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Slayer #1


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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.

404 pages, Hardcover

First published January 8, 2019

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About the author

Kiersten White

59 books12.8k followers
Kiersten White is the #1 New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of many books, including the And I Darken series, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Star Wars: Padawan, the Sinister Summer series, and HIDE. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, where they obsessively care for their deeply ambivalent tortoise. Visit Kiersten online at KierstenWhite.com and follow @KierstenWhite on Twitter.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,154 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
January 9, 2019
He's bobbing his head in time to music playing from headphones, and there's a book in his hands. I peer at it.
Nicholas Sparks. Doug really might be evil, then.

So, huh, here's the thing: I don't think I actually expected this to be good.

Yeah, yeah, I posted excited Buffy gifs, and I tweeted Kiersten White like the crazed fangirl I am. But this is Buffy you're messing with here. Buffy truly helped me survive at some of the darkest times of my life. I've watched it over and over and over again. I've met the cast members. I am someone who likes many things, but how many things can I say I'm really a fan of? Um, like, one or two.

This book was a huge deal for me, and I expected that it just couldn't possibly ever sit comfortably up alongside my beloved Buffy. But I have to say it: Kiersten White did a really great job.

I think Slayer is definitely a book for those already pretty well-versed in the Slayer/Hellmouth mythos. It is virtually impossible to explain so many years (and seasons) of backstory without info-dumping throughout the whole book… so White mostly opts to keep it vague, but at the risk of making zero sense to newcomers to the Slayerverse.

I should also mention that this is set after certain events in the comic continuation, too. I wasn't sure I liked this at first because I've always been a little reluctant to view the comics as canon (they're fun fanfic to me, but that's all). Still, somehow, I think it works well here.
"We know it's a demon."
"Right, but it's wearing a fecking Coldplay shirt. How evil can something wearing a Coldplay shirt be?"

White is clearly a hardcore Buffy fan because she absolutely nailed the quirky humour. I snorted out loud (very attractively) multiple times while reading. The characters are adorable, and the author has taken some steps towards correcting the overall lack of diversity in Buffy. Cillian is British-Nigerian, and gay, dating smart and nerdy Rhys. The two of them bring so much warmth and laughter to this book. Artemis and Honora also have a very sexy, tension-filled relationship (I almost wish Artemis had been narrating!).

The actual narrator and newly-appointed Slayer is Artemis's timid sister Athena, or "Nina". Long lurking in her strong sister's shadow, everyone is pretty shocked when Nina is the one chosen. Now hellhounds are appearing left and right, and Nina's worried her mother might be up to something demonic. Occasionally, the narrative is broken up by a mysterious "hunter" perspective, too.

It's not all silliness, though. As true Buffy fans know, lurking under the campy jokes are darker themes about choices and belonging. As Nina comes to realize "Being chosen is easy. Making choices will break your heart." And speaking of hearts breaking:
"The choice was to save the world-- or to save you. And I chose you."


With classic BtVS elements like family drama, moral struggles, pop culture references, and demons aplenty, this is a really enjoyable story. Never has the end of the world been as fun as it is in the Slayerverse. Of course, the ending is suitably dramatic, and concludes with a spectacular reveal that has me dying for the sequel. Romance is suggested for the future, but isn't a huge part of this book.

A really pleasant surprise. Now off to binge-watch Buffy. Again.

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Profile Image for chai ♡.
322 reviews156k followers
February 18, 2021
You know when you’ve had a bad day but then you read a book for three uninterrupted hours and absorb the personalities and problems of fictional characters and suddenly you’re doing much better? YEAH SAME.

I loved this book but don’t ever talk to me about Buffy because I’ll either end up getting so over-excited I start knocking lamps over or I start sobbing hysterically!

So, what’s this book about?

Buffy Summers had torn the world in half when she destroyed the Seed of Wonder that fed all magic on earth, and the rip was a wound. Buffy’s actions meant that no generation of Slayers will rise again and the powers of Watchers—those who guide the Slayers—have frayed to the point of breaking.

