Slayer (Slayer, #1)by Kiersten White Published 8 1 2019
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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.
"Slayer (Slayer, #1)" Reviews
He's bobbing his head in time to music playing from headphones, and there's a book in his hands. I peer at it.
Nicholas Sparks. Doug really might be evil, then.
So, huh, here's the thing: I don't think I actually expected this to be good.
Yeah, yeah, I posted excited Buffy gifs, and I tweeted Kiersten White like the crazed fangirl I am. But this is Buffy you're messing with here. Buffy truly helped me survive at some of the darkest times of my life. I've watched it over and over and over again. I've met the cast members. I am someone who likes many things, but how many things can I say I'm really a fan of? Um, like, one or two.
This book was a huge deal for me, and I expected that it just couldn't possibly ever sit comfortably up alongside my beloved Buffy. But I have to say it: Kiersten White did a really great job.
I think Slayer is definitely a book for those already pretty well-versed in the Slayer/Hellmouth mythos. It is virtually impossible to explain so many years (and seasons) of backstory without info-dumping throughout the whole book… so White mostly opts to keep it vague, but at the risk of making zero sense to newcomers to the Slayerverse.
I should also mention that this is set after certain events in the comic continuation, too. I wasn't sure I liked this at first because I've always been a little reluctant to view the comics as canon (they're fun fanfic to me, but that's all). Still, somehow, I think it works well here.
"We know it's a demon."
"Right, but it's wearing a fecking Coldplay shirt. How evil can something wearing a Coldplay shirt be?"
White is clearly a hardcore Buffy fan because she absolutely nailed the quirky humour. I snorted out loud (very attractively) multiple times while reading. The characters are adorable, and the author has taken some steps towards correcting the overall lack of diversity in Buffy. Cillian is British-Nigerian, and gay, dating smart and nerdy Rhys. The two of them bring so much warmth and laughter to this book. Artemis and Honora also have a very sexy, tension-filled relationship (I almost wish Artemis had been narrating!).
The actual narrator and newly-appointed Slayer is Artemis's timid sister Athena, or "Nina". Long lurking in her strong sister's shadow, everyone is pretty shocked when Nina is the one chosen. Now hellhounds are appearing left and right, and Nina's worried her mother might be up to something demonic. Occasionally, the narrative is broken up by a mysterious "hunter" perspective, too.
It's not all silliness, though. As true Buffy fans know, lurking under the campy jokes are darker themes about choices and belonging. As Nina comes to realize "Being chosen is easy. Making choices will break your heart." And speaking of hearts breaking:
"The choice was to save the world-- or to save you. And I chose you."
With classic BtVS elements like family drama, moral struggles, pop culture references, and demons aplenty, this is a really enjoyable story. Never has the end of the world been as fun as it is in the Slayerverse. Of course, the ending is suitably dramatic, and concludes with a spectacular reveal that has me dying for the sequel. Romance is suggested for the future, but isn't a huge part of this book.
A really pleasant surprise. Now off to binge-watch Buffy. Again.
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This book was everything I hoped for and more!! I’m so excited for the rest of the series!!
The references to Buffy and Giles were so perfect and I love this new cast of characters! I’m so damn happy!! I hope all the Buffy fans enjoy this book!
So, this time, we’re at the Watcher's Academy...
I really tried to be objective, but come on...it’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer!!! This was my childhood!!! Also, I’m really surprised by the lack of hype around this book, considering the amount of people on here, who grew up with Buffy, just as I did.
I’ve never read a Kiersten White novel until now (I know, what’s wrong with me???), but if this book is anything to go on, I’m certain that I’ll love the rest of her books, too!
I loved the premise here, where more emphasis was placed on the Watchers, rather than the Slayers. Nina was a very compelling and relatable protagonist, who I quickly came to adore. I’m so happy that this novel included so many references from BTVS and ATS, as well as the iconic Buffy-styled humour!!!
It’s 4am now though...so I’ll finish this review a bit later! :D RTC
I had really high hope for this because I love Buffy so insanely much but sadly I did not love this book.
I felt like the plot and characters were sloppy. I did enjoy the humor of the book, it had the quick wit and satire the show had.
Overall disappointed with this sadly.
