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Slayers #1


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Dragons exist. They're ferocious. And they're smart: Before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant, so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it – these "Slayers" are descended from the original knights, and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator's daughter who didn't sign up to save the world.

The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?

373 pages, Hardcover

First published September 27, 2011

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About the author

C.J. Hill

15 books369 followers
C.J. Hill is the pseudonym for a popular young adult author who makes her fantasy debut with Slayers.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 406 reviews
Profile Image for Brigid ✩.
581 reviews1,817 followers
July 11, 2016
2.5 Stars

Short review:

Not enough dragons. NOT ENOUGH DRAGONS.

Look, I love dragons and I was really looking forward to this book. Granted, I tend to prefer good dragons over evil dragons, but I still thought a book about kids going to dragon-slaying camp sounded really badass. Kind of Percy Jackson-esque, but ... with DRAGONS.

I'll tell ya now, for a book about dragons there were ... almost zero dragons in this book. *cries* There was one in the prologue and one that appeared like more than 80% into the book. If anything, this felt like more of a superhero/superpowers kind of book, with most of the plot focusing on the main character and the other campers practicing with their magic dragon-killing powers. And then there was the deadly insta-love AND love triangle combo, which kinda ruined the book for me.

There were a few characters I kinda liked, and at least it was a light and fun read. I was just hoping for something a little more epic and original (...and with more dragons).

~Full review coming eventually~
Profile Image for Sharon.
506 reviews273 followers
August 7, 2017
Hhhmm… I always have a hard time judging the first book of a series because things that may be crappy or mediocre now can develop into something amazing later on.

I was skeptical about the protagonist, Tori, because, like many of the other heroines that the author has written, she is pretentious, superficial, and self-absorbed at the beginning of the book. She, along with the other books’ heroines, do get better. Tori is learning to care about other people and be more helpful, even when she has little faith in her abilities. This author is great at character developments, so I’m hoping the best for Tori. Considering how this is the first book I have read from her that is a series with the same protagonist, the developments are obviously slower.

There are several characters who are “Slayers.” Some are great, like Bess, who is sassy and funny. Then, there are Slayers, like Lilly who is another cliché YA mean girl who gets jealous and petty, especially concerning boys.

The romance is… nothing I haven’t seen before, but I’m still curious how things will develop.

I have to say that I much prefer the more light-hearted, cutesie vibe from her other books. This one has a more serious tone and slower plot pace. I’m giving it 2.5 stars because I am feeling ambivalent right now. This is not a bad book at all, but I am waiting to feel invested in the characters or plot. I am hoping to see great developments in the characters and plot in the next book because this one is definitely focused more on introducing/providing the setup on the characters and their mission.

Things that you might want to know (WARNING: Spoilers below)
Is there a happy/satisfying ending?
Love triangle? Cheating? Angst level?
What age level would be appropriate?
I love this author, but definitely scared to read this new genre from her. Fingers crossed. I don't know when was the last time I read a legit dragon book.
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,997 reviews1,638 followers
September 13, 2016
I wanted to like this, I really did. The premise is just all kinds of promising and I have a weakness for powerful women. Unfortunately, this book goes to extraordinary lengths to be tedious and I just can't push through.

Here's what dragged me down:
* I don't know who selected this typeface, but it's actively off-putting and hard to read. It's like an old typewriter font, only with kerning so not a complete suck. But it's small and spare and that made it a chore to read.
* Hill overexplains in a huge and annoying way. First off, the book starts miles before the story actually does. And I don't mean just the stupid prologue (which are almost always a mistake and this is an example of why). Second, Hill describes every thought and emotion and incidental event. Which completely kills the pacing. Putting Tori through her paces (so the others can see what she knows already) should have been exciting (or montaged), but it just dragged on and on with every glance, scowl, and uncertainty painted in extensive and exacting detail. Which might have been okay, except it's the same thing over and over again because of the next point.
* I hate these people. Because they are idiots. Here's the thing: with the premise that certain people are descendants of past warriors and have special abilities (which I'm all kinds of down with), that means you're pretty much stuck with what you get. And if you have a very small band of folks looking to take on the very big job of fighting non-mythical killing machines, then that means you need all hands on deck. Yet every single person at the camp (with the sole exception of the kindly guide and trainer professor) are treating Tori like the bacteria that squirmed out of an outhouse. I'm sorry, but that's a problem for me, particularly when it's apparent that Tori is behind them in training by several years so she's going to be at their mercy. To be fair, I don't get a nefarious vibe, but they are great big hosebeasts busy alienating a new potential ally. But even if not nefarious, how can I be expected to take these people seriously when they are busy throwing an ally-in-arms in the crapper for no reason except that she's pretty and rich? It makes no sense at all and makes them all look like petty, bigoted morons.

Anyway, I got tired of slogging through the bad typeface, the stilted pacing, and the idiots. I kinda liked Tori. But that's not enough to keep me going, I'm afraid.
Profile Image for Ruby Rose.
269 reviews76 followers
January 17, 2021
Awesome book. Everyone should read. Tori is a normal teenager..... while sort-of. Her father is running for president making her try to be the perfect model for all teenages.

Never going to happen.

All starting with her obsession with dragons, leading her to a camp. Only when she gets to camp they lead her to a far off cabin with a bunch of girls who seem to hate her already. On the tour of the cabins she learns although she is very athletic, she seems to be the least of all the campers in her area.

