Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 8, 2018
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.
I would just like to preface my review by saying I was never a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. I was more of a Veronica Mars fan. So, when I was approved to review Slayer I was confused as to why I requested it in the first place. After reading it, I’m happy I did.
Since I haven’t watched the show or been spoiled for any of the big plot points in the universe, I expected to be lost regarding the world building and lore. However, White delivers a flawless explanation of the lore established in the show and, from what I understand, the comic books. I never felt lost or confused as to the previous events that led to what the characters in Slayer are now dealing with. I enjoyed this as a first time reader, though long time fans may find this information tedious.
The main character, Nina, is easily the best part of the novel. Nina is different from all the Watchers around her. Nina’s instincts trend towards healing instead of fighting, but all of that changes when she becomes the final Slayer. Nina is then forced to reckon with two polarizing aspects of herself as she learns whom she is and her place in the new world all while redefining already established relationships. I loved Nina’s personal journey and it’s the reason I rated the novel four stars.
The family dynamics in Slayer play a large role in Nina’s characterization as well as the overall plot. I felt frustrated and annoyed on Nina’s behalf. I felt like her thoughts and actions were completely justified throughout the novel. Lack of communication is a trope often used in young adult novels to precipitate a big reveal of twist. White employed that tactic here in terms of the family dynamics. This also helped fuel my frustration and annoyance.
The pace in Slayer is relatively consistent throughout, however a little near the end before the climax the story drags. I found myself skimming through pages just to get to the explosive finale. The ending is exciting, action packed, and well worth the effort of slogging through the slower setup.
Overall, Slayer is a fun addition to the Buffyverse for new fans and old alike. Though, I think long time fans may find more enjoyment with this one.
***I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.