Book Review: “Demons of the Hellmouth: A Guide for Slayers” by Nancy Holder

It may be 12 years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air, but that doesn’t mean that fans are any less devoted. If you’ve been hankering for a Buffy fix, Demons of the Hellmouth: A Guide for Slayers just may do the trick! Although written by Nancy Holder, Demons of the Hellmouth is an in-universe book, ostensibly penned by none other than Rupert Giles himself, and the text is spotted with little handwritten notes from Buffy, Willow, Xander, and other characters from the series – think Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but for the Buffy-verse!


The publisher has done a nice job of manufacturing a book that fans will be glad to have on their shelves, with faux-marbled end papers and pages printed to look as though they could be old, worn parchment. Although the book still would have been fun without this attention to detail, it really adds another dimension to the book – as if you might really have just picked it up off of Giles’ desk.


Mega-fans will want to know that this volume covers the show canon only, and not any of the Season 8 (and beyond) comics that were published after the show ended. Demons of the Hellmouth is split into three sections: Vampires, Demons, and Other Forces of Darkness. All together, the sections take us through pretty much every baddie featured in the television show, detailing not only who (or what) each villain is but also how they were dealt with on the show. Every entry is illustrated with pictures from the show and contains notes from other characters about their experiences and memories. It’s almost like a…morbid scrapbook. Which is really more fun than it sounds (I promise).


The book opens with an introduction from Anthony Stewart Head, and he pretty much hits the nail on the head:

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have – it has brought back many happy memories for me.

That’s exactly what Demons of the Hellmouth manages to do. It allows readers, if only for a little while, to re-inhabit the world of Buffy and re-visit those characters and friendships we love so well. An excellent gift for any Buffy fan!

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.