Slayer (Slayer, #1)by Published 08 Jan 2019
|Slayer (Slayer, #1).pdf|
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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You know when you’ve had a bad day but then you read a book for three uninterrupted hours and absorb the personalities and problems of fictional characters and suddenly you’re doing much better? YEAH SAME.
I loved this book but don’t ever talk to me about Buffy because I’ll either end up getting so over-excited I start knocking lamps over or I start sobbing hysterically!
So, what’s this book about?
Buffy Summers had torn the world in half when she destroyed the Seed of Wonder that fed all magic on earth, and the rip was a wound. Buffy’s actions meant that no generation of Slayers will rise again and the powers of Watchers—those who guide the Slayers—have frayed to the point of breaking.
After years of tiptoeing through her life, trying not to set off memories like land mines, the last thing Athena needed is to find out that she’s the last Slayer, Chosen right before the magic vanished forever. Athena comes from a generation of Watchers, her father was assigned to Buffy and her twin sister, Artemis, was the only one given proper training to become one. Athena was the castle’s medic, with a mother she suspected hated her and a sister who bore the burden of Athena’s pain in addition to her own. Being a Slayer needed someone far more daring than her. It needed the thunder and the avalanche, the war cry and the whirlwind and the fire. Neither of these things Athena thinks she has. But Athena soon finds herself glad for it: everyone was the foreground of the painting that was Athena’s life and she was always the background. But not anymore.
But being a Slayer comes with hard choices, and, now everything Athena would do, she would do alone and with blood on her hands. And maybe Athena doesn’t blame Buffy for almost ending the world after all.
Being chosen is easy. Making choices will break your heart.
I’m a huge fan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer so it was already guaranteed that I would certainly love the world in which this book is set, but I also know how spin-off series usually work, affording only fleeting glimpses of the characters to whom my loyalty is pledged, using the curious twinning of familiarity to lure me into the trap of the new. But reading Slayer was like revisiting a favorite story from childhood and realizing that while the details were the same, the entire meaning had changed. I absolutely loved it.
White takes a familiar world and builds upon it, readers will hear echoes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer while recognizing the imagination that has wrought old material into something entirely fresh. Her world is intoxicating, imbued with an unrelenting sense of peril that kept me riveted through every chapter—the jittery tension only slightly tampered with the characters’ sharp, laugh-out-loud observations. And when the final tiles of the story are set in place, and at last the picture shows whole, White closes the story raising more questions than answers, leaving you hoping she has another entry up her clever sleeves.
The bulk of this book is about Athena, her failures and successes, her loneliness and fears and frustrations—they all bud and blossom into a compelling adventure. White is most successful at delineating Athena’s internal conflict as she struggles to balance between her instinct to heal and fix bodies and her actual calling—being a Slayer. Athena has always tried to make herself smaller, to fit neatly into the ordered lines of expectation. She was finally settling into her role of medic before her life was uprooted and Athena now fears that if she’d so much as think of herself as a Slayer, she’d get pinned to everything she’d been trying to get away from. Being a Slayer might have freed her from the cage her mother has crafted for her, and allowed her to embrace her full strength and the potential her mother had so forcefully repressed for many long years, but it has also put a permanent tarnish on her relationship with her sister, Artemis, who is embittered by her sudden irrelevance in Athena’s life and considers her being a Slayer an “us” that spat on everything she’d done to keep Athena safe.
Athena’s journey of discovering the discrete entity that is herself, apart from environment, expectations, and the watchful eyes of everyone else is one of my favorite parts about this book.
It's honestly only in surfacing from the story that I can cast a critical eye backwards and say, this part floundered, this part went on too long. The story begins a bit slowly, and it takes a while to disentangle exactly who or what the focal points of the plot are supposed to be. But once it's up and running, it's entirely riveting. There’s also a comfortable and realistic diversity among the characters. I just wish they were all given their own sets of longings and fears and impact the trajectory of the story instead of being set aside in favor of escalating the plot.
With that being said, Slayer definitely leaves the stall door wide open for improvement in further installments and I’m looking forward to it!
“The choice was to save the world—or to save you. And I chose you.”
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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.