I had extremely high hopes for this (not expectations; I've been disappointed before). Spike is my favorite character from the Buffy-verse and from several other 'verses besides--and hands-down the one I most want to look at a book full of pictures of--and it's not all because of how hot he is. I like his character, his personality, his attitude, the things he says, and yes, the depth of feeling he has always been capable of, soul or not. And I don't like it when he's written out of character, or misunderstood or not appreciated by the author. As I said, I've been disappointed before. But, thankfully, not by this. Not AT ALL.
This was Spike: The humor inherent in the way he talks and thinks, which here we were privy to. His interesting and unique (I hope) worldview. His passionate loyalty to the few people he allows into his world. His talent for both buttkicking and being tortured (if a tendency to attract torture--dare I say a propensity?--can really be called a skill, which in Spike's case I think it can). The leather coat. Lots of other little habits and quirks that are part of all that is Spike.
Plus there was the incredible cover, which I could stare at for a very long time (I'm so glad I waited for the softcover--even the clerk who rang me up commented on how great it looked). I also really liked the art inside, even of Spike, although I do agree with another reviewer that he could have been "cuter." One page in particular blew me away so much that I have a bookmark there and want to blow it up and frame it.
I should probably also mention the plot. It's great. Basically it's the story of how Spike, along with Illyria/Fred, came to find his place in the world of LA-gone-to-Hell and to collect his ersatz Scooby Gang. He meets people, some of them human and some less so. Some try to kill him, some try to have sex with him. Pretty usual for Spike. The first chapter was funny and a good set up for the darker story of the other three. The end is both a resolution and promise that Spike goes on.