Forced to go to an initiation with a race, she slows down until everyone can't see her then turns around. Sprinting she heads back to camp. Intercepted by someone who carries her through the air she is forced to hear the dreaded sound of the dragon heart.

Never did she think she could see in the dark or even think of her other power(s). Needing her they train. Until one day they find out where dragon eggs are. Launching an attack that does not necessarily go as planned, they learn some startling new things.

Great Book. Even after 2 times I still want to read it again.

If you want to discuss this book I am the Mod of a Clean Romance group! Feel free to join! https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

AGE RECOMMENDATION: 13 and up for violence. But it is still a must read.

I hope you enjoyed my review. Follow me for ones a bit different than this... I wrote this one awhile ago. Happy reading! -Ruby Rose
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 5 books148 followers
September 30, 2016
WOW. Okay, I am not usually a dragon book person--they usually don't grab me. But I'm telling you, I DID NOT want to put this book down! It kept me up WAY late, and now that I've finished, I'm anxious to read the sequel. Such an adventure. A quick, gripping read. What a brilliant author. Characters, plot...this book has it all!
Profile Image for Small Review.
610 reviews206 followers
October 12, 2015
Originally posted on Small Review

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

You know what they say about assuming...

I have to admit, my expectations got the better of me. I KNEW Slayers would have to be different enough from Janette Rallison's other books to warrant the use of a pseudonym, but I kinda figured the dragons and genre shift would have been enough.

Basically, I was expecting a Janette Rallison romantic comedy told in the first person, but with dragons and more action. But no, there is a LOT more that's different. Don't expect Janette Rallison. Accept C. J. Hill and forget Janette Rallison, otherwise you might find yourself disappointed.

It's like there's a GIGANTIC WALL between us

I'm a character girl, and so third person narratives start off at a disadvantage, though it can work for me--just look at Harry Potter! Unfortunately, this one didn't cut it with me. 

I couldn't connect with the characters AT ALL. All I knew about them was what was on the very shallow surface. I really couldn't care less about any of them because I felt like I didn't know any of them, or even have any sense of them at all. We're talking zeros on the WWMCD Test, and after spending 373 pages together, that's pretty darn disappointing.

The antagonist was also too "stock villain" for my tastes, but there is a lot of potential for a more nuanced approach. I think and hope the sequel will explore this character more. The romance felt forced to me too, and while there are two options, I wasn't feeling either of them (mostly because I didn't KNOW either of them).

Let's embrace the duology!

Since I didn't connect with the characters, I ended up bored for the majority of the book. Nothing really happened. Tori comes to dragon camp, meets the other campers, learns she's descended from dragon slayers, is told she needs to risk her life trying to destroy a clutch of dragons when they hatch, dithers A LOT about whether she wants to commit to this path (which of course we know she will) and worries A LOT about her romantic prospects (which bored me).

There. That's the first 250 or so pages. Don't worry, I didn't spoil anything. That's also the jacket blurb. I am an impatient reader, and so for me it took TOO LONG for the action to finally start.

I'm thinking Slayers has fallen victim to the dreaded Series Stretching. I can't say for certain until I read book two, but I think book one and two probably should have been smushed into one volume. The first 250 or so pages of Slayers could have been cut and condensed down to fit into the first 2-4 chapters and then the events of book 2 could have been added after that. I think I would have enjoyed that a lot more. But, again, I am an impatient reader.

Other writing stuff

Most of the book is told through the third-person with a focus on Tori, but every once in a while there is a chapter with a third-person focus on another character. These chapters worked ok, especially with certain characters, but the fact that they were all inexplicably written in italics seriously threw me.

I ended up mentally whispering and placing all kinds of extra emphasis on these sections as if they were an "oooo *wave hands* mystical dream sequence" when really they were just normal sections told from different characters' POVs. I was not a fan.

So, forget the execution. How about the story?

The story rocks. Totally rocks. Think Percy Jackson meets Jurassic Park plus slaying and super powers. It doesn't get much better than that!

The dragon mythology was intriguing, especially since it took a more scientific approach than fantasy and magic (albeit, science-lite). I'm not sure all the i's were dotted and t's were crossed there, but enough of a framework was set up that I felt comfortable and excited about this new approach.

I also loved how the dragons were predators. Sure, I love the books where everyone can get a cuddly dragon BFF of their very own, but, well, dragons don't look very cuddly, do they? The dragons in Slayers are pure animal and they wouldn't hesitate to chow down on a toddler or BBQ one of their human handlers. They were scary and I can totally understand why Tori would want to cut and run.

(Except, as a MC, that's just lame. *I* can run. Tori needs to enthusiastically fight to the death. I don't care how bad her odds are).

The nature of Tori's individual power was engaging and almost played out like a mystery. She finally discovers what she can do at about the midpoint of the book, and from there to the end it was fun unraveling how she could use her power and what it meant.

The later part of the book is also when all the good stuff started to happen. I finally got some great action and a dragon even made an appearance! A can of worms was also opened and I'm curious to see how that is going to play out in the sequels.

Bottom line

While I liked and appreciated the dragon mythology, I'm pretty meh on everything else. What I really wanted was Janette Rallison (first-person narrative included- she does those so well!), and that's just not what I should have expected.

I'm not sure if I'm hooked enough by the dragon mythology to continue on, especially if there's a lot of slow-paced filler in the sequel. If it lands in my lap, then I'd probably read it. If I hear from reviews that the sequel is chock full of dragon-killing goodness then, well, I'm game.

