Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight Volume 4: Time of Your Life Paperback – May 5 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The most redeeming quality is the last issue, which has nothing to do with Fray, brings back some good memories of Buffy season 1.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The side plot of Dawn, was, in reality, kind of stupid. I appreciate that they wanted to add some more fantastical elements that cover ground they could do in a TV show with a moderate budget, but this was beyond the spirit of the series. The "there are consequences to relationships" is very Joss, but the results here feel like fodder for a few quips and jokes rather than a solid allegory.
So while I'll tune into for another volume, my passion for this version of BtVS is waning and will be gone without a solid set of issues and some new meaty hooks to build my desire and suspense for a volume 6.
I loved the main "Time of Your Life" arc. It is my favorite of the 4 main arcs so far. I've rated all of the main arcs so far 5 stars, but if I had to put them in order from favorite to least, it would be this one first, volume 3 second, volume 1 third, and volume 2 last. What I liked so much about this volume was that it reminded me of your normal superhero cross-company title where 2 heroes are both working on the same case end up fighting before realizing that they are on the same side. In this case, the 2 heroes were both Slayers. Seeing Buffy and Fray go toe-to-toe was great. Add to that a centaur, Dark Willow, and some tree people, and you have one entertaining read. Joss Whedon is still at the top of his game writing. This story arc gets 5 stars, but just like in the art segment, the story was a little cartoon-y. Like I also said above, the cartoonish nature of the story fit because it was dream sequence, but it was a let down after the stellar story arc that had preceded it. The fact that Jeph Loeb was writing this standalone issue had my hopes up, but this is far from his best work. I'm giving the writing for issue #20 3.5 stars. The not so stellar issue #20 brings the total writing score down to 4.25 stars overall. I'll round that down and call it 4.
The overall score would then also be a 4.25. So, I'll round that down to 4 as well. It's sad that my favorite story arc is part of the owest rated volume in the series so. In one of my reviews for a previous volume of Season 8, I stated that normally standalone issues usually aren't very good and detract from the overall big picture stories that it falls between. The standalone issue in this volume is a prime example of that. This volume is well worth the read, but not as great as it would have been had issue #20 not been included.
On the fun side, if time traveling doesn't give you enough of that supernatural element, our favorite little sister Dawn is no longer a Giant but a Centaur. Also, another character makes a return when Buffy and Willow travel to New York City: Willow's girlfriend, Kennedy.
A few questions come up while reading this installment... what is Dark Willow's purpose in the future? Did she trick Maleka in telling her that the world would end if Buffy lived? If so, why? What will happen to Buffy's and present day Willow's relationship now? What is going to happen to Dawn? Will Xander fall in love with someone new now that Renee is dead?
So far, out of the installments, this one gives you more questions, all of which I believe will be crucial to the future of the Scooby Gang and their battle against Twilight. And once again the graphics are amazing and Joss Whedon has not lost his touch in making sure that Season 8 is staying true to all that is Buffy.
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