Book Crush + Review | Buffy: the Making of a Slayer

Book Review

Title: Buffy: the Making of a Slayer
Author: Nancy Holder
Publisher: 47North
Pub Date: December 11, 2012
Source: Bought on Amazon
Celebrating the 15th anniversary of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, this lavishly produced book is the first authorized, fully illustrated retrospective of the hit show. Offering in-depth commentary on the making of the series, the book explores the characters and mythology of the Buffy universe and follows the evolution of all seven seasons. Die-hard Whedon fans will also find insider information on his involvement in other projects, including Angel, Firefly, and more. Housed in a foil-stamped slipcase, this volume features more than 120 images, including rare behind-the-scenes photos, sketches, props and memorabilia from the Twentieth Century Fox archives, along with stills from the most pivotal on-screen moments. Tucked in the inside cover of the case is an envelope holding “Slayer Lore: Texts and Magicks for the Battle.” These 13 removable pieces are replicas of the ancient spells and prophecies the characters used on-screen to defeat vampires, demons, and other monsters, making this the ultimate treasure-trove for every Buffy fan.

Okay, so because of Capstone research, I’m currently waist-deep in Buffy literature and scholarship. This was a sort of afterthought which I added to my cart on Amazon when I saw it recommended for me. And I’ll be honest, I didn’t really read the description or synopsis. I just knew that I needed to know all I could about the making of the television show in order for my paper to work out well, and that this was likely the most comprehensive authorized guide. When the book came in, I was awestruck. It’s gorgeous beyond belief. I almost started crying at the post office.

Front Outer Cover

So here’s what the outer cover looks like. It’s made of really nice leather-like material and the details are embossed into it.

Photo Mar 11, 1 40 40 PM

Definitely has the feel of one of Giles’s most prized possessions. It’s luxurious and hefty. Let’s crack open the cover and take a look inside:

Right inside the front cover, there is this “Slayer Lore” envelope, which contains replicas of Buffyverse texts from the show, which are labeled on the back with the episode it appears in and its use.

Photo Mar 11, 1 36 52 PMmore replicated texts

These pieces are printed in high quality, on pages of various sizes, shapes, and formats. Forgive the blurriness of these photos – I was so psyched my hands were shaking a little bit. Some of the texts I recognized immediately, like the floor plans of Sunnydale City Hall, others I felt like I was just discovering for the first time, having overlooked them in the course of the show in favor of noticing other things. They are really cool additions to this collective guide to Buffy. I was antsy while they were out though, because I kept imagining my mug of tea spilling on them or something. Too pretty to mess up in that way.

various replicated texts

back cover
If you had any doubts that Buffy means business, this quote should knock those right out of your mind.

So far, this book/collection is just as badass as Buffy Summers herself is. And I haven’t even gone inside the actual book content!

Inner Front Cover

Nestled into a cut-out resting place is the actual text itself. The cover features more embossing and general awesomeness. I love it.

I opened it to find – not that I was surprised, I should have expected it really – an introduction written by the great Amber Benson herself, who had already made her way into my academic life by means of her essay “Blurring the Lines,” in Anne Jamison’s collection fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World. The comics she co-authored about Tara and Willow made it onto my birthday list this year. She’s an awesome person who also happens to be an actor, author, director, and more.

So her intro to Buffy: The Making of a Slayer really hit home with the emotions. It set the tone for the rest of the book – a reverential, nostalgic and proud reflection on the television show, its creation, and its impact.

Photo Mar 11, 1 38 08 PM

Photo Mar 11, 1 38 27 PM

Inside its glossy pages, the book incorporates high quality photographs and stills from the show, including a full page photo of Nathan Fillion in his minor guest starring role with a Southern drawl. (not pictured here) That seemed a little out of place to me, but I suppose it’s the price we pay in accepting this book as a retrospective work. Because Fillion has become a huge part of Whedon’s works since his appearance in Buffy, it does seem fitting that he gets his own page, regardless of how small his role was. (But as I’ve heard many times, there are no small roles.)

The features I particularly enjoyed were on Joss Whedon’s creative processes and on the show’s writers who are NOT Whedon, even if they were all scrunched onto a two page spread while JW got his own detailed section.

I really do believe that this book is a treasure. I would recommend it to any fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s television series. An engrossing and detailed read about one of television’s greatest shows.

About the Author:
Official Webpage | Facebook Page | Twitter

Nancy Holder is a multiple award-winning, New York Times bestselling author (the Wicked Series). Her two new dark young adult dark fantasy series are Crusade and Wolf Springs Chronicles. She has won five Bram Stoker Awards from the Horror Writers Association, as well as a Scribe Award for Best Novel (Saving Grace: Tough Love.) Nancy has sold over eighty novels one hundred short stories, many of them based on such shows as Highlander, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and others. She lives in San Diego with her daughter, Belle, two corgis, and three cats.

– short bio from her webpage

Fans of the Buffyverse, I hope you all buy this book and love it as much as I do!

I’m so glad I decided to impulse-buy this one!

2 thoughts on “Book Crush + Review | Buffy: the Making of a Slayer


    This is going on my wishlist IMMEDIATELY.

    So glad to have come across another Buffy fan in the blogging universe! It is, and will always be, my all time favourite show. I love the little spell replicas, what a brilliant touch! Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this and good luck with your assignment, I would love to look at Buffy related things for work. 😀


    1. Yay Buffy fans! It is seriously gorgeous. I have way too many “coffee table” books and this one is my favorite. It’s so refreshing to find content that has been written after the show stopped.


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