I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Slayer by Kiersten White
Series: Slayer #1
on January 8, 2019
Genres: Supernatural, Young Adult
Into every generation a Slayer is born…
Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.
Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.
Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.
As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…
But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.
One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.
Happy release day! This is my first book by Kiersten White, but it certainly won’t be the last. I actually have And I Darken on my shelf already, so I think it’ll move its way up the queue.
I have to admit, when starting Slayer I did have a few reservations. I’m obviously a fan of Buffy the show, and even the original movie from way back when (Luke Perry was such a babe… and now I feel old), and I’ve read some of the comics, but it’s sometimes hard to get my hands on the volumes without paying a ridiculous amount. Would I be able to follow along with this new installment? Was it just a gimmick to get new readers interested in going back to the beginning? Unfortunately for some, I don’t think all of my concerns were unfounded. I really do feel like you need to have at least watched SOME of the show to truly appreciate this story. If you don’t know who Buffy is, or what a Watcher’s role is, how vampires work in this particular setting, then you’re going to find yourself just barely able to keep your head above water. Do you need to read the comics? No, not really, but it does add a whole dimension to the plot. Even though the show ended after seven seasons (and really did end with a bang!), that doesn’t mean the story has sat stagnant for the past 15 years (Why does this whole review make me feel ancient? 15 years?!). I haven’t found too many references to the Angel storyline, but it’s probably best you know vaguely what he’s been up to as well.
The characters are mostly new, but there is some overlap with secondary characters, if that makes sense. While they themselves are just being introduced, a lot of them are related to familiar characters: The mother and sister of Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, the wife and daughters of Buffy’s first watcher, the daughter of Gwendolyn Post, and obviously Buffy and the Slayers in the background. It’s like the Slayer/Watcher legacies series. I do love the little Easter eggs being hidden for the hardcore fans, but it’s hard for me to judge how it would be for beginners.
There’s still a lot to the book that will be enjoyed by all readers. I will always appreciate a sarcastic sense of humor, and there’s a touch of teen angst and innocent chemistry building between characters. Some reviewers have stated that the main character, Nina, wasn’t strong or confident enough, but I have to wonder… confident enough for what? I seem to recall Buffy having her fair share of self-doubt over the years. Nina is thrust into the role of Slayer against her wishes, when she thinks she knows exactly what she’s in for. She’s a healer at heart, and it was refreshing to see a Slayer fighting against her base urges to make with the stabby stab.
There’s more intrigue than action, but still a fair share of fighting, have no fear. And what’s a Slayer story without demons and prophecies?! Can’t wait to see what comes next!