Friday, March 15, 2019

Slayer (Slayer #1) by Kiersten White

Narrated by Madeleine Maby
Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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 read Slayer even though I've never seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because it sounded like something I would enjoy (and I did). There were references to Buffy, so I'm sure fans will love those little tidbits, but I liked seeing Buffy through Nina's perspective. I'm tempted to watch the show now to see how the two relate, but the book was solid on its own. 

Unfortunately, I never felt connected to the characters. Nina was eager to please everyone, and it took her forever to finally start thinking and doing things for herself. She wants to follow the rules that everyone else ignores, and she's constantly defending herself against verbal attacks from her peers. Artemis, her sister, should have stood by Nina and supported her, but it was clear she was jealous and acting petty about not being Chosen. The two loved each other, yes, but their relationship was broken and never fully repaired.

One of my biggest issues with this book were the interrupted conversations. Whenever a character tried to share something important, tell a secret, or just generally convey information, they were sidetracked. A monster would show up, or another person would appear out of the blue, and no one ever said anything that really mattered. A lot of problems could have been avoided, if the characters had been allowed to finish their thoughts and sentences. As soon as someone opened their mouth to spill a secret, I knew an interruption was coming. It was almost as frustrating as the secrets themselves.

It wasn't too terribly difficult to determine the villain in this story, although I was a little surprised by the ending. We see an unknown POV randomly throughout the story, and their identity wasn't something I figured out. However, I felt like the author tried too hard to point us in the wrong direction, so the one that felt "right" was super suspicious. 

I liked Doug (a demon), and Killian (a regular human). They were both hilarious and added some much needed humor to the story. I don't think Doug tried to be funny, but his personality was enjoyable. Killian loved puns, and didn't seem phased by anything that happened around him. He was easygoing and just went with it.

I was pretty disappointed with the ending (it felt anticlimactic), but I did like how the author wrapped everything up. There's definitely room for more, although I feel like Slayer could have easily been a stand-alone. If everyone had been a little more forthcoming from the start, we wouldn't have gone in so many circles, and more of a story could have been squeezed into this book. A lot was left open and unsaid, but I did like the final two chapters. They made me feel better about the book as a whole, and curious about what would happen next.

I wish I had liked the characters more, but even at the end they left a lot to be desired. Artemis should have been better, but even when faced with the facts, she still made poor decisions. Nina shouldn't have allowed people to push and pull her whenever and wherever they wanted, and she should have been willing to listen to others. She was so caught up in herself, she missed the things that were important. The story was fun, although I would have liked more monsters and fighting! Isn't that what a Slayer is supposed to do? Again, it was a solid read, but I wanted something more from it.


  1. I felt the same way. Overall, I think this just wasn't for me. I had high hopes for it too since I love this author and have watched and liked Buffy. Oh well, it happens right?

    1. I've really enjoyed some of the author's other books, too. I remember Paranormalcy made me laugh almost constantly (although I read that one years ago, so the details are fuzzy). I do remember her pink taser. Tasey? Tazey? It was something ridiculous that matched her personality! Slayer didn't really elicit any strong feelings from me. I didn't laugh or smile nonstop, but I also didn't feel invested in the story. Bummer, right? I really wanted to like this one! But you're right, it happens!

  2. I'm watching Buffy for the first time right now (yep...I'm a little late to the party LOL) - only 11 episode left. I have mixed feelings about it, but it sounds like it would have deserved a more fleshed-out bookish spinoff (BTW...I understand that Buffy is dead in the book?). The interrupted conversations are a poor plot device. I like the sound of "a demon who eats happiness" though!

    1. Me too! I've watched the first two episodes, haha. Slowly but surely, I will make it through the series. It might take me a few months... ;) Someone else mentioned a Buffy movie? One that explains everything in more detail, or has extra details? I cannot remember! Buffy is very much alive in this book, and even makes a few appearances.

      Hah! The happiness-eating demon is named Doug, and he likes Coldplay. I loved him! <3

  3. I've never seen Buffy either so I wondered if I would like this one. It sounds like this book reads like the show, which can be fun.

    This is Amber at Du Livre btw!

    1. Hey, Amber! Still using your husband's computer? Haha! It was a fun read that made me curious about the show, so I've started watching it. However, I wanted more from the characters in the book! I feel like they could have been more than they were, or at least a little more fleshed-out. I didn't really connect with them, so their struggles didn't impact me in a very profound way. I just read about them going from place to place to do their respective things. :)

  4. Lack of communication is probably my #1 bookish pet peeve and it sounds like that happens a lot here with the constantly interrupted conversations. It's nice that a reader could pick this up without being a big Buffy fan (I never saw the show, either) but with the lackluster characters and disappointing ending I'll give this one a pass. Sorry it didn't work better for you.

    1. It wasn't for a lack of trying! Everyone made an effort to spill their secrets, or confide in a friend, but then something would inevitably happen to prevent the conversation. If people had been able to speak early on, I think a lot of issues would have been avoided. Leo tried to confide in Athena, but then Artemis comes barreling out of the woods and into the car. Nina tries to talk to Artemis, but another person was in the room. It just kept happening, so no one ever says anything important.


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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless