Sunday, April 19, 2015

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Out of the Madhouse by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder

Synopsis From Back Cover:

Werewolves, Trolls, Sea Monsters, Rain of toads, Skyquakes.  Sunnydale is being besieged by dark forces.  But even with Buffy providing her unique style of damage control while Giles is hospitalized out of town, it's more than one Slayer can handle - especially since the abominations are coming from a centuries-old portal through time and space. 

Somehow, the hell-hole must be found and corked at it's source.  For Buffy, Angel, and the rest of her gang, that means a road trip to Boston where an ailing Gatekeeper resides over a supernatural mansion that has been, until recently holding the world's  worst monsters at bay.  Once there, Buffy discovers the catastrophic truth: the magical structure houses thousands of rooms, all of which are doorways to limbo's "ghost roads," and all of which may bring her face-to-face with the most nefarious forces in hell and on earth - forces bent on horrific plans far worse than the Slayer ever imagined. 

You guys know that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my favorite show of all time, so it should come as no surprise that I loved the tie in books that were being published while the show was on the air.  I stayed away from the novelization of actual episodes, and loved the books that were original story lines.  I used to own at least twenty of the, but a few moves ago,  I had to make a decision to let them go.  I owned too many books, of course I still do, so I'm not sure what I was thinking.  Over the years, I've only managed to repurchase three of them, the three books that comprised The Gatekeeper Trilogy.

There were a ton of authors that tackled the Buffyverse, but Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder were the two that, for me at least, seemed to actual the actual feel of the show the best.  When they got together and wrote this trilogy, I was in seventh heaven.  I always thought if they ever made a movie based of the books, this was the way to go.

The first book, Out of the Madhouse, introduces us to a whole other dimension of strangeness.  Much like The High House by James Stoddard, the Gatekeeper in this trilogy oversees a supernatural prison, that form the outside, looks like a grand Boston mansion.  Locked in it's rooms are ghouls, shapeshifters, ghosts, and monsters straight out of legend; among them, Springheel Jack, the Leviathan, and the Mary Celeste.  It's also home to the family that has been charged with keeping the world safe from them.  They have managed to accrue a few helpful tools to help them with their charge; the Spear of Longinus and the Cauldron of Bran the Blessed.  The current Gatekeeper is weakening, and his heir has been kidnapped by a cabal of sorcerers, bent on allowing chaos to reign free over the earth.

Sunnydale, because it sits on a Hellmouth, has been dealing with the side affects of the house failing. The residents are starting to escape from the house, even if for a short amount of time, and the Hellmouth draws them in, allowing them to run amok.   Buffy and her friends, after some serious research, travel to Boston to figure out what's going on.  Upon their arrival, they quickly agree to help the Gatekeeper get back the heir, and the best television tie-in of all time is born.


Tasha B. (heidenkind) said...

I read one of these Nancy Holder/Christopher Golden BtVS collaborations years ago. I don't remember the title, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it!

Ryan said...

For the most part, they are way better than most tie-in books.

Terri (Alexia561) said...

While I loved the TV show, I've never read any of the books. Will have to keep my eyes open when I hit the used bookstore next visit!