Wicked Willow - Book 1
The Darkening

Author: Yvonne Navarro
Pocket Books
RRP 6.99
ISBN 0 7434 8996 9
Available 03 May 2004

In the woods outside Sunnydale, Willow Rosenburg has exacted a terrible revenge for the murder of her lover Tara Maclay; She has captured Warren, the murderous leader of the Trio, and flayed him alive. Her best friends, Buffy Summers and Xander Harris, arrived too late to stop her. But the death of Warren isn't enough for Willow. Now her friends can only watch as the juiced-up witch sets off on a trail of vengeance and magick-gathering to prepare the spell that will bring Tara back to life. And whoever gets in Willow's way is going to regret it... including one Slayer who is still hoping to save her best friend...

The Darkening is the first in a trilogy of novels that asks: "What if evil Willow was never stopped?" It takes the idea that we make thousands of choices each day, and just by making one different choice the future could be very different. The Darkening takes a trip down alternate reality lane and shows you what could have been had Willow made some different choices.

I'll admit I always enjoy a good alternate reality story, but The Darkening is a very dark book that follows Willow as she turns to the dark side and tries to find a way to bring Tara back from the dead - by using black magic of course. She continuously fuels her addiction to power and grows stronger with every day, but the Scooby Gang still hope to bring her back to the loving girl she once was.

Of course Evil Willow doesn't give two hoots about her ex-pals, and happily puts them through hell and near death, and the only thing that stops her from killing them all is... Tara's ghost who returns to try and put her on the path of light once again.

The Darkening is only the start of the story, but it's a good one. You'll be after part two and three in no time, just to find out what happens next. Without giving too much away, expect some interesting turns of events.

Definitely worth checking out.

Keri Allan

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