By Ray Garton (2000)
RATING: 3/5 Stakes
SETTING: Season Three
T.V. CHARACTER APPEARANCES: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Cordelia, Giles, Oz, Joyce, Angel, Ethan Rayne
MAJOR ORIGINAL CHARACTERS: Promila Daruwalla (guidance counseler); Phyllis Lovecraft (dupe); Benson Lovecraft (occult collector); Ravana (demon goddess)
BACK-OF-THE-BOOK SUMMARY: "With midterms looming, the students at Sunnydale High are predictably stressed-out. Even super-student Willow is feeling the pressure to succeed. And when her usual study buddies--Buffy, Xander, and Oz--decide they don't need her tutorial sessions, Willow wonders if she's really what they don't need. But her hurt feelings don't explain her sudden antagonism toward Buffy--or the strange dreams they've both been having. As tensions in the school escalate into brutal acts of violence--and the perpetrators turn up horribly mutilated--Buffy and the gang search for a supernatural source. The evidence indicates that someone is attempting to resurrect a powerful Hindu demon. Willow's new confidante, guidance counselor Promila Daruwalla, becomes the prime suspect . . . until Giles runs into an old 'friend' who is always causing trouble. It will take all of the Slayer's resources . . . and the help of all her friends . . . to find the culprit and destroy the key to the demon's resurrection."
Let's start with what's good: the incorporation of Hindu religion is interesting, and the character of Promila Daruwalla is well-rounded and one I wouldn't have minded seeing another. The overall plot has a couple of nice twists, even if on the whole it's the basic "Buffy has to stop a major demon summoning" idea that runs through way too many Buffy novels. Buffy, Angel and Willow are also characterized fairly well. Action scenes are about average.
Now, the not-so-good: the characterization of Giles, Xander, Oz, and especially Ethan Rayne all seems off. It's not *terrible*, it just makes the reader feel like Garton didn't have a good sense of each character's personality and distinct style of speaking. As discussed above, the plot is quite cliched and the narration/dialogue is not clever or witty enough to hide this fact. And more, some plot points aren't tied together well at the end.
Add the good and the not-so-good together, and Resurrecting Ravana sums to one perfectly average Buffy novel.