In Every Generation
By Carrie R. Wheadon,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Witty, fun, and very gory Buffy vampire series reboot.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Well-known vampire lore -- the stakes, the aversion to sunlight -- mixes with new lore, mostly about the power of virgin blood. Werewolves, witches, and demons are part of this world, too, and can be compared with other myths surrounding them.
Teamwork and friendship are key in this story. Also, believing in yourself and making the most of your talents and gifts. Living with heavy responsibility while finding balance in life. Lots of talk of virgins, how they are thought of historically, and how waiting for sex is one choice for modern teens with no judgment around what teens choose.
Positive Role Models
Frankie feels alone and unprepared when her slayer powers come in. She slowly learns to hone her gifts and become more confident and to rely on her friends for support.
The whole Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise gives women and teen girls power to vanquish vampires, often women who would otherwise be underestimated. The cast is racially diverse. Hailey is part Native American, Sigmund is Black (and part Sage demon), and Jake has diverse friends. The family situations are also diverse: Hailey and Vi are a family of sisters, Jake and Oz are a family of cousins, Frankie and Sigmund are both raised by their moms. There's also some LGBTQ+ representation. Frankie's mom is a lesbian.
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Violence & Scariness
Vampire deaths can get pretty gory -- until most of them turn to ash. They are staked, dismembered (described in detail), heads are twisted off, throats are torn out with bare hands. A demon is found cut open and mutilated. Another demon eats a heart, with talk of more hearts eaten. People, mostly young virgins, are killed by vampires; some are lined up in a row and watch their friends get drained of blood before their turn. Girls under trances break ankles and peel off their own skin. Bruises and injuries from fighting vampires and using magic heal quickly. Many slayers close to the main characters are feared dead in an explosion. Talk of parent loss: Hailey's parents died in a car crash when she was 10. Talk of torture with pokers and making people eat their own limbs.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some mild romance -- hand-holding and dancing, mostly. Plus lots of talk of virgins and lots of innuendo, especially in chapter titles like "A Girl Forgets Her First Demon" and "Dance Like You've Never Done It Before." Talk of Jake's parents conceiving him in werewolf form by accident. Lots of menstruation jokes.
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Sprinklings of "s--t," "ass," and "dammit." One British character says "bloody hell" quite a bit.
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Products & Purchases
Instagram plays a major role in a couple of chapters. Vampire movies and books, old and new, mentioned a few times.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink whiskey and wine. A man holds a cigarette and doesn't smoke it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that In Every Generation is the start of a new series from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cannon featuring a new set of teens living in the rebuilt town of Sunnydale (the town was obliterated near the end of the TV series). It's witty like the TV show, but expect a lot more gory violence. Vamps are staked, dismembered (described in detail), heads are twisted off, throats are torn out with bare hands. A demon is found cut open and mutilated. Another demon eats a heart, with talk of more hearts eaten. People, mostly young virgins, are killed by vampires; some are lined up in a row and watch their friends get drained of blood before their turn. Language is sometimes salty, but doesn't go beyond "s--t." Only adults do the drinking. The romance is mild, but there's some innuendo, especially about virginity (though no judgment is passed on teens' individual decisions in this regard). Instagram plays a major role in a few chapters -- it will make you not want to take another selfie again. Characters are diverse in race and family makeup, and the main character, Frankie, is raised by a single lesbian mom. All eyes are on Frankie in this book, the newest slayer who has some big Buffy-size heels to fill. She trains hard and learns to rely on her friends for support.
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What's the Story?
In IN EVERY GENERATION, Frankie is minding her business at Sunnydale High, using her witch powers to clean up a recycling bin, when she passes out cold. Her werewolf friend Jake rushes her home to her mom, Willow, who knows something serious is going on. When Frankie awakens, suddenly super strong, her mom tells her some terrible news: There's been an explosion at a slayer retreat and they can't find Buffy or any of the other slayers. Could Frankie be the last one, freshly awakened to her powers? Hailey, a girl from Oregon, arrives in Sunnydale hoping it isn't true. Her older sister and guardian, Vi, was at the retreat. Hailey will do anything to help recover her, even train with Frankie to fight vampires suddenly showing up in Sunnydale. No one knows how it's possible, since the town was rebuilt over a Hellmouth they thought had been closed for good. But somehow Sunnydale is attracting vampires and other dark forces again, including an ancient vampire with a penchant for virgin blood, lots and lots of virgin blood.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of Buffy and her vampire-slaying ways will love this gory, witty book series reboot and the fresh crop of teen characters that team up in a shiny, rebuilt Sunnydale. Even if you didn't watch the uber-popular TV series, you'll enjoy Frankie, a newbie to the world of slaying who'd rather be saving the Earth with her witchy powers than running through graveyards to stake newly turned vampires -- especially after she stakes herself in the leg by accident. It's easier to see Hailey as a slayer with her Goth ensembles and way with an axe, so it's a good thing she's there to help. Rounding out the group of new "Scoobies" are Frankie's werewolf friend Jake and a handsome half-demon bookworm named Sigmond. It's fun to imagine the quartet staking their way through misadventures like the TV show. The chapters featuring a demon sapping youth from teen girls on Instagram would make an excellent episode.
Things turn a little more serious when the biggest baddie arrives, an ancient Countess who adores virgin blood and will raise an army of vamps to get it. Frankie needs her whole team, plus some ancient demon knowhow to face her, and is forced to hone her new slayer skills in creative ways. After the stakes fly and the vamp dust settles, new mysteries emerge that will keep the series flowing like blood from a fresh vampire bite -- perhaps a gross analogy, but apt considering the series' very bloody start.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about all the gore in In Every Generation. Was it ever too much? Or is it just your typical vampire story with lots of bloody moments?
What happened to the girls Instagram-ing selfies? Obviously there are no demons working at Instagram, but in what way are users not protected by their service? Do you think posting lots of selfies can be harmful to mental health? Or is just a fun way to pass the time?
What do you like best, the Buffy movie, the TV series, or a book series about it? Will you read more in this series?
- Author: Kendare Blake
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
- Publication date: January 4, 2022
- Number of pages: 400
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: January 19, 2022
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