After years of tiptoeing through her life, trying not to set off memories like land mines, the last thing Athena needed is to find out that she’s the last Slayer, Chosen right before the magic vanished forever. Athena comes from a generation of Watchers, her father was assigned to Buffy and her twin sister, Artemis, was the only one given proper training to become one. Athena was the castle’s medic, with a mother she suspected hated her and a sister who bore the burden of Athena’s pain in addition to her own. Being a Slayer needed someone far more daring than her. It needed the thunder and the avalanche, the war cry and the whirlwind and the fire. Neither of these things Athena thinks she has. But Athena soon finds herself glad for it: everyone was the foreground of the painting that was Athena’s life and she was always the background. But not anymore.

But being a Slayer comes with hard choices, and, now everything Athena would do, she would do alone and with blood on her hands. And maybe Athena doesn’t blame Buffy for almost ending the world after all.

Being chosen is easy. Making choices will break your heart.

I’m a huge fan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer so it was already guaranteed that I would certainly love the world in which this book is set, but I also know how spin-off series usually work, affording only fleeting glimpses of the characters to whom my loyalty is pledged, using the curious twinning of familiarity to lure me into the trap of the new. But reading Slayer was like revisiting a favorite story from childhood and realizing that while the details were the same, the entire meaning had changed. I absolutely loved it.

White takes a familiar world and builds upon it, readers will hear echoes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer while recognizing the imagination that has wrought old material into something entirely fresh. Her world is intoxicating, imbued with an unrelenting sense of peril that kept me riveted through every chapter—the jittery tension only slightly tampered with the characters’ sharp, laugh-out-loud observations. And when the final tiles of the story are set in place, and at last the picture shows whole, White closes the story raising more questions than answers, leaving you hoping she has another entry up her clever sleeves.

The bulk of this book is about Athena, her failures and successes, her loneliness and fears and frustrations—they all bud and blossom into a compelling adventure. White is most successful at delineating Athena’s internal conflict as she struggles to balance between her instinct to heal and fix bodies and her actual calling—being a Slayer. Athena has always tried to make herself smaller, to fit neatly into the ordered lines of expectation. She was finally settling into her role of medic before her life was uprooted and Athena now fears that if she’d so much as think of herself as a Slayer, she’d get pinned to everything she’d been trying to get away from. Being a Slayer might have freed her from the cage her mother has crafted for her, and allowed her to embrace her full strength and the potential her mother had so forcefully repressed for many long years, but it has also put a permanent tarnish on her relationship with her sister, Artemis, who is embittered by her sudden irrelevance in Athena’s life and considers her being a Slayer an “us” that spat on everything she’d done to keep Athena safe.

Athena’s journey of discovering the discrete entity that is herself, apart from environment, expectations, and the watchful eyes of everyone else is one of my favorite parts about this book.

It's honestly only in surfacing from the story that I can cast a critical eye backwards and say, this part floundered, this part went on too long. The story begins a bit slowly, and it takes a while to disentangle exactly who or what the focal points of the plot are supposed to be. But once it's up and running, it's entirely riveting. There’s also a comfortable and realistic diversity among the characters. I just wish they were all given their own sets of longings and fears and impact the trajectory of the story instead of being set aside in favor of escalating the plot.

With that being said, Slayer definitely leaves the stall door wide open for improvement in further installments and I’m looking forward to it!

“The choice was to save the world—or to save you. And I chose you.”

If you liked this review please consider leaving me a tip on ko-fi !

Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,538 reviews9,967 followers
June 2, 2019
UPDATE: $1.99 Kindle US 6/2/19

This book was everything I hoped for and more!! I’m so excited for the rest of the series!!

The references to Buffy and Giles were so perfect and I love this new cast of characters! I’m so damn happy!! I hope all the Buffy fans enjoy this book!

