Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: January 8th, 2019
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. – Synopsis from Goodreads
“Into every generation a Slayer is born…”
OH.MY.GOD. I am back in the Buffyverse, this is a fangirl dream. When I heard this book was coming out I was wary but excited and, of course, requested the arc.
Full disclosure, I’m a mega Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan – I’ve seen the series more times then I’m willing to admit and I quote and talk about the show all the time, even to this day. It’s literally my all-time favorite series so I was quite nervous that Slayer would be a hot mess, not even going to lie. Thankfully I was wrong.
We start the story with the Watchers hideout, which I thought was a really cool idea. We’ve never really seen what goes on or what all comes into play for all the people training to become a Watcher, and even more interesting, how everything that Buffy and the Scooby gang decisions affected them in the long term. The story sets up all the characters and gives us some background of what has been going on in the Buffyverse, which is pretty essential for the readers who have never watched the show because it does take place AFTER the series. Kiersten lays it all out for you though and it’s very accessible. We meet our slew of characters, obvious new Scooby gang potentials and throw in a demon or two and we have our plot line for the first in the series.
Nina, the Watcher’s resident medic and over-sheltered young girl turns out early on to be the Slayer. What I particularly liked is that it didn’t play out the exact same way as the first season of Buffy. She had similar but different obstacles and she has a support system from the very start, unlike Buffy. Nina is also not quite as impulsive as Buffy but she’s certainly as stubborn. I did want to slap her a few times but not as much as I constantly wanted to slap Buffy, so that is a bonus right there!
The side characters are all enjoyable for the most part and they all had very distinct personalities. I can’t say that I love them like I love the original Scooby gang but I think they are off to a good start. My one problem with this book was the watcher/romance. Nina’s Watcher wasn’t very cool – he was very typical in many of the YA series love interests we see and it felt pretty bland for me. The romance didn’t take up a great deal of the book though and I did like how it ended.
Overall, I think this is a very nice start and for all you Buffy fans – YES! There are lots of mentions of Buffy and the gang (yes, even Spike!) and past situations they were in. There is no shortage of fandom love. Kiersten White knew her stuff and she didn’t forget to give the long-time fans lots to get nostalgic over.
Thank you Simon Pulse and Netgalley. ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.