Slayer, Kiersten White

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Being chosen is easy. Making choices will break your heart

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. 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.

* * *
3 / 5

I loved White’s series The Conqueror’s Saga, so much so that I committed myself to reading pretty much anything that White wrote that sounded vaguely up my alley. Slayer, despite me having been too young to watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer when it aired, sounded right up my alley. Unfortunately, Slayer was just another in a string of three star reads for me: decent enough and fun to read, but nothing surprising or ground-breaking.

we were never destined for this castle. Then Buffy took destiny and pummelled it to bloody, broken pieces

Athena – or Nina – and Artemis are twins, born and educated at the Watcher’s Academy. For the Buffy-uninitiated, one girl at a time is “chosen” as a Slayer to defeat all evil supernatural beings. The Watchers guide and advise the current Slayer, as well as performing a bunch of research and training functions. When Buffy did something dastardly trying to save the world she stripped magic from the world and every girl with potential became a Slayer.

One of those girls is Athena. Poor, little downtrodden Athena whose mother likes her sister better, who has been refused training to be a Watcher and who spends her time running an infirmary. Who suddenly finds herself with hellhounds at her door and incredible strength running through her veins. Also an attractive boy from her childhood pops up and he’s going to be her Watcher. Sounds exciting, no?

Leo passes me the stake I had left behind on the ground. It feels like a promise that I’m not sure I want to keep

Yes and no. The whole world of the Watchers and the Slayers was new and interesting to me, the lore and mythology was cool. But Athena is a bit of a self-pitying bore and her relationship with her sister was cliche and frustrating, their lack of trust and confidence in each other. Nina seemed to spend just as much time thinking about the time she thirteen and a girl read aloud her love poetry as she does thinking about vampires, demons, and the potential end of the world. The romance between Nina and her watcher, Leo, was unnecessary and weird.

I liked the action and the intrigue of the book – Nina is having visions and people are dying. I liked how Nina was a little bit different, reluctantly violent and attempting to devote herself to medicine. But Slayer was just too predictable, too cookie cutter in both twists and characters to stand out.

My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of Slayer

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