Originally posted on Small Review

Profile Image for Amber Argyle.
Author 30 books1,092 followers
April 4, 2017
The spoiled daughter of a Senator running for president, Tori needs her hair perfect, her clothes designer, and her boys to fall in line. That is until she discovers that her summer camp is really just a cover for dragon slaying. And lucky her, she inherited dragon slaying from her ancestors.

But it's not all bad. There are some hot boys, and super powers can be cool. The dragons trying to kill them, not so much, but Tori had never been one to back down from a challenge - or a fight. She's determined to not only survive, but look fabulous doing it.
199 reviews96 followers
January 4, 2014
Wouldn’t it be cool if dragons actually existed? Well after reading this the answer is no. They are destroyers, not your pets that you can ride on to school. Which lets face it, this is a real shame, but it makes for an incredibly interesting and riveting tale. Slayers by C.J. Hill took me by surprise from the very first page and didn’t let go until the very last. I need the next one!!

The premise for this book introduces us to a group of teenagers who are descendants of dragon knights. Dragons haven’t been seen in centuries because they are able to choose a longer gestation period for their eggs. If you have the specific gene of a dragon knight and come into contact with a dragon whilst your mother is pregnant then you will be born with slayer traits. It is these select few who are destined to destroy the dragons. Meet Tori, a senators daughter who has always had a fascination with dragons. Whilst attending dragon camp one summer she is wisked away into a centuries long war as she begins to train to become a dragon slayer.

The lore in this is fascinating and it is one of those books that I feel everything is explained, their aren’t any loose ends which is always great. We have these dragon knights but also dragon lords, and the dragon lords are able to mind-meld with the dragons and control them because they figured (in medieval times) that this was a better way to get rid of the dragons. But the descendants of dragon lords seem to believe in taking over the world..as you do. The fact that dragons destroy anything electronic with their roar means that these teenagers must use weapons from medieval times. So.Cool.

Slayers has romance and witty characters, it will keep you on the edge of your seat. C.J. Hill’s writing shows pure talent as you feel immersed in this story from the opening lines. Although the story does only take place over three days, so much happens in those three days that you don’t really notice the short period of time. This world is just so well thought out and every little detail truly builds your imagination and allows you to spend hours in the pages of this novel.

I highly recommend this book. You’ll start and then won’t be able to put it down. Dragons are cool. They are my new favourite thing.

~ Spoiler section ahead ~
Profile Image for Aeicha .
832 reviews101 followers
September 29, 2011

I am a huge dragon enthusiast. I love dragon lore, myth, and art. I even have a dragon tattoo. So I was both excited and wary when I read the synopsis for Slayers. Excited because it was about dragons but wary because it was about ferocious dragons that needed to be slayed. I tend to prefer my dragons to be like Saphira from Eragon or Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon-good and loyal. But, despite my personal dragon preference, I chose to read Slayers anyway, and I’m very glad I did. I found it to be a fun, original and entertaining book that really surpassed my expectations.

In Slayers dragons are very real, very ferocious beasts who eat humans. However, slayer-knights with special powers killed most of them off in the middle ages. Centuries later, there are two dragon eggs being guarded by power hungry bad guys, and it is up to the descendants of the slayer-knights, a group of super powered teenagers, to destroy them once again. Dr. B runs a special summer camp where he has trained these Slayers and this is where Tori Hampton, the newest camper who is drawn to this camp by her deep fascination and fear of dragons, learns that she too is a Slayer. Tori, along with her fellow Slayers, must learn to control their powers and work together in order to defeat their enemies- Overdrake and his dragons- while dealing with romance, betrayal, and flaming fireballs.

I think the premise of this book is quite fresh and original. Hill has taken dragon lore and myth and created something new and fantastical.

I was expecting more of a lighthearted MG story because the book is marketed to the 12 and up crowd, but I was surprised and delighted to find that it didn’t lack any edginess or smart, sharp wit. The main setting, a summer camp used to train special kids, reminds me of a more mature Camp Half-Blood from the Percy Jackson series…which is a very positive comparison in my eyes. I like how the main characters are isolated from the outside world while at camp, which keeps the fantasy elements from being too restricted. And the fantasy elements themselves are pretty cool. Each Slayer has heightened abilities- super strength, sight, and reflexes- plus each Slayer has their own special power. Some Slayers can heal wounds made from dragons, some can put up shields, some can extinguish fire, and some can even fly. These powers make for really fun, vivid scenes and images.

There’s a big cast of characters, most of whom I really like. Dr. B makes a great mentor/teacher type of character, the mean girls are fun to hate, the bad guy is devilishly charismatic, and the hot, romantic male interests are swoon-worthy. But I did have issues with the main character Tori Hampton. Tori is a spoiled, rich Senator’s daughter who is a bit shallow; vain; and catty. She’s also quite funny, sarcastic, and surprising. I can appreciate how much her character grows in such a short amount of time, but I found it hard to really connect with her. It really took me until the end of the book to develop a genuine affection for her. But the other characters, who are so likable and Charming, made up for any lack of connection I had with Tori.

You can’t have a YA book without romance, and Slayers has a delicious love triangle between Tori, Jesse, and Dirk. Jesse and Dirk are both gorgeous, mysterious, athletic leaders amongst the Slayers. And Tori develops a real connection and attraction to both guys. The romance and chemistry between Tori and both boys feels very real and organic, and not forced or overly clichéd. I’m definitely anxious to see who Tori ultimately ends up with in future books in the series…and FYI, I’m totally Team Jesse right now.

