***Disclaimer: I received a free early access copy of Slayer by Kiersten White from NetGalley and the publishers for review purposes. Thank you to them!
I was late to the Buffy-verse. I never watched the show when I was growing up, and I still haven’t seen the movie. I started watching the show in university thanks to a friend who had all of the seasons on DVD and got through several seasons which inspired me to go out and seek the rest of the show myself. I still haven’t seen all of Angel, and I haven’t ready any of the comics, and I’ve only watched through the show once, but I loved it. I fell in love with the characters and the stories that they were telling, so when I heard that Kiersten White was writing a novel set in the Buffy-verse, I was super excited. When I saw it on NetGalley, requested it, and actually received an eARC, I was so excited.
I went into this book with decently high expectations considering I had never read anything by Kiersten White. The idea of the book was something that intrigued me and I couldn’t help but get excited. Ultimately, I was super happy with the book, giving the novel 5/5 stars.
Slayer is the story of Nina. Nina comes from a family of Watchers, and her father was actually Buffy’s first Watcher. The Watcher ranks are much diminished and so they are in hiding in a castle in Ireland. Nina is training to be a healer, which is not something that is highly prized amongst the Watchers, but Nina herself has never really been highly prized amongst the Watchers. Things have always been all about her sister Artemis who was being trained to be a full on Watcher but failed the test. Their father is long dead, and their mother is somewhat distant with Nina, and this is something Nina struggles with. There is something else that Nina is struggling with: something seems to have changed within her. Ever since Buffy destroyed magic two months ago, and Nina was splattered with demon-goo, she’s felt different. But what’s wrong?
I loved this book. There were certain things that I didn’t understand because I wasn’t completely up to date on all of the shows and comics, and there were things that I was missing out on. However, I still enjoyed it. The characters were great and the banter felt very natural and gave me the Buffy vibe I was craving. The story stands well enough on it’s own even if you have a minimal knowledge, because, as I said, I loved the story. The writing was engaging and absorbing. I wanted the characters to succeed, or fail as the case might be for the ones I didn’t like. The family relationships in this book were especially interesting to me. Artemis and Nina are twins, and I have always been very interested in the sibling bonds between twins. I also enjoyed the dynamics between Nina and the other characters in the story. She was a character that I really related to.
The only major complaint that I had about this book was that I was confused because I didn’t have enough experience with the aspects of the world that came after the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It made me want to go seek those things, Angel and the comics, out so that I could learn more about what was going on. That being said, you can read it without doing those things; I just think it would add a bit of enjoyment to the story.
Slayer comes out on January 8th, 2019. I highly encourage you to go pick it up if any thing about it has caught your interest. I think that you will enjoy it, and that you won’t regret it if you do.
Thanks again to NetGalley and the publishers for giving me early access to the eARC.