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾


757 reviews2,350 followers
January 28, 2019
Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book. Fuck this book.

Fuck! This! Book!

You know what, I was ready to forgive the whiny, bullshit, fucking bratty and just plain OOF fucking characters in this book, as well as the fact that this fucking garbage read like a middle grade novel with whiny fucking characters that act 12, but then Kiersten pulled that shit at the end and I'm just Done.

Good fucking night, I want to snap the neck of every character in this trash ass fuckin book and then scream. I can't believe I wasted three days on this horrendous garbage when I could have been reading something so much better! 🤗🤗🤗

Anyways, I can't tell you what this book is about because uhhhhh I forgot and it's only been a day oops LMAO. Ig that should say something about this book. It's forgetful and irrelevant and I'm not wasting any more energy on this shit, trying to remember what it's about. 😤😤😤😤

But what i DO remember is that it was an extremely slow build-up to the most disappointing, ridiculous, awful, and just super DISAPPOINTING!!!! ending to ever exist and i'm still so mad about it and i cannot believe that happened at the end, y'all oh my god.

anyways, let's talk about why this book got two stars instead of negative three stars.
1. Rhys was such a pure ball of sunshine and also, my only mood???
"Rhys leans close, peering curiously. 'I haven't read that volume.' He sounds jealous."

"...Rhys says, with genuine hurt, 'There are more books I didn't know about?'"

i fucking love him???? oh my god 😍 😍 😍 😍

2. Rhys and Cillian are the cutest couple and I would 11/10 give my kidney up for them.

3. I remember being somewhat engrossed into the plot, but couldn't enjoy it when the characters were being unbelievably STUPID. like, literally so fucking stupid?????

which brings me to the reason i can't stand anyone in this book!!!!

so, i'm not sure if these are spoilers or not (i really don't think this is a spoiler, but here's a warning just in case because i don't want you easily triggered "put that small irrelevant fuckin detail in a spoiler tag you bitch, you spoiled it for us!!!!" type of people to come @me so UHH SPOILER WARNING?????????????

CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW ATHENA HELD A THREE YEAR FUCKIN GRUDGE OVER SOMEONE FINDING HER POETRY WHEN SHE WAS THIRTEEN AND READING IT IN FRONT OF HER CRUSH???? Honora, the stupid, meann, rude and just piece of shit bitch read out her poetry and i get that it's embarrassing and you wanna slaughter this bitch, but like???? sweety it's been three years maybe you should GET OVER IT?? and move the fuck on???

she keeps bringing up some stupid childhood shit up, three years after it happened and honestly??? it's pathetic and irrelevant and can you stop fuckin so pathetic and deadass move the fuck on because you deadass have more important things to worry about than someone reading your poetry when you were a kid????

this shit was repeated so many times in the book, i got sick of it, like,,,,, please stop. at this point i'm glad that happened to you. 😤

and Honora, the one who did this to our poor lil Athena is also such a shitty person?? like deadass, what makes you want to be such a shitty person??? sweety stop, that shit ain't cute. 😩😩😩

these kids are supposed to be 16 and 19, yet they dead read off as 12 year olds!!! this has such a middle grade feeling to it and again i'm mad because i went into this thinking it was young adult!!!

and Kiersten deadass used words like "butthead" (i think it was) "fricking" and other made up 12 year old curse words instead of actual fucking curse and it's like??? hello??? y'all are not 12, teenagers know what "fuck, shit, bitch, dick, asshole, fucker, mother fucker, dickhead" and a variety of other words I probably should not say, ARE???? use those words instead of "butthead"??? it physically annoyed me to read the word BUTTHEAD LMAO. like wtf 😩

"His concern is so genuine that I feel like the worst person in the world."

Because you are, BITCH.

anyways, this book has me feeling 😤😤😤😤😤😤😤😤😤😤😤 and i won't stop feeling 😤😤😤😤. like, ever.

