If It Walks Like Buffy and Talks Like Buffy…
The age-old story of what happens when a foul-mouthed, romance impaired heroine with no edit button and a predilection for hot sex is faced with her worst nightmare–a purpose.
Ari Katz is intelligent, driven, and will make an excellent demon hunter once initiated into the Brotherhood of David. However, this book is about his twin Nava: a smart-ass, self-cultivated hot mess, who is thrilled her brother is stuck with all the chosen one crap.
When Nava half-drunkenly interrupts Ari’s induction ceremony, she expects to be chastised. What she doesn’t expect is to take her brother’s place among the—until now—all-male demon hunters. Even worse? Her infuriating leader is former rock star Rohan Mitra.
Too bad Rohan’s exactly what Nava’s always wanted: the perfect bad boy fling with no strings attached, because he may also be the one to bring down her carefully erected emotional shields. That’s as dangerous as all the evil fiends vying for the bragging rights of killing the only female ever chosen for Demon Club.
Odds of survival: eh.
Odds of having a very good time with Rohan before she bites it: much better.
When I read the above blurb for The Unlikable Demon Hunter by Deborah Wilde and it compared the heroine to Buffy, THE BUFFY, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, well, I was intrigued. But also highly skeptical. I mean, that’s a very high bar to set. Buffy is iconic.
So let’s see if a self-proclaimed huge Buffy fan agrees.
The Reluctant Hero
Buffy just wants to be a normal teenager. Well, as normal as you can be at a new high school after burning down the gym at your previous school. She’s trying to start over and forget all about being the Chosen One. But when a dead kid shows up in the locker room on your first day and he has puncture marks on his neck, all hope is lost. Buffy reluctantly accepts her fate, but also would be more than happy to pass the mantle on. See the episode where the Scooby Gang brings her back to life and she’s kinda pissed because she was looking forward to resting and not having the fate of mankind on her shoulders.
Nava Katz is thrilled that her twin brother is the Chosen One and is due to be inducted into a secret demon-slaying brotherhood. Except then she drunkenly interrupts his initiation ceremony and to everyone’s surprise—especially hers, she discovers that she’s the Chosen One. Complete with a ring on her finger that won’t come off no matter how hard she tries. Nava has zero interest in becoming a demon hunter but, like Buffy, she has no choice. Nava tries to get the Brotherhood re-interested in bringing her brother into the organization as a way to get out of being a hunter—and even after she reluctantly accepts her new role.
The Chosen One
Buffy is one-of-a-kind. Sort of. There is only one active slayer at a time while potential slayers are being groomed and trained. Except Buffy died and was resurrected, but not in time to break the chain of a new slayer being activated. So there are two. But even if that hadn’t happened, Buffy doesn’t fight alone. She has her Scooby Gang that is made up of a witch, a vengeance demon, a human, and a werewolf – though not all at the same time.
Nava is part of a brotherhood, or as she likes to call it The Demon Club. First rule of Demon Club? You don’t talk about it because it’s a super-secret society of demon hunters. One of them even used to be a rock star!
Empowered Sexual Being
I could go on for days and days and days about the role of sex in Buffy. She loses her virginity to Angel and he loses his soul and reverts to his uber bad days of Angelus! Their one true moment of happiness (making love) is what caused it. Talk about giving a girl a sexual hang up! The only time Buffy really embraces herself as a sexual being is when she’s invisible. The layers in this theme of sexuality in Buffy go so deep.
Nava is a bit older than Buffy and she has no issues about sex. The opening scene of the book is her returning from a one-night stand. Her first demon kill? She dusted him while giving him a hand-job. (She didn’t realize he was a demon until after he turned into a pile of dust all over her.) Nava spends a lot of time thinking about sex. She’s free from societal pressures and expectations about women and sex.
Buffy and the Scooby Gang could rip out puns and pop culture references like it was nobody’s business. It was part of the charm of the show.
Nava? Well, she’s snarky, but in a much crasser way. She’s like Buffy from the wrong side of the tracks. And that’s okay with me.
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Story lover. Genetically gifted with red hair and a quick wit. Find me on Twitter: @Phoebe_Chase