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Week 6 -The New Watcher by K. Rusch

Discussion in 'Book Club: Tales of the Slayer vol. 2' started by Foxy, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Foxy

    Foxy I am cookie dough!

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    Sineya
    Sorry for the delay guys! Life got in the way, but anyway here we go :)

    We are more than halfway through the book, I hope you guys are having a good time reading this! I really like discussing the stories with you. Feedback is always welcome ;)

    1. What was your favourite part of the story?
    2. What was your least favourite part of the story?
    3. Which Slayer has been your favourite so far?
    4. For me sometimes the writing with all the stories has been hard to read as some scenes fly by like it is nothing. Do you have the same feeling or am I just bad at reading!
    5. We have had a bunch of different settings so far, which one did you like the most so far?
    6. Do you have any questions you would like to ask the others! Please do!

    Fun fact: Kristine is a big time writer and focuses mostly on Science Fiction and Fantasy. She has published a bunch of Star Trek (yay!) books and is a big fan of Buffy.

    Go forth and discuss!
     
  2. Priceless

    Priceless I am now

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    This is a strange, slight little story but I really enjoyed it. It's well written, set in a real world that you can actually visualise. The setting of Atlanta 1864 really worked for the story and you can imagine vampires enjoying a war, being hidden by it as much as the Slayer is hidden.

    I liked this slayer, she had a conscience and believed in what she was fighting for, and not just the dusting of vampires, but in the larger political fight of the time. Sherman was a real person, and it's a nice twist to think of him as a watcher. I don't know enough about him to know if Rusch caught his character correctly, but he seemed very believable.

    This story, next to Abomination, is probably my favourite so far. I liked the conversation between Sherman and Frankie, it seemed sort of other-wordly and existential. It was actually a beautifully written story. I also enjoyed the opening fight description, I felt that I was right there with Frankie, feeling her exhaustion.

    The only bad thing about this story was that it was over too quickly.
     
  3. Foxy

    Foxy I am cookie dough!

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    Sineya
    I agree with you here. The story was odd and way too short, but I really enjoyed it! I think this story was the strongest in the historical setting as the character was part of one incredibly important historical event.

    How do you feel about the theme of hiding your gender used again? Which of the two stories was more successful in this regard?

    How did you feel about Reed? He actually reminded me a lot of Giles' journey in the early seasons. First the one who doesn't help, but he transforms into extra man power.

    I know I say it with most of the stories but I think this one would have worked incredibly well as an episode on Buffy.

    The only thing I would have liked to be explored more was the morality of using Slayer powers in war. How do you feel about that?
     
  4. Priceless

    Priceless I am now

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    This seems to be a major theme that a lot of Buffyverse writers focus on. I think the writers enjoy the complexity of the situation of a woman having to hide who she really is, or feeling that she has to. For me, this was the most successful story in that regard. It wouldn't surprise me if, in real life, there were women fighting on both sides, pretending to be men, in the Civil War.

    I hadn't thought of that, but you're right, he is very similar to Giles. He had to die though, so I wasn't sad to see him go :)

    Something else I hadn't thought about, but a really good point! Off the top of my head, without any deep thought, I'd say that Slayers are part of the world, and therefore can have political leanings like anyone else, therefore I think it's allowable for them to use their powers in conflicts. Although if it were a Nazi Slayer, I'm not sure I'd think the same way :confused: What do you think?
     
  5. Foxy

    Foxy I am cookie dough!

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    Sineya
    I really enjoy the writers' experimenting with this to deal with historical limitations. I know the book is old but I would have liked it if they played with the notions behind gender roles. I feel like they could have explored it much more, especially in this story.

    I did find it odd that they completely rejected the new watched. Frankie already made up her mind the moment she saw him. Buffy gave Wesley at least a chance.

    I actually think it would be really great to see Slayer fighting on the bad side of history then. I mean them an interesting debate on the power of Slayers can be had. In the Tales comics there is story about a girl Sonneblum in Germany W2. This girl is part of the Hitler youth and the story explores the true notion of fighting evil for Slayers. I really loved it and you should read it!

    What kind of themes do you want to see explored in the last few short stories?
     
  6. Priceless

    Priceless I am now

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    I think because these are short stories, it's really difficult for the writers to delve too deeply into the themes of gender roles and stereotyping etc. A full length novel would give more scope to go more indepth. Short stories have to be very focused on one or two themes. And this story seemed much shorter than the others.

    It didn't really explain why Frankie turned against her new watcher, but I imagine she was just devestated at Reeds death, and had alread built up a rapport with the General. It must be hard for a Watcher and Slayer to bond, they often being two very different characters. Buffy and Giles took a while to build up a trusting friendship, and Bufffy is quite an open and accepting person.

    A Slayer in the Hitler Youth sounds fascinating. Was she a true believer or had she just been brainwashed by those around her and finally came to realise the error of her ways? I hope she was a true believer, that would make the story even more interesting.

    I'm looking forward to the rest of the stories, and hope the quality keeps up as the writers have been getting progressively better.
     
  7. Last Watcher

    Last Watcher Tweed Icon

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    Sineya
    Rats! Looks like I'm 2 behind now.......I'll try & read both tonight :oops:
     
  8. Last Watcher

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    Sineya
    Ok, just read this one. Really liked it actually...probably my favourite so far. The only downside being that I was just getting into the story when I turned the page & realised that was it...there was no more. I get that it was a short story, but that one was seriously short.......

    As for the story. Historically it seemed to hit all the marks. In answer to @Priceless question above, yes there is historical evidence to suggest there have been women posing as men fighting in most conflicts up to & possibly including WWI (although modern armies tend to have medical checkups that would be hard to circumvent).

    I think she rejected the new Watcher more out of a realisation that any acknowledgement of him would result in losing her entire way of life than not being willing to give him a chance. He had publicly stated that this ward was Female & he had come to take her 'home'. Because of this there was no half measure.....if they realised he was talking about her she would be booted out of the army so she had no choice but to avoid him totally.

    Must admit I was surprised a Watcher would go blundering into an Army camp announcing he was looking for a really strong Female posing as a man. I thought the whole point of the council was to keep the Slayer line a secret......way to blow her cover Landers.

    Interesting that there were mentions for the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry (Faith is from Boston) and the Major-General said he had served in California (Where Buffy is from)....... ;)

    Another thing I noticed....The Major-General suggested that he had met another Slayer in California & that she had saved his life. So Buffy isn't the first Slayer from CA.

    Anyhoo.......Nice story, well written......Waaaaaay too short!