In some ways the storyline is a bit predictable, but overall the story kept me guessing and anxiously turning pages to see what happened. With fast paced action, charming characters, enticing romance, and plenty of twists and turns, Slayers is a real page turner. I’m hooked and will definitely read future books in the series.
Profile Image for Emily.
167 reviews49 followers
October 8, 2011
From Books and Threads.

When I first saw the synopsis of this book, I thought ‘oh hey! Rampant with dragons!’ But I was wrong. Slayers is much more in the Percy Jackson line (without gods obviously) with a group of superheroes by birth reuniting every summer at camp and never able to talk about camp in their regular lives.

I seriously would have done anything to go to Dragon Camp when I was a preteen or teenager! I loved the horse camp I went to, but a whole summer with riding, archery, medieval tactics, and dragon obsessions would’ve been magic. Literally if I’d gotten to hang out at the advanced camp with the slayers.

Tori provides our view into the group of slayers as the new member of a team that’s been training together for four years. She is, as the synopsis says, a spoiled rich kid who spent the previous summer at a ‘finishing school’ in Cancun and is definitely the fish out of water in the rustic surroundings. Her uncertainty about the purpose of the group at first reads true - because seriously? a bunch of teenagers claiming to fight dragons? But since the reader knows that dragons are real and the slayers are well-intentioned, it’s also played slightly for laughs and provides some nice levity. I also enjoyed her reaction to the idea of dedicating her life to fighting the dragons. As much as we all hope we’d step up valiantly if we were given the opportunity to save others, I think most of us - and Tori - would have more than a few qualms at the idea. I liked that she wasn’t immediately gung ho about her heritage and purpose and the camp itself.

The rest of the slayers fade mostly into sketched in (likeable) archetypes - there’s the snobby girls, the prankster, the gentle healer, the two immensely hot team captains (who also function as two points of a somewhat forced love triangle with Tori). As it is, only Jesse and Dirk - the team captains - get much development. About halfway through the book, Dirk begins to assume more prominence and starts to have his own viewpoint chapters. The point-of-view change is a little startling, and I think alternating viewpoints might have worked better if they occurred from the beginning.

I never felt uncertain about where Slayers was headed, and none of the plot twists were terribly surprising, but the training scenarios and team interactions at Dragon Camp were very engaging. The plot was action-packed and well-paced, and I think most readers will find it enjoyable. Some of the dragon mythology seemed awfully convenient, but I can accept it - like the underdeveloped supporting cast of slayers - in hopes that further books will develop the mythology and other teens more fully.

The writing of Slayers is snappy with short dramatic chapters that feel made for TV. I could almost see fade to commercial each time there was a chapter break. While the writing was cinematic, the reading experience was extremely choppy. However though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the style, I can definitely see people - especially boys - who may not read a lot enjoying the easily consumed and action-packed chapters.

I’m definitely interested in reading further Slayers books to see what happens as the group of heroes continue to go up against the dragons and the dragon lords who control them. Many thanks to NetGalley and Roaring Book Press for the opportunity to read the ARC!
Profile Image for Cara.
2,280 reviews41 followers
September 6, 2016
I got an advanced reading copy of this through netgalley(dot)com.

Slayers is the story of a group of kids with super powers who are training to fight the bad guy. How did they get their super powers? Interesting question. The Slayers got their powers from their ancestors. Who is the bad guy? Dragons. And not the cute, friendly anthropomorphized kind either. These are truly the big, bad monsters of olde. They are terrifying, smart and totally dangerous. Oh, and they can be controlled by a dragon lord. This is where Hill really came up with a cool concept. When the history books reported that alchemists were trying to turn lead into gold they got it wrong; they were trying to make liquid gold. This liquid gold would give people powers to defeat the dragons. It ended up being fused with their DNA, and can be passed along to their descendents. The powers can only be triggered by a pregnant descendent being in the vicinity of a dragon egg (about 5 miles). It sounds a little out there, but the story really works well.

Most of the Slayers have known each other and gone to camp together every summer when the story opens. Tori is obsessed with dragons and has been all her life. She is afraid of them, but knows everything there is to know about them. This camp should be perfect for her. It’s called Dragon camp. Once she gets there, not everything is what it seems. She meets two guys, and immediately gets off on the wrong foot with both of them. Then, Dr. B, in charge of camp, resident dragon expert, and leader of the Slayers informs Tori that she will be with the ‘advanced’ campers (Slayers, of course). It takes her a while to figure out what’s really going on, and she isn’t super likable at this point. Luckily as the story progresses she redeems herself, and truly becomes part of the tight-knit Slayer group.

Overall, I really liked this story, and I hope I don’t have to wait too long for the next one!
Profile Image for Katie (Hiding in the Pages).
3,002 reviews232 followers
March 1, 2012
I've read other novels by this author, under different names, but wasn't interested in this one because I'm not a big fantasy/dragon reader. I was totally knocked off my feet by this one! I've decided I can't go wrong with a book by this author, whichever name she writes under.

Tori has always had a fascination with dragons and has begged her wealthy parents to let her go to Dragon Camp. Finally, when she's 16, she's allowed to go and it's nothing like what she expected.