I want this book to slay me (ha, see what I did there..... someone please laugh)

buddy read with Solomon 💓
Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
382 reviews1,010 followers
January 3, 2022
So, this time, we’re at the Watcher's Academy...

description description

I really tried to be objective, but come on...it’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer!!! This was my childhood!!! Also, I’m really surprised by the lack of hype around this book, considering the amount of people on here, who grew up with Buffy, just as I did.

I’ve never read a Kiersten White novel until now (I know, what’s wrong with me???), but if this book is anything to go on, I’m certain that I’ll love the rest of her books, too!

I loved the premise here, where more emphasis was placed on the Watchers, rather than the Slayers. Nina was a very compelling and relatable protagonist, who I quickly came to adore. I’m so happy that this novel included so many references from BTVS and ATS, as well as the iconic Buffy-styled humour!!!
Profile Image for Reynita ★ The Night Reader ★.
123 reviews939 followers
June 26, 2019

I'm so relieved right now that I can just sit down and review this book because I had been very busy with final examinations and assignment for the past few weeks. *phew*
okay, let's the review begins!

My Opinion Time!

I have watched some of the episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and while I am not really a fan of BtVS, I still like BtVS. It's really fun to watch and funny! even though I did not know much about Btvs, I was still excited to read this book. Moreover, that cover sort of looked spookey and compelled me to read it.

So I was in reading slump when I read this book and let me tell you that I that I am so grateful to read this book and also to Ms White because this book totally SLAYED my reading slump. However, I cannot give this book more than 3 stars because while I am grateful the book saved me from reading slump, the book was not amazing. Like the kind of amazement that leaves you gaping and grins or clap your hands or hug the book. But still it was pretty good though.


The Plot

The plot was fun to read and this book was action-packed which what I needed at that time when reading slump hit me. The book was filled with adventures and they were pretty exhilarating to read. So I didn't have time to be bored while reading it because I actually did not have the time to do it and the book simply did not give a chance of a boring moment. Every moments in the book were interesting and made me curious and questioning everything. The pacing was slow and it did not rush anything. It's like every moments took their own times in the book but they did not drag on though. The pacing was just perfect and I had nothing to complain about it.

There were also some references of Buffy and some characters that I knew from BtVS and I honestly got so excited when I read those references because strangely it kinda felt nostalgic for me like they were old friends of mine, even though I've only watched some of the BtVS episodes and not all.

The Characters and The Romance

You know I would totally give this book 4 stars without batting an eye, IF ONLY I could like the main character (s). So first of all, Nina is the main character. Even though I did not have any connection to her and I just felt like I was merely reading without feeling anything, she was a sort of refreshing character. So it's not like she suddenly became kickass heroine. Sometimes she was clueless and did not know what to do but it did not mean she was hopeless. There were also times when she knew what to do. So it's refreshing you know to read this kind of character. The kind of character that also has vulnerability and also strength at the same time. BUT again I did not have any connection to her and she did not really get me excited.

AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON LEO. That guy was one dimensional character. He lacked personalities and I don't know what else to say. He bored me so much and he made me want to cry tears of boredom. How could a character be this boring? and just not memorable and I could not feel any spark of romance between Nina and him. The romance was just bland and lack of intensity or some kind of bond that I could feel. It's pretty sad because I was hoping that I would love their romance :(


But thankfully! there were characters that I liked. They were Artemis and Honora. Artemis was not really a remarkable character but she's a good sister to her twin sister, Nina, and she loved Nina very much and I admit that Honora could irk me a bit because she could be pretty annoying but Honora's relationship with Artemis was so sweet and I could feel their feelings and love for each other. There was a scene that made me so soft in the inside and made me squeal! I wish I could see their interactions more. Basically, I LOVED their relationship.

Oh and I also liked Rhys and Cillian! They made me laugh and this couple made me smile several times because I was happy for them and the love for each other was palpable. These characters made the book fun to read and made feel this warmth every time I read them.