Despite having never seen a single episode of Buffy...I quite enjoyed this! And shshhh yes I know you're going to go yell for me to watch it, but do we all acknowledge how many books there are in the world and that I am trying to read them all? Fitting in tv shows is the Real Struggle. rip me I try.
Anyway, this gave me absolutely massive Supernatural x Shadowhunters vibes, so that sort of centred me in the story from the get-go. I've read plenty of the secret-magical organisations, out to fight demons and flick around Chosen Ones and end the world or save it when you're 16. It had the potential to be too tropey...but the writing was amazing. It totally grabbed me. Nina's voice was the best (and honestly felt like Kiersten White's twitter hahhahha) and she was equal parts sweet and loving, and super sassy, and also wanting to prove her metal. She's the "Chosen One" that nobody chose...and everyone continues not to choose. And I get that. It made her so relatable because how often are teenage girls just swept aside with the, "Yeah, honey, but you don't really know what you're talking about."
Plus this had a most epic squad. Gonna be here for my new demon hunting crew forever thanks, including:
✧ Nina: protagonist and awkward bundle of sunshine. Will break your jaw and then say sorrysorry!!!! also has yelled "here doggy" at a hellhound before and nearly died.
✧ Artemis: Nina's twin sister and The Power Child, favourite of their mother, the one everyone expects to be badass and powerful. Power lesbian with knives.
✧ Rhys: wears glasses, loves books, is apparently a "leader" but would rather snuggle with his boyfriend. 0/10 has no idea what is going on but is very Ernest and Supportive.
✧ Cillian: human boyfriend of said Rhys. British-Nigerian. Has a witchy mother and knows about Slayers/Watchers even though he shouldn't. Will make puns before they nearly die. Has kept a demon in his shed before and tried to make it comfy. Likes Eurovision. Has 100% more common sense than anyone who's supernatural.
✧ Leo: old crush of Nina, Latinx, went missing but is now b a c k and hot. Acts smooth and confident but absolutely can't keep up with Nina at all and is probably exhausted.
I also appreciate that it was squad > romance. The romance thread is tiny and honestly didn't do anything for me haha, but then [spoilers removed] Nina and Cillian are like the best bros.
Nina: can u keep a demon in your shed for me???
Cillian: what would he like on his sandwich!
Cillian: also will he kill me idk might be good to ask this too
As for the plot... You know that feel when something is super predictable but you love the characters, the writing, the sass, and are just having a good time anyway? This is me here.
Can you read it without knowing about Buffy? I would say a resounding YES! I thought it would be Buffy's book, but it's not. It's set when she's apparently broken the world and killed magic (?) so I didn't really get the backstory of that, but that's where we're at. Nina pretty much hates Slayers because her dad died because of Buffy, but boo-yah she is one now. Irony is a jerk. (Also on the point of Slayers: there's "supposed" to just be one, but the spells got broken and there's tons now etc etc whatever. WHY ONLY ONE ANYWAY??? Oh because we only protect like 3 towns in America from demons? Go die by urselves @ the rest of the world.)
This was really a really fun catastrophe of an adventure, with Chosen Ones and demons and friends who'll die for you (or scream at you) and complicated family relationships. It was totally predictable, but also totally fun so like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ life is short. Read books that are equivalent of fun flavour ice creams.
Thank you Edelweiss and Simon Pulse for sending a review copy in exchange for an honest review
Actual Rating: ★★★.5
“Being chosen is easy. Making choices will break your heart.”
When I found out this was going to be a think I squealed! I knew I had to add this to my TBR. And Simon and Schuster blessed me a few months ago with an ARC.
I took a bit long to finish this book but there is no denying that I was really enjoying it. It reminded me a bit of Vampire Academy. It was a bit slow and it took me a while to get into the story. Nina was an interesting main character. She was trying to discover who she really is and where she fits in the world. She was impulsive at times and I often wished I could tell her a few things, but she believed in herself more later on and I admired that. There was some Buffy trash talk though, and that really really annoyed me. It did change towards the end though.
The story was a tiny bit slow paced but there was some action in between and the last 100 pages were my favorite! That’s when I felt like the action really picked up. I can see where this is going and I honestly really really enjoyed this book! Well, there are still books to come and I’m really intrigued to find out what will happen next. The story ended in a sort of cliffhanger and only the coming books will tell what happens.