Tori was completely different than I thought she'd be, based off the first description of her. She's tough and thinks fast on her feet. I liked Jesse and Dirk--both kinda mysterious and strong, not to mention good looking.

I didn't realize this book was the first in a series and was left on a cliffhanger. I honestly can't wait for the next one to come out.

**Note to my fellow book club members--this is one of two books I'm considering for my month. :)
Profile Image for Shelby.
85 reviews44 followers
November 6, 2011
I must say, I loved this book! I was so excited when I won it, as it was written by one of my favorite authors, whose name shall not be mentioned (coughJanetteRallisoncough). And it did NOT live down to the challenge!

Let's talk about characters! I didn't really like Tori when she starts to notice that there's something weird about her dragon camp. But all in all, I grew to like her, as she was a great, well rounded character, who wasn't too "Mary-Sue" in a bad or perfect way. Once again, I didn't like Jesse at first, but once again, he grew on me. And once again, I didn't like Dirk at first, but this time he didn't grow on me. I didn't like him, then I learned his "little" secret, and I didn't like him even more. Then, I started to feel bad for him, as his situation was pretty bad. Lilly and Alyssa were mean, but even though, I kind of liked what Lilly's character added to the story. Bess was fun, and Rosa was sweet. Shang was cool cause he put up with Lilly. Kody was okay, but he wasn't really all that memorable. I also thought Mr. B (Bartholomew) was a good mentor, though a bit loony. All the other characters were pretty good. Ryker was sort of a name that floated around and in the end you got to meet him as sort of a "this is what happens next book"!

The plot was awesome, and even though it differed greatly from the authors previous works, and that was probably why the author went with a pen name. Although it was really different, you could still see how it was written by the author under the pseudonym. The plot was smart, and it left me wanting more. I liked how the dragons were bad. It seems like all dragon books have good or neutral dragons. Personally I like those books, but SLAYERS was kind of refreshing!

I am a big lover of fantasy, so this was a really great read. It was also a romance and action book, so that was nice. The romance was kind of cliche, but it was also sweet, and the guy I was rooting for ended up with the girl!

I can't wait for part two in this series! SLAYERS actually only took place in four days, so I'm sure the next books will take place during the rest of the month that the characters are at dragon camp. I'm assuming the next book will be about Ryker Davis, by the way SLAYERS ends.

This book was so good I'm not sure my review - or any other review - will ever do it justice. Pick up (and read) a copy of SLAYERS and you won't be dissapointed!

Profile Image for Wendy.
211 reviews2 followers
September 28, 2011
I loved pretty much every second of this book.

Tori Hampton, the sixteen-year-old daughter of a senator, has to talk her parents into letting her go to St. George and the Dragon Camp. She’s wanted to go for years, but once she’s there, well, she’s not sure she really wants to stay. First of all, the camp is a little primitive. When the camp director sends her off with a couple of buff boys to the advanced camp–hidden in the trees two miles away, complete with its own stable, gun range, and mysterious large building–the only way she decides to stay is to prove herself to the other advanced campers who somehow have it in their minds that she’s pampered and unable to handle the rigors of advanced dragon camp.

Even after Tori finds out about the other campers’ special powers she still isn’t convinced she’s where she wants to be, and it goes double when they tell her that dragons really do exist and, oh, by the way, she’s got special DNA from her ancestors that makes her a dragon slayer.

Not exactly what she was looking for in a summer camp.

While dragon camp wasn’t exactly what Tori was looking for, this book is exactly what I was looking for.

It has all the things I look for in a great book: a strong voice, interesting characters, a little magic, and kissing. There were some unexpected twists in the plot that were believable and enjoyable, as well as some awesome fight/battle scenes. And a dragon, naturally. This is the first book in the series, so be ready for a conclusion that isn’t entirely conclusive, as well as a couple of major plot points/mysteries that carry on to the next book (which I am already anxiously awaiting).

This is a great YA fantasy pick. Simply thumbing through it to refresh myself with a few details to write this review made me want to start from the beginning and read it again.

Profile Image for Sara.
311 reviews12 followers
November 3, 2011
Slayers by C.J. Hill follows Tori, a girl who has always been obsessed with dragons. She begins the story as her sister drops her off at Dragon camp sure she won't last a week. Things in camp are strange. She's met personally by the director and then taken off to a cabin miles from the rest of the camp. Tori soon learns that she's a Dragon slayer, complete with special powers that are activated with a special dragon simulator they have at the camp. Tori and the other slayers must train to fight to prevent Overdrake, the dragon lord from using his dragons to take over.

I almost didn't read this one because honestly the cover and title made me think it was going to be a total fantasy book that I wouldn't enjoy. I was surprised as this book turned out to be a nice mix of contemporary with the fantasy and plenty of action and even a bit of romance. I loved the camp setting and the games the campers would play to work on their training and the final battles at the end were epic. The mythology was original and well crafted making for a believable world.