If you haven't read this book. I think you should give it a try because it's a pretty exciting book and if you're a fan of Buffy then I think you'll feel very nostalgic when you read it.

Thank you very much for reading this review and liking it! I hope you all have an amazing day.



I am literally resentful with the fact that reading slump hits me while I'm on holidays. However, this book sounds action-packed and awesome. Just like what I need at the moment! Hopefully, this book will SLAY my reading slump.
Profile Image for Heather.
403 reviews16.9k followers
January 4, 2019
I had really high hope for this because I love Buffy so insanely much but sadly I did not love this book.
I felt like the plot and characters were sloppy. I did enjoy the humor of the book, it had the quick wit and satire the show had.
Overall disappointed with this sadly.
July 14, 2019
Slayer by Kiersten White

Read the full review and more at Blame Chocolate.

🧛 A big thank you to Simon & Schuster for the review copy. This has not influenced my opinion in any way. 🧛

Slayer was a great read, I just wish I’d become truly engrossed in it from the very beginning and not just halfway through. I’m glad I pushed myself to give it a chance, otherwise I would have missed some epic content!

The diversity was amazing, the dynamics were fantastic, the characters (both heroes and villains) were incredibly fleshed out and easily burrowed their way into my heart.

While the plot did take a while to unfold, and the pace felt very sluggish at first, I feel that once it got going there was no stopping it and I couldn’t have asked for a more entertaining story. Some of the plot twists were excellent and really helped win me over, too.

At one point, I realised that for someone who has never really been a Buffy fan, I would never be able to enjoy this book quite as much as someone who grew up with it. The connection isn’t there and so the nostalgia factor gets wasted. I probably also missed a lot of cool and useful references.

But White herself is a fan and she did her absolute best to make this a worthy homage. In fact, Slayer was so adorable it made me excited to try the show again and see what I’ve been missing!

3 stars

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Profile Image for Sylvie .
686 reviews960 followers
January 23, 2019
by Kiersten White

4 out of 5 Stars!


Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been one of my favorite t.v. series growing up (I know, it's not the most appropriate show for little girls, but regardless everything I continued watching it till the end). #Whoops!
Because of my love towards the series and the movie, the minute I saw there will be a Buffy spin-off I was over the moon, even though I haven't read anything by the author at that time. Therefore this book has become one of my top anticipated books of this year and fortunately it did not let me down (One thing I did before reading this was not to get into the book with high hopes, because of my past experiences with other books that ended up disappointing me).

Before writing my thoughts on this book, I want to make two things very clear:
1) If you're not a fan of Buffy or never watched anything related to it (series, movie, spin-off and etc.) you may not like/enjoy this book.
2) For those who love Buffy, don't compare this to the t.v. show, it may be a slight disappointement for you.

''We were Chosen for something we wouldn't have picked for ourselves. But you were Chosen because of who you are. So don't let being a Slayer define you. You define being Slayer.''

One of the things that bothered me so much about Nina our protagonist/chosen one/damsel in distress at first then suddenly becoming a badass, is her hatred towards Buffy, Nina wasn't the only one who hated Buffy, almost everyone in the Watcher's Academy did, they blamed poor Buffy for almost everything she did. I do understand why Nina and the rest hated her in the first place, but without Buffy and the many sacrifices she did for them they wouldn't be alive in the first place. All things aside, I did like Nina as a main character, but her mother and Artemis (her twin sister) weren’t my favorites, I found both of them annoying and unlikable.
Rhys and Cillian were the highlights of the book. I could not ask for a better couple for a book.
Another character I would like to include in this review is Honora: She is the kind of a person you will love to hate with every one of your guts, or maybe it was just me.

I think the author tried to liken Slayer as much to the tv show as possible, I wouldn't say it was a complete success, but I'm also not saying it is a fail. There were moments where the humor in this book was a lot like Buffy.
I enjoyed this book very much, but as I mentioned it before: ''Don't compare this with the t.v. series''.

