David here, forged in fire, cooled in sex.
You’ve already heard Matt rhapsodise about Doctor Who, you’ve even listened to me banging on about my love of comic books, but today I’m going to talk a little about what, for many of us, was the gateway drug to urban fantasy.
I’m talking about a TV show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer…
Buffy had it all. Great characters, cool monsters, and a depiction of high school that was larger than life yet oddly relatable. The Scoobies inhabited a perilous world that existed somewhere between a horror movie and a soap opera, and I don’t know about you guys, but that little mash-up does a pretty good job of describing my school years.
Depending on the week, Buffy could be shocking, funny, bittersweet, or tragic. The show trafficked in big themes—the importance of duty, the power of friendship, and the consequences of trust—without ever coming across as preachy.
It was an incredibly inventive show too, giving us a musical episode, an installment that was almost entirely dialogue-free, and another that dumped its star in a mental asylum and questioned the very fabric of Buffy’s existence.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer really was landmark TV, so if you somehow managed to miss it the first time around, now’s your chance to put that right. Go lay your hands on a boxed set. Find somewhere to stream it. Just whatever you do, make sure you don’t pick up the movie by accident…
And Now For Something Bloody Fangtastic…
Well, ain’t this a co-inkydink? An Uncanny Kingdom series all about a sassy vampire hunter? What an incredible stroke of fortune.
Okay, now for the sales pitch.
Sanctified tells the story of Abbey Beckett, a twenty-something goth with a real animus for the undead.
Unlike Buffy, Abbey’s been out of school for a while, working as a clerk in a lost property office and watching her life drip-drip away. That’s until she receives a lost briefcase that leads to her being anointed The Nightstalker, London’s first line of defence against a vampire apocalypse.
Abbey’s vamps aren’t your run-of-the-mill bloodsuckers though. These guys are organised, socially integrated, and stinking rich: bankers and money men, siphoning society dry as freely as they do their victim’s necks
Does Abbey have what it takes to wield the hallowed dagger, become the city’s protector and stop a vampire uprising, or are the streets of London about to run red with blood?
Take a dash of Buffy, add a jigger of British snark, and you have Sanctified, the first book in the Branded series.