If not for anything else, you have to at least give the powers that be credit for trying something new and different in the literary world of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Shaking the foundations a little bit. The latest releases in the world of Buffy books takes you, the reader, on a slayer adventure where you choose the outcome. This is the first book in a new series called "Stake Your Destiny". The premise of these is that you are Buffy. You choose what actions you take. And when I say you are Buffy, I mean that literally. Buffy is not mentioned as "Buffy walks into the room" and so on. It is written like "Giles turns to you and says...", or "Xander grabs you by the arm...". It is written from Buffy's point of view, and you are Buffy. First things first, let's get into the story. The story doesn't give the exact time of the series it is set in. Here is what we know. It takes place in the high school years, since everyone is at Sunnydale High, but when exactly?. Jenny Calendar is there, so is Principal Snyder. So it is definitley after the majority of season one. A moment in the story I read had Giles and Jenny going off on a weekend together, so that would pin it in the first half of season two, when they were getting more intimate with each other. Plus, Xander and Cordelia are bickering a bit and not overtly flirting and coupling, so it could also happen pre "What's Your Line". But once I read the other choices you can pick, Spike and Drusilla pop up. Drusilla is described as sickly, so the story definitley takes place in the first part of season two, before Drusilla gets her strength back in "What's My Line?". Angel is also in the picture, but in the path I chose, he only makes a very brief cameo at the end of the story. And doesn't feature too prominently in others. Written by Robert Joseph Levy, whose only other Buffy work was a story in one of the "Tales Of The Vampire" volumes, the book follows a string of sudden and mysterious teen suicides. Now those suicides are hitting close to home when Sunnydale High student body begin to fall by their own hands. Enter Buffy and the gang. After a guidance councelor takes his own life as well, The Scooby Gang get into research mode when these 'suicides' begin to not add up. Buffy quickly learns(as do you the reader with the story path I chose since it is so fast and abrupt), that an ancient demon can move from one person to another thru paper. Yep. Paper. I won't really say much more than that because it delves into the usual mumbo jumbo. At the end of each little chapter you are given three different choices to make. The sections end on a little cliffhanger where Buffy(you)has to chose a plan. Now, whatever choice of action you choose isn't going to result in a conclusive ending. There is only one ending with a resolution and an epilogue. You have to choose wisely, because wrong picks can lead to an ending of nothing being stopped and you dying. The idea itself is quite fun and creative, but with it's limited run, it just comes as so light. And therein lies the problem with the idea of these new "stake your destiny" books. The actions I chose started on page 1. By page 55, of what is already a very thin book, I was done. As the story goes on, some of the choices get a bit riskier and more serious, but not by much, and it is all over so very soon. You could read the story you chose, and go back and read the others, all in one sitting. It all add up to a fun little excursion, but hardly the stuff of great Buffy books. That being said, the story is steeped in the early days of the slayer and her gang, and the author does a fine job of re-creating those moments. It does have the feel of the show at the time, and at times you can sense walking down those old hallowed halls of Sunnydale High. Levu has the lingo down to a T. Especially Xander with his sarcasm and jokes, and Cordelia in all her tactlessness. That is what makes this book a joy. A very nice, and welcomed, return to those wonderful early days of the gang in school. I don't know how many of these new kinds of books are being planned, but they will only make fans hunger for more of the big books. I know there is another one coming out in May called "Keep Me In Mind" by acclaimed Buffy writer Nancy Holder. This book isn't without it's charm, but it won't satisy die hard fans of the adult books.