to the young girl whose death activated her own era as the Chosen One. But now she must draw on the strength of those who came before her -- or something else will draw on hers. For Buffy is being stalked by a monstrous force that journeys through time, fortifying itself by draining the primal power of a Slayer. Mortal though she may be, if she wishes to stop this demonic presence, Buffy must orient herself on a continuum that predates even humanity itself...
*Featuring Buffy, Angel, Giles, Joyce, Xander, Willow, Cordelia, Faith and Oz
*Published by Pocket Books