Appropriateness: This is a great action packed book that will engage reluctant readers and it's a perfect middle school book, focused on fantasy and action. There is a bit of romance (and a budding love triangle) but not enough that it would turn off a reader that disliked romance. I would recommend this book to readers 11-15
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 28 books5,675 followers
March 14, 2014
Seriously, how did I not know this existed? Well, okay, I knew it existed but was under the mistaken impression that it was about vampires. But no! It's dragon slayers! And so fun! If you're a fan of Diana Peterfreund's Rampant and Ascendant, there is a lot of that vibe going on here. And I loved Tori, the main character. She reminded me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, if she had joined the Scooby Gang late. My only complaint is that it was almost too pat: the powers fit together too perfectly for things that they had inherited, and I wanted more back story!
Profile Image for Karissa.
3,967 reviews196 followers
September 22, 2011
I got an advanced reading copy of this book for review through NetGalley(dot)com. It was a fun read and an excellent book. This is a book about young adult dragon slayers in the modern day world. Think Percy and the Olympians, but the kids are fighting dragons instead and are part of an ages old genetically modified race. I haven't been able to find any information on a sequel to this book; but based on some things that were left unresolved I imaging this will be a series.

Tori has always been fascinated by dragons. But since her father is a Senator and her family is rich and elite, Dragon Camp has never been deemed worthy enough by her father. Finally this year her father relents and Tori finds herself enrolled in Dragon Camp. No pedicures and bell-hops here, just cabins and a bunch of dragon-obsessed kids. Or is it? Tori is older so she is put in the advanced part of the camp; the area for older teens. Thing is the teens in this part of the camp are very different, they have super-hero-like powers. Could Tori be part of a genetically modified subgroup of humans destined to save all of humanity from vicious dragons?

The premise of this book is wonderful. The Dragon Camp reminded me a lot of Camp Half Blood from the Percy and the Olympian series by Rick Riordan....it also reminds some of the unicorn fighting school in Diana Peterfreund's Rampant series. You have a group of teens together learning how to use their super powers and how to fight dragons. How cool is that?

The characters are all fairly engaging. There are two girls who are pretty stereotypical mean girls, and we never really get a reason for their behavior. Outside of them the rest of the characters are very interesting. Tori comes off as a bit of a spoiled rich girl (she assume the boys that help her take her luggage to her cabin are bell-hops), but she isn't pretentious...she's just used to a different way of life. As the book goes on Tori sheds this rich-girl persona and really grows as a character.

There is a love triangle in this book. Slayers always have a power match; one person whose power is similar to or compliments theirs and they are more in tune with this person. This pairing doesn't have to be romantic, but teens being teens it does get involved. Tori is drawn to and gets along with one guy in the camp really well but of course her power compliments a different boy's. So this is just a comment for those of you who either love or hate love triangles. That being said the love triangle doesn't take up a ton of story space.

The story is mainly told from Tori's perspective but there are short chapters between that are told from other characters' perspectives. It was well done and I felt that seeing small parts of the story from other characters' viewpoints actually added a lot to the story rather than subtracting from it.

The story is well wrapped up in the end, there are a few unresolved plot points but it wasn't really a cliffhanger. I enjoyed the writing style, it was easy and fun to read. The story was full of fun action scenes and interesting superpowers, with a touch of romance. Deeper questions are breached about the importance of saving humanity as a whole versus the happiness of an individual.

Overall this was a fun read. It takes the old idea of dragon slayers and applies it to a modern day story with deeper implications on humanity as a whole. I thought the dragons' powers were interesting and had a lot of fun reading about the Slayers and their different powers as well. The characters are generally interesting and engaging. People who enjoy reading about monster slayers and teens learning how to use their monster slaying powers should enjoy this book. It is best suited for middle grade and older. If you love fantasy and reading about dragons, with a bit of a coming of age added to them you should check this book out.
2 reviews
December 6, 2013
My father bought this book for me as a birthday gift, probably because I've had a dragon obsession since I was young. The summary seemed interesting enough: spoiled rich girl discovers dragons are real and people train to fight them. The story follows your basic Harry Potter/Percy Jackson premise of a group of elites born with special gifts who train in secret.

Let's start with what I liked about the book. Because for all its faults, it did have enough qualities for me to at least finish. Tori was an interesting character, which isn't saying much since the majority of them felt flat and I mostly forgot about them until they were brought up. Tori's inability to ease into the Slayer lifestyle made sense. The rest of the characters are at least 5 year veterans, and Tori's refusal of the call comes off as a betrayal to their tight-knit group. And even after deciding to stay, her constant self-doubt acts as a liability. It worked well.

I did also like the dragon's EMP screech. Not sure if that's been done with dragons before, but I haven't seen it personally. Oh, and Bess said something that made me laugh. It was a pretty good moment I would have liked to see more of in the story. That's all I have for positive, sorry.

On the other hand, I had a lot of issues with this book. Right off the bat, in the prologue. A dream sequence that's followed by pages of exposition about dragons and their history and how the slayers came to be and blah blah blah. But for all that time spent expounding about dragons, it doesn't pave the way for us to jump into the story by any means. For the majority of the book there's a lot of talk about dragons, and not a lot of dragon action.

As much as I liked Tori, there were some things that annoyed me. In a group of teens born with special gifts to fight dragons, she has to be a special snowflake. So not only does she get increased strength, agility, and night vision (along with one unique power) like everyone else, she has super hearing, dragon hearing, flight, and is immune to fire. I saw it coming from the start, and I have a feeling she's not done discovering new powers. Explained or not, it's pretty gratuitous.

The story itself takes place over the course of four days, which move along at a crawling pace. I stopped when I was halfway through the book and realized I was on day two of the story. Which would be fine if that time were spent... oh, I don't know, developing characters? I couldn't tell you one thing about anyone that didn't go beyond eye and hair colour (and that Lilly was trying way too hard to be a bitch to Tori). A lot of character traits were informed upon us rather than shown. Maybe this is remedied in the sequel, where Tori doesn't feel like the entire camp hates her and she can relax and enjoy herself around them, thus getting to know them better.

