Review: Slayer by Kiersten White

 

Title: Slayer {Slayer #1}

Author: Kiersten White

Published: February 1st 2019; Simon & Schuster Au

Status: Read October 2019

++++++

My Thoughts:

“Into every generation a Slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a Chosen One. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the Slayer.”

When browsing for a book to serve as a nod to Halloween (which isn’t really a ‘thing’ here) I quickly zeroed in on Slayer by Kiersten White. I haven’t been interested in the graphic novels that picked up where the ‘original’ left off, but I am a huge fan of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series, it’s the only box set I own, and I binge watch it at least once a year.

Comparisons between Slayer and the ‘original’ are inevitable for fans, and honestly, my expectations here were quite low, so I was a little surprised at how much I enjoyed this.

Slayer is set after the end of the television series, and (so I’ve been lead to believe) fits with the canon developed in the graphic novels. If you are a fan, you may remember that the Watcher’s Council was all but eliminated during an explosion orchestrated by Caleb, the creepy Preacher. In Slayer, the few Watcher’s who remained have gone to ground in Ireland, and have essentially been in hiding ever since. Athena ‘Nina’ and her twin sister, Artemis, are the sixteen year old daughter’s of Council member Helen Jamison-Smythe, and the late Merrick Jamison-Smythe who was Buffy’s first watcher, and died protecting her.

The story unfolds from Nina’s perspective when, after a lifetime of being sidelined by her mother and overshadowed by her sister, she is imbued with the power of the Slayer. Nina is horrified given that she holds Buffy responsible for almost every wrong in her life, and is further devastated when both her mother and Artemis make it clear that they think it’s a power that Nina isn’t capable of wielding. Nina herself might have her doubts, but she’s determined to prove them wrong.

“Being chosen is easy. Making choices will break your heart.”

Though a touch angsty for my taste, Nina is a typical teen in that she is somewhat self centered, insecure, and short sighted. Her relationship with her mother is very complicated, and while she has a close relationship with Artemis, it’s not as equal as she likes to think. Denied the opportunity to apply for a position as a Watcher, Nina has carved out a niche for herself as a medic for what’s left of the Academy, but being Chosen changes everything.

I enjoyed the storyline which is fast paced with plenty of action that begins when Nina kills a hellhound on the trail of a runaway demon. Doug, the aforementioned horned demon who secrets a substance that gives humans a high, alerts Nina and her friends to the presence of a monster fight club in nearby Dublin, and inadvertently exposes a traitor, or three, in their midst.

“How evil can something wearing a Coldplay shirt be?”

One of the major elements of Buffy’s appeal is its humour, often sarcastic occasionally slapstick, there are very few episodes that don’t raise a snigger. There are lines in Slayer that raised a smile, and one or two that made me chuckle, but it didn’t quite have effortless wit or banter I was hoping for.

Of course I loved the references to familiar characters and events from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, from a dig at Buffy’s relationships with Angel and Spike, to the betrayal by Gwendolyn Post, and even a cameo by Faith. Buffy even makes an appearance or two in Nina’s dreams.

For me, Slayer was a easy, fun read which pays appropriate homage to the Buffyverse while also forging a new direction for White to exploit further. I’m looking forward to reading more in Chosen, due to be published in Feb 2020.

++++++

Available from Simon & Schuster Au

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

 

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mic
    Nov 01, 2019 @ 10:16:56

    I read this a while back and quite enjoyed it. I’m not sure if I ever got around to reviewing…. but I wasn’t aware that there was a sequel and it had a release date. Thanks for that, will have to go looking.
    Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Jan
    Nov 02, 2019 @ 08:50:38

    I’m finally close to finishing Slayer and am enjoying it. When I started it I didn’t realize it took place in the Buffy universe so I was quite surprised. I loved Buffy when it was on, but haven’t watched it for years. Maybe I should rewatch it since I realize in reading this book there’s quite a bit I don’t remember.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  4. Lisa
    Nov 05, 2019 @ 03:43:33

    I think I really do need to read this. I love Buffy (and love doing rewatch binges), and I’ve mostly kept up with the graphic novels (haven’t gotten to the final “season” yet). Thanks for the reminder that I need to track down this book! So glad you enjoyed it.

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    Reply

  5. Sam R
    Dec 07, 2019 @ 07:51:11

    catching up on my blogs which is why this is a late comment lol but this is on my 2020 tbr and I’m so excited because I love Buffy and I hope I have a good experience with this book

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Trackback: Review: Chosen {Slayer #2} by Kiersten White | book'd out

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