Hello Humans! At this point, If you’re a regular reader of my blog or my Twitter you should know that I am obsessed with Kiersten White. I fell hard for her books when I read And I Darken and I’ve pretty much vowed to read everything she writes until the end of time because everything is so amazing. I am already excited to read her next retelling of Arthurian legend but first I had to read her latest book, a spin-off of Buffy – Slayer.
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.
A disclaimer – I have watched Buffy, but I watched it a little too late and…(is this sacrilege?) I wasn’t overly enamoured with it. I liked it, but I got a little bored towards the later seasons and if you asked me to tell you what happens I don’t think I could if I tried. So the odds are I missed a heck of a lot of nuances and callbacks in this book, I can’t really speak to how it fits into the Buffy universe. What I can speak to is how much I enjoyed it with the limited Buffy knowledge I have.
No need to fear if you have even less know-how then I do. Kiersten, of course, gives you a rundown of the things you need to know. I’d be interested to hear from die-hard Buffy fans who have read this whether they feel it’s enough info or if it’s too much from that perspective? Basically put, you don’t need to have watched Buffy to fully understand what’s happening. You could pick this book off the shelf in a bookshop after having been in a coma for thirty years and you’d be able to pick it up.
I will say, I’m not sure that this book captured that ‘ragtag group of friends against the world’ feeling that the original series had.
There are more books planned in this series and I wholeheartedly believe that group vibe was being set up in this book. The way that these characters start the book necessitates that friendship building through the story, they can’t just become friends in high school like in the original. With that in mind, I wasn’t bothered by the fact that this was a bit less comedic/banter-y than the series is because you can feel the potential is there.
Nina, I loved. I related so hard to her character, not because I suddenly developed superhuman powers, chance would be a fine thing. But that sense of wanting to be more than you are, and then having to deal with the consequences of getting what you wish and all of the guilt and confusion that comes with that – that was pretty powerful. There were a few big character building moments that I felt didn’t get as big of a moment as the build-up would have had me believe – but overall I thought she was a really strong main character. There’s something a little nostalgic to her as well, I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve read a female YA protagonist that gave me that feeling (not that I’ve not liked the protagonists, but this is a specific feeling). Nina hit home for me.
There are some awesome ideas and characters and creatures and moments throughout this story. I loved reading this book, I devoured it in one sitting, as I have done with every Kiersten White book I have ever read. She is just amazing and I can’t wait to read her books until the end of time.
My rating: 4/5 stars
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and I also got a copy for my birthday from my wonderful family! All opinions are my own.
What say you? Will you be reading Slayer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!