The most grating aspect of the book is the romance. And not just any romance: a love triangle. Because YA novel. The romance boils down to pretty much this: "S/he is really good looking. Character keeps staring at them because they're so attractive. Feelings are developing." No one in this book had any chemistry with anyone.

The dragon battle itself wasn't that bad, but by the time I'd reached that point I just wanted to get it over with. I also didn't like how we knew about the mole, and who it was, by the time the battle rolled around. We may have had some tension wondering how Overdrake knew their names and intricate details about their lives. And seriously people? Even with picture and video, any evidence of dragons is going to be brushed off as a hoax. I can't believe no one expected that.

This book contains none of the magic and wonder present in other YA fantasy titles. I can't recommend it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Dena McMurdie.
Author 3 books133 followers
November 22, 2012
Read more reviews on my book blog: Books for Kids

Dragons, superheroes, and evil villains. What's not to love?

Every now and then I come across a young adult novel that I just love, and this happens to be one of them. It was fun joyride through the imaginary modern world where dragons exist and can be controlled (somewhat) by dragon lords, and can only be slain by Slayers.

The story was a lot of fun. C.J. Hill (aka Janette Rallison) created an entertaining scenario where young superheroes go to Dragon Camp every summer for a month to train for the time when the dragons would inevitably be set loose on America. Without the Slayers, the country/world would be doomed.

Infused with humor, the story quickly unfolds as you follow Tori on her journey to discover and explore both her destiny as a Slayer and her new found abilities that come with the job. The book itself was a good length, but I read through it pretty quickly. Mostly because I was enjoying the story so much that I was dragging the book around the house with me while I chased after kids and cooked dinner. The writing was clear, without any weird spots to leave you wondering what was happening. The descriptions were easy to follow and gave a clear picture of everything that went on.

One of the things that I love the most about this author is her ability to keep a story clean. It had plenty of action, romance, and humor, all without giving me any reason to feel uncomfortable. It was a book that I could happily hand to any teenager or recommend to my mom (which I will). There was a small amount of kissing that happens, but it was very clean and age appropriate.

The humor was one of the best parts of this book. I love when an author can infuse their story with funny situations and quirky comments and have it work with the rest of the plot.

This is definitely a recommended book from me.

The Cover: I can't say that I am a big fan of the cover. I like the colors and the text, but the actual illustration is too hard to see. I am still not quite sure what it is. I am guessing it's supposed to be the dragon egg with an x-ray like view of the dragon inside, but I'm not really sure. No matter, the book was still a winner.
Profile Image for Scarlett.
133 reviews4 followers
April 13, 2012
Originally posted on my blog here.

Slayers had a pretty unique premise. I liked it a lot. The follow-through, however, was a bit lacking.

Overall, Slayers was a good novel, it just lacked that...spark...that really commits you to a book. It was interesting, and the characters were likable enough, but I wasn't as invested in this as I would have liked to have been.

The characters, had their good moments, but overall weren't entirely that dynamic. I also thought it odd how someone we are initially introduced to isn't even mentioned until.....well, I can't really say, but it was a bit of an odd choice in my opinion. I thought we were going to follow this person around but....we don't.

Also, some of the characters were a little bit too cliched, in my opinion. A little wishy-washy as well. I wanted more uniqueness in their behaviors, and some of them just don't stick out to me at all. And there was a fight, but it felt kind of G rated to me. Not that I wanted it gory or horrible, but I did want to be a bit more on the edge of my seat. The villain felt a little elementary as well. There was enough of a push of 'evil' or 'not goodness' that I could see the need for dragon fighters, but.....it's hard to put my finger on, but I think it goes back to that spark thing.

Overall, a decent enough read. Again, very original premise that I liked a lot, but it could have been fleshed out and made stronger. Also, this didn't finish...at all. We're not left completely hanging, per se, but there is a HUGE opening at the end which was a little too obvious, but no word on a sequel.

Basically, it was good, but not as great as I would have liked. Worth trying though! Being more used to the fantasy genre I had my expectations pretty high, but for those not into it yet, or just getting started, this might be a good jumping stone!
Profile Image for RSter.
495 reviews
February 4, 2012
Take modern super heroes, medieval knights and evil dragons. Mix. Add a splash of salt, and you have Slayers. While the story was a little far-fetched for me, I did like the overall idea. However, I think the plot/characters/etc. could have been executed differently. I was not a fan of Tori, the main character, due to her obnoxiously snobby attitude and I could not relate to her because she was exceedingly privileged. While I did understand her strive to prove herself to the other slayers, her voice really bugged me because she only cared about herself. Plus, I was super pissed she received double the powers of the others. I so saw that coming. The relationships she had with each “captain” was also obvious…I could tell from the second she met them she would fall for both of them, thus creating “drama”. Slayers was just very predictable, in a Twilight manner, which is unacceptable. This book had great potential, but it was not made well. I plan on reading the next book only in hopes the writing will improve.
Profile Image for Tiffany.
985 reviews
September 21, 2011
I have to admit I loved this book! I enjoy everything that Rallison writes and she didn't let me down. I read this book to my family on our road trip. My husband had some issues with the book. My 10 year old claimed he was bored until they tried to brake into Overdrake's compound. My 12 year old daughter and myself were glued to the pages. My guess from early on was she was a mix between a dragon lord and a slayer. Because of her dad's love for dragon's I figured she was a dragon lord and then was hoping her mom was a descendant of a knight creating a mix of the two. I thought that would be totally awesome which would then cause her to be counterpart with both Dirk and Jesse. I was disappointed that the answer was revealed in the synopsis for book 2. I was also a little disappointed it wasn't all that I wanted.