The mysteries were very obvious and I wasn’t surprised by the turn of events. Also, the concept of the story was much more milder than the Buffy franchise. In my opinion the author wrote this for the younger audience. I would say the whole genre of this book was hanging between middle grade and young adult. But, let's look at the bright side, I never grew tired of this book.

The ending wasn't very cliffhanger-y, it felt more like a standalone. Yes, I know there are a lot of questions left unanswered, because obviously the author did that on purpose for the second book. I do expect much darker elements, storyline and action for the second book.

After reading the book and getting Buffy references, all I want to do is to rewatch Buffy's show.
Profile Image for Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura).
522 reviews758 followers
December 6, 2018

Thank you Edelweiss and Simon Pulse for sending a review copy in exchange for an honest review

Actual Rating: ★★★.5

“Being chosen is easy. Making choices will break your heart.”

When I found out this was going to be a think I squealed! I knew I had to add this to my TBR. And Simon and Schuster blessed me a few months ago with an ARC.

I took a bit long to finish this book but there is no denying that I was really enjoying it. It reminded me a bit of Vampire Academy. It was a bit slow and it took me a while to get into the story. Nina was an interesting main character. She was trying to discover who she really is and where she fits in the world. She was impulsive at times and I often wished I could tell her a few things, but she believed in herself more later on and I admired that. There was some Buffy trash talk though, and that really really annoyed me. It did change towards the end though.

The story was a tiny bit slow paced but there was some action in between and the last 100 pages were my favorite! That’s when I felt like the action really picked up. I can see where this is going and I honestly really really enjoyed this book! Well, there are still books to come and I’m really intrigued to find out what will happen next. The story ended in a sort of cliffhanger and only the coming books will tell what happens.
Profile Image for Jessica.
744 reviews619 followers
March 14, 2019
Two problems with this. 1. I’m too old and 2. as a massive Buffy fan the constant Buffy-bashing really annoyed me. I get it, it was part of Nina’s character development to realize that Watchers maybe aren’t quite God’s gift to mankind and that Buffy is not the reckless and selfish idiot they all made her out to be BUT. It still pissed me off. Now about me being too old for this...I was just so exasperated with Nina and her little-girl mindset. She always went for the obvious woe-is-me teenage conclusion, it was exasperating to read. I also feel like I’ve read stories like this one a thousand times already. Everything was so standard and lame. Lame prophecy, lame love interest and lame conclusion in the end. And I just realized there was a third problem. I didn’t like ANY of the characters. They were all either unlikable or just so bland. Just like Nina was such a stereotypical heroine.

The only cool thing about this was seeing Buffy again and Faith, plus the one cool twist at the end.
Profile Image for Mel (Epic Reading).
917 reviews283 followers
February 25, 2019
Nostalgia can be a powerful emotion that makes it difficult to rationally and subjectively review a topic or book. So I forewarn you that as a teenager I was heavily influenced by Buffy the Vampire Slayer. By the time Buffy and Angel were done on television I was 21 and had heard the messages of Joss Whedon weekly through my formative years.

I like the choice of time period in Slayer. We are told it happens 3 years after Season 8 ends. Therefore 2 years after L.A. is sent to Hell and shortly after magic has disappeared. Just long enough after for people to have started to adjust (6 months) and set-up what there life is like now without magic. We meet our watcher teenagers that lead the story during a time when they are in hiding and no longer really needed; as there are now a large number of Slayers and no more to be made if magic stays away. If you are familiar with the Season 9-10 comics then you will know exactly when this is likely to be taking place.

Lead Gal
Like Buffy and her friends our lead gal is a teenager who is frustrated with her life. She hates Buffy (much to my amusement as Buffy was never my favourite character) and blames Buffy for her life being ruined now that there are too many Slayers and no magic left. Unfortunately as Slayer moves through it's narrative our lead gal becomes difficult to sympathize with. She's a bit whiny and certainly needs to get some perspective on what it was like to be Buffy and crew faced with the decisions they were. Luckily perspective is (*cue eye roll*) exactly what our lead gal receives. I can't help but feel it's extremely cliche and boring.

