Halloween Rain by Christopher Golden
Published: November 1st 1997
Around Sunnydale, they say a scarecrow saturated with Halloween rain will come alive and slaughter anyone in sight. (Lovely place, Sunnydale.) Buffy’s best friends, Xander and Willow, used to think the tale was nonsense – but after a few adventures with Buffy, they’re not so sure.
Even without a maniacal scarecrow, a Sunnydale Halloween is a truly horrific happening. There are enough zombies and vampires about, ready to party hearty and eat some brains, to keep the Slayer and her friends up all night.
And then the rain starts to fall…
This fits nicely with the timeline of Season 1.
Welcome to the Hellmouth. Inhabitants: your normal American families, teens, children, and oh yeah.. vampires, demons, zombies, and now a Scarecrow who can kill you on Halloween when it rains. For Buffy and the Scooby Gang the Halloween season has been a bit quite, well alright, absolutely dead (no pun intended). Buffy is a little restless but soon finds that maybe the quite is not so bad when she meets the ‘Pumpkin King’, who literally creates all your fears.
Christopher Golden’s and Nancy Holder’s writing style is timeless and untouchable. It is both funny and witty, providing one-liners that you will never forget. This writing style directly plays into the characterization of all the characters, which have been wonderfully created.
“…one witch. In gym. But Cordelia didn’t count. She wasn’t supernaturally evil. She only acted like a broom rider. Buffy understood. Poor Cordelia was cursed with popularity, great cloths, and, no lie, she was a babe. Naturally she had to take her frustration out on everybody who didn’t have it as good as she did.”
One of my favorite things about the Buffy series is that you come to love each character individually; I personally cannot pick a favorite. Each one is unique unto themselves. Each one is pivotal to the overall plot of the books. Another aspect I love about the Buffy series is the human quality. Buffy lives in 2 worlds: the paranormal and the human world. On one hand she fights demons and kills vampires, on the other she lives in a world were not many know about her call in life, including her mother. One scene in particular really shows this all: every year Buffy and her mother watch old Halloween movies while chowing down on popcorn. The divide between her two worlds is move apparent when instead of staying in with her mother she has to go out on the chance that there will be demons to contend with (and also be a teen at the Bronze).
You would be hard pressed to find another YA series that combines the paranormal, fantastic writing and characters while maintaining a perfect balance of the ‘real world
If it were an episode it would probably be among the first season’s best, and a middling entry when looking at the series as a whole. Recommended for Buffy fans in general.