Thursday, January 31, 2019

Old School YA PNR Vibes: Slayer by Kiersten White

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Old School YA PNR Vibes: Slayer by Kiersten White
Slayer
Kiersten White
Series: Slayer #1
Genre: Action, Paranormal, YA
Publication date: January 8th, 2019
by Simon Pulse

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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.
-A copy was provided by Simon Pulse for review-

While I’d heard a couple of things about Slayer, they were mostly about Buffy and how the book was set in the same world as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve seen less than half an episode of the show so I immediately checked out and assumed it would not appeal to me as someone who does not care about the show. Then I read the synopsis. I got old-school YA feels from the blurb and I’ve been craving old school YA for ages so I was immediately drawn in.

I think the best way to sum up my feelings about Slayer is that the first half was a solid 3 stars and the second half was a solid 4 stars. The first half is sort of slow and takes a while to get into. Slow isn’t necessarily bad because it allows for world building to happen, characters to be developed and relationships to blossom, but also, it was v. slow and it took me a long time to get through it. The second half on the other hand is when action happens and shit hits the fans. IT WAS GREAT.

Nina has always been seen as the ‘lesser’ twin so when it turns out she is a slayer, her life is basically completely turned around. She is now stronger and faster than she has ever been, but also she is now a slayer, the very thing she has come to strongly dislike. It honestly took me a while to warm up to Nina because she is so vanilla but, White clearly has a talent for good characters and Nina won me over in the end.

I think it helps that Nina and her sister, Artemis, so often act as foils to each other but in many ways are often the same. Both don’t like the roles they have been placed in and also don’t enjoy the switching that happens with Nina turns out to be a slayer. Their sisterly bond is incredibly complex and in many ways, defines both of them. They suck at communicating but they also love each other dearly and would fight bitterly for each other if it came to it. Nina and Artemis are both flawed, and occasionally annoying, but in the end, they are both relatable as they figure out their place in an ever changing world.

There is a lot more going on in this book besides just sisterly bonds. LIKE PROPHECIES and SCARY DEMONS and old crushes coming back that the MC was publicly humiliated in front of. ALL THE GOOD STUFF. Slayer isn’t as heavy on the action but I think where it lacks in action it makes up for in the quality of the characters and their arcs. Also the humour. It’s so subtle and yet so funny, I just cannot.

So, are you looking into getting into a new YA PNR series? That makes your heart race and makes your shippy feels tingle? If so, read Slayer. My only regret is that I now have to wait an entire year before getting to read book 2.

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

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Rashika has been tired since 2013. There are very few things that spark joy for her besides a nice cup of tea, warm, baked goods, good books and good TV shows. She is here to pile onto your giant TBRs and to-watch lists. Offer her a cookie and she might be nice to you.

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