I found it incredibly difficult to feel like the Watchers were as important as they make themselves out to be. Maybe because Scoobies are easily found to do research and a Watcher 'education' is not required? Maybe because I cannot forget how the Watchers showed up that one time on Buffy's birthday and tried to tell her how it was going to be from the helm of the old boys club? Or maybe it's because I dislike the idea that a powerful and strong girl isn't capable of also being smart enough to remember details about demons or do her own research? Perhaps ironically I'm about as far away from being a Slayer as anyone could be. I'm more of a Xander or Willow type that has their nose in a book researching (as many of you reading this review likely are too!). This led to a difficulty to really care about this set of lost Watchers in the woods. In fact they might be as creepy as the watcher in the woods from the movie and book of the same name (and from 90's pop culture). Not only are they undesired by the general public but they are in hiding and trying to influence without being seen.

The Cameos
I really loved the cameos! We get to encounter all kinds of people we know from the Buffyverse. But here's the thing; what if you read this and didn't know anything about the 'verse, you would be lost. Many characters who 'show up' in some way shape or form (in person, in dreams, in flashbacks, etc.) are never actually named. Now a fan of the show knows that a dark haired Slayer who says "five by five" is Faith. And we know the significance and intent that Faith may give an opinion or advice from. But for the average reader with limited Buffy knowledge this context would be completely lost. I'm not sure if that is okay or not. I suppose it depends on the purpose you believe this book was written for. Overall if the idea was to bring in a new, younger generation of Buffy fans then this is definitely a huge problem with the set-up Kiersten White went with.

Whether White intended to write this for existing fans or to draw in a new audience, it misses the mark. Slayer really only scratches the surface of what could be and misses out on a lot of the inherent darkness that always existed in Buffy. There is no real character that embodies what a vampire with a soul is like. As the anti-hero is always my favourite this perhaps felt like a bigger miss to me than others might feel. I craved more darkness and moral ambiguity than there was.
Additionally there are almost no vampires in this book. Weird right? Totally weird. I'm not sure why this decision was made but it felt like the wrong decision. Of course there are a million other demons in the Buffyverse; but I really craved and hoped for a vampire story and instead I got a demon enemy with a sprinkling of vampire on the side; almost as an afterthought. The disappointment at no classic one-on-one vampire vs slayer fights really struck me by the end of the book.

Comedic Relief
As is often the case in a Whedon built universe 'the' comic relief is one of the most important and interesting characters. In this case our comic relief was very obvious; and I loved the introductory description of our demon in a Coldplay shirt. It greatly amused me and sets up some context for our demon right away. I couldn't help but think of Doyle (from Angel) at times while this demon spoke. There were comments or thoughts that really resonated with me as being something Doyle might have said at some point had they been able to keep his character alive longer in Angel (look up Doyle and the actor if you don't know why he was written out of the show). This was easily my favourite part of the story. In fact without this cute demon I might not have hung in for the whole book.

Slayer has all the required elements of a Buffyverse story: gay couple, mysterious outsider, geeky girl, comedic demon, watcher(s), some fighting and a 'baddie' to investigate. Yet somehow it misses something for me. It was fine. Nothing special. In fact if you stripped the Buffy lore out and changed some names it could easily be an average teen novel of today. Maybe this is what bugs me about White's take on the Buffyverse... it's too average. Buffy was a leap ahead of it's time in the 90's and I really wanted this to feel like the next step forward. Instead it felt like we were reminiscing about the past and capitalizing off the reboot fever of the 21st century.
This won't be joining my Buffyverse, the same as the last couple seasons of the comics don't exist in my brain. You see, I have an idea of Buffy in my brain that may no longer be achievable; and maybe it's the nostalgia of my age and the time when Buffy was new and the best thing ever. Or maybe it's that I've grown past the ability to relate to the Buffyverse and Buffy-style characters anymore. I am 36 years old after all. Whatever the reason this was a miss for me and one I'm disappointed to put to the side and (mostly) forget; but also one where I accept that I may not be the target market and my heart may be too close to this universe to be totally objective.

