Author: Kiersten White
Page Count: 402 (Paperback)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: January 8th, 2019
Rating: 3.5 Stars
***MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD***
Set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kiersten White’s Slayer follows the story of Nina, a young girl who has carved a place for herself in Watchers Academy–a boarding school for the supernatural–as the school medic. Shunned by her mother and constantly outshined by her twin sister, Nina has learned to be content with her simple lifestyle among the shadows of the Academy…
Until the day her life changes forever.
Suddenly, without warning, Nina is chosen as a Slayer, a girl gifted with the strength and skill needed to fight forces of darkness. And not only that, but she’s the last one, ever. Period.
As Nina grapples with the responsibility of managing her incredible powers that she’s just beginning to understand, she recognizes one thing: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this book. Being someone who is unfamiliar with the BTVS world, it was quite thrilling being able to understand the events that occurred in this novel without already having knowledge of its setting. I appreciated how White was able to successfully explain what slayers, hunters, and watchers were without directly quoting a BTVS episode!
However, I will say that this led to excessive world building that lasted for a good chunk of the novel. We have to force ourselves through 150 pages of blandness before we can devour the juicy action scenes that Kiersten White is so infamous for. Again, I understand why this extreme world building is necessary for readers to understand the story, but I do wish it could have been carried out in a more enjoyable way.
But hey, besides that, Slayer was a great read!
While this may not sound convincing coming from someone who has never watched an episode of BTVS in her entire life, Slayer didn’t read like fan fiction at all (unlike some other books… *cough cough* The Mortal Instruments *cough cough* Cassandra Clare). You can tell that the author took inspiration from the world of a beloved television series, but totally weaved it into her own thing! Good for you, Kiersten!
I also really enjoyed getting to know the characters in this book! I’ve never read a Kiersten White novel narrated in a first person POV, so this was actually super refreshing. I feel like I really got to connect with Nina as she battled her emotions and feelings over her relationships with her sister, mother, and Leo, an “old flame” who has suddenly reentered her life.
Oh, that reminds me, another thing– I am very pleased over the fact that this book DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND ROMANCE. Honestly, romance isn’t a significant component of it at all (Another thing I love about White’s books!). Sure, there is this dude that Nina finds herself falling for, but it’s never the main topic of the story. Plus, (***SPOILER ALERT***) the guy ends up being super evil anyways, so… Yeah!
Overall, I’m super glad I read this book. Whether you’re a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or not, I’d definitely recommend it! Can’t wait for Book 2!
Thank you so much, Simon and Schuster and Kiersten White for mailing me this ARC! It’s been a pleasure working with you!