by Kiersten White
Series: Slayer #1
Published on January 8, 2019 by Simon Pulse
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, 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.
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Something you may not know about me is that I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As with any book made into a movie or based on an existing canon, I was worried about how everything would play out. Slayer is set-up as a sequel to the show and I have to say: it worked.
Granted, it’s been years since I watched Buffy and I only vaguely remembered the ending so I can’t speak to the accuracy of this book but I think both fans of the show and new readers are going to like it. Nina is one of those characters that you immediately get attached to. She’s considered the “lesser” of the twins, her sister Artemis always favored, always looked to for support, always there protecting her sister and the remaining Watchers. Nina is the girl who has had to live in someone else’s shadow and when she finally has something that makes her different, she revels in it a bit even though it makes her feel guilty. I loved watching her journey as a Slayer after years of hating the Slayers.
No that’s not a spoiler. It’s in the synopsis. I wouldn’t do that to y’all.
The rest of the cast was fantastic and really rounded out this coming-of-age story. It has a lot of family tensions running high and really emphasized the bond of sisterhood between Nina and Artemis. I’m really happy the focus wasn’t on the weird romance-thing that comes up because I think that would have ruined it a bit for me.
Not only is Nina trying to learn who she is, much like any teen, she’s also questioning the world she lives in and that sometimes the way things have always been done isn’t always the best way. I thought that was a really great turning point in the story and showed just how much she had matured.
The story itself is fast paced and fun! You’re dumped right in the middle of things and I’ll say it might be a tad confusing if you’re unfamiliar with Buffy, especially with references to Hellmouths and knowing what Slayers and Watchers are. But for those brand new to the Slayerverse, don’t worry, it’s all explained and not in an info-dumpy way. For those of you, like me, who enjoyed the show, you’ll find little details here and there to take you back. There’s one about Angel specifically that made me chuckle.
Was this the perfect first book in a new spin-off Buffy series? No, but it was a hell of a lot of fun to read and I can’t wait for the sequel! Definitely recommend this to Buffy fans as well as anyone who enjoys a good paranormal book and wants something a bit different.