Author: Nancy Holder
Pocket Books
RRP 12.99
ISBN 0 7434 9250 1
Available 06 September 2004

There exists a hell dimension that is very much like the Ninth Circle of Hell that Dante Alighieri describes in The Inferno. Here the souls of the damned are buried in vast sheets of ice. Evil beings from many different dimensions have been sent there. The descendants of the imprisoned chip away at the barriers that separate the dimensions, hoping to free those trapped in the ice, so that they may return to claim this world for their own. One of these demons is in LA searching for Jhiera; a past nemesis and partner of Angel's, hoping to strike a deal that will persuade her to thaw his soldiers - and dragons - in exchange for their help in overthrowing the Vigories of Oden Tal - the men that try to strip her women of all emotions. But if she is not careful, she may become the key to unleashing an inter-dimensional war - a war that will be lead by a powerful sorcerer, determined to free China's terracotta army of fierce samurai from their long imprisonment...

In Sunnydale, Buffy is coming to terms with her new life - as school counsellor, guardian of Dawn, best friend, keeper of Spike's sanity, and of course as Slayer - so a demonic army with a dragon at its head is so not what she needs right now.

An epic story, Heat brings together many different characters and dimensions from the Buffy-verse into one action filled book. New evil appears in LA, whilst old evil is trying to escape from Hell, plus Sunnydale of course suddenly starts facing similar oddness!

Angel and Buffy have to work together again, travelling through several dimensions in order to stop any of the baddies from succeeding in destroying the world! Plus even good old Lorne gets to visit his song-free homeworld of Pylea!

The story comes together well, and easily brings them all together. Although a lot is going on, it never seems to become too confusing and it's a pretty gripping read. At first I though the many small nuances added to the story - small name drops that would mean something to the hardcore Whedon fans (a locker with a Darling Violetta backstage pass is mentioned, a movie starting Nathan Fillion is watched etc) were pretty cool, however I have to admit that Holder kinda overkilled the quirkiness of that by trying to drop things in a little too often.

Overall though, Heat is a fun read with many twists and turns and some great character interaction. In my opinion there should be more crossover stories, as I think these are great fun for the fans - we just never got to see enough of them on the shows themselves.

Definitely worth adding to any Buffy/Angel book collection, Heat has so much going on, you might have to read it through twice just not to miss anything!

Keri Allan

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