My questions are how many books are going to be in this series?

Also are we Jesse, Drake or Ryker fans?
Profile Image for James.
183 reviews21 followers
September 5, 2011
Grabs your attention from page one and never lets go!

Tori has been mysteriously drawn to dragons all her life without knowing why, until she attends a unique dragon-fighting themed summer camp that is more than it seems. Turns out she’s a dragon slayer – one of eleven – who must learn to use their powers to protect the world from an evil dragon overlord bent on using dragons to take over the world.

It is all here: the charismatic villain, the spunky heroine, the complicated love triangle, a dark secret and a mysterious character named Ryker that is often mentioned, but seldom seen. Filled with action, adventure, suspense, and romance, Hills first book is a wonderful first installment of what looks to be a great series.

Great for teens and tweens who enjoy Eragon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Alex Rider series of books.
Profile Image for Donna Hatch.
Author 39 books1,025 followers
October 14, 2011
Just when I'd grown weary of all the "dragons are our friend" books and movies, Slayers bursts onto the scene. Slayers is about a group of teens destined to kill the fearsome dragons foretold to destroy the world. It's told from the point of view of a young teenaged girl who doesn't particularly want to save the world, and no one particularly likes the rich new girl, either. The characters are complex and likeable. The stakes are high and there are lots of highs and lows as Tori discovers and learns to control new powers that just may save her life when the dragons hatch and begin wreaking their destruction. There's even a fun love triangle. But when things look up, the Slayers realize there's a traitor in their midst. Slayers in a must-read for anyone who enjoys reading fantasy or young adult novels.
July 27, 2015
I went into this book, not really expecting much. But I was pleasantly surprised. I got it because I saw it on bookoutlet for $1.99 and thought hey, I like dragons. So I got it. The main character is a girl named tori, and when I first started this book I was so disappointed. She seemed so stuck up and snobby, I just wasn't into it. But throughout the book, the character really develops. She starts out as someone who thinks she's amazing at everything, but once she meets some of the other campers it knocks her down from her pedestal. I just ordered the sequel, and I can't wait to read it. Definitely one of my favorites of the year
Profile Image for Kylie.
247 reviews44 followers
September 10, 2013
A fast paced and fun book. Slayers is similar to the Percy Jackson books in that it follows a group of kids who train to be heroes at summer camp. Except add dragons. I read through this one very quickly and immediately searched the bonus material at the back for a glimpse at the second book. And there was one! But of course it left me in turmoil. Why didn't you just stick with Dirk in the first place Tori? He obviously likes you more than Mr. Rule Follower. don't you know that Love scoffs at rules?
Profile Image for Shauna.
7 reviews5 followers
April 28, 2021
Great Read

This book caught my interest from the beginning and lasted throughout the book.I’m so impressed with the creativity and uniqueness of slayers.
Profile Image for Nicole.
58 reviews
April 16, 2021
Dragons are real, and they're about to come out of a hibernation of sorts. Because their return is forthcoming, a special DNA trait has awakened in a handful of teens, who as babies in utero were inadvertently exposed to a dragon egg. This DNA trait gives each one special powers needed to vanquish the dragons. Tori didn't expect to be one of these Slayers, of whom she knew nothing prior to going to summer camp, which turned out to be the Slayers' training ground.
CJ Hill has created a believable and very engaging world where dragons exist, and those designated to fight them are relatable characters the reader cheers on at every turn. There are many unforeseen twists and turns, and the end of this first book in the Slayers series leaves you with even more questions than you had at the beginning of the book...in a good way. Such a good book!
Profile Image for Tabitha.
352 reviews3 followers
September 5, 2023
This book intrigued me from the start which hasn't happened in a while with what is essentially a YA book. I couldn't stand the pettiness of some of the characters and the mean girl vibe I was getting. Tori even gave some back. The adventure, the kick butt superheroes with an untrained sidekick kind of felt overdone but then it got a lot more exciting.

Definitely for fantasy or urban fantasy fans, epic adventure fans, hidden talents fans, fans of magical powers and villains but maybe not villains.
Not for dragon lovers, but even those may enjoy this book with the different perspective.

Clean YA adventure with a tiny bit of teen angst/drama/romance.

Very interested in the rest of the series.
Profile Image for BabyLunLun.
861 reviews104 followers
June 3, 2020
Thank God its over

I am done reading Janette Rallison's fantasy books. They don't have the humour and wittiness her contemporary romance. I read the first half and the rest I skimmed and just reading the dialogue

Slayers is so terribly cliche and predictable. Tori went to the dragon camp and even not once she even talked to her boyfriend Roland. They have zero communication throughout the whole book. Then Tori able to talk about Roland normally like there is nothing wrong. Are you even sure Roland is your boyfriend?

And you are telling me Dr B who is so experienced, knowledgable and think ahead.. didn't even thought of the chances of them locating the dragon eggs first? The most logical and ideal solution to this is to locate the dragon egg and destroy it and u are telling me he didn't thought of that???? Therefore the whole crew go into Overdrake's lair unprepared.

Ugh so boring
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