To read this and more of my reviews visit my blog at Epic Reading

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Suzzie.
917 reviews161 followers
January 14, 2019
First off…the Doug reading Nicholas Sparks quote had me laughing!

Artemis seriously annoyed me with her petty jealousy of Nina being the chosen one for a lot of this book. It was understandable though because of her fear of losing Nina with the histories of slayers. I feel like though Nina did question herself a bit, it was everyone else (besides Leo) that was preventing and holding her back from being the slayer she was meant to be. However, the story is fun to read and I cannot wait to see where this story and the characters we were introduced to go because I think this series will end up being really awesome and entertaining. There really were some good twists at the end. Her power decision did annoy me but I think it is one of those choices where we can say, “bad move” because we don’t have to worry about making similar decisions really. Side note, the appearance of a succubus was appreciated since we don’t get too many succubus appearances in the recent years of fantasy.

My quick and simple overall: this is a fun first book and moves at a good pace. I’m really excited for the future of this series.
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,840 followers
June 7, 2019
i just siiiiiiiiiigggghhhhhh didn't care much for this book

i will mention that i never watched 'buffy the vampire slayer' as a kid, so i wasnt channeling any nostalgia soooo, maybe if you're a fan of the show things will turn out more positive??
here's to hoping

for me, there was something so irritating about the main character. right from the start, she keeps comparing herself to her sister and complaining about how different she is and whining about her mommy/daddy issues

and i really didn't care


the plot was alright, but the characters felt so juvenile. the attempts at humour fell flat for me and i wasn't EVEN hyped about the squad??? that's so not me omg. the twists didn't faze me and i just think i had a difficult time connecting with the slow writing.


“In short, Artemis is the strong twin. The powerful twin. The chosen twin. And I am . . . The one who got left behind.”
Profile Image for Nicole.
750 reviews1,937 followers
February 9, 2021
I haven't watched Buffy the vampire slayer, at least not all of it. I picked up this book anyway. I was reading it with a friend of mine who loves Buffy but she couldn't even finish it. We have almost the exact same taste so I don't think that affected my experience. Maybe a bit regarding the world building but that's about it. I was honestly excited about reading this book because I’ve always heard how many loved Buffy but I only discovered it a few year. It was kinda too late to watch it. I tried but the filming is too old. I thought though this book I might be able to join the fandom or try again watching the show. Sadly, it wasn’t what I was hoping for.

As for why I don't recommend it:
- it's childish
- all the characters were so not memorable
- bad twist at the end
- no chemistry between Nina and her love interest
- Nina holds stupid grudges
- I don't understand why she gets all these superpowers even though she never trained once in her life. Unfair.
- Artemis did a lot for her and she was so ungrateful
- the book is hella boring
- I forgot about it the moment I locked my kindle
- some things don't make much sense
- heroine is stupid who talks about watchers in front of strangers without thinking about it even though it's a "big secret"
- Nina can't let go of the past. at all.

Many said good stuff about Slayer which encouraged me to read it, even reviewers I trust, so I really don't see what's good about this. I was honestly considering giving this 2 stars since I didn't hate it nor hated any of the characters. However, it didn't manage to get any emotion from me wich is just as bad.

Profile Image for Khurram.
1,670 reviews6,661 followers
July 15, 2021
Not chosen

A very good spin off series set in the Buffyverse. An interesting take, a Slayer who was also a watcher. If there is one group who have more reason the hate Buffy Summers apart from the demons and vampire. It is the Watchers.

Nina grew up in the watcher society, now she is one of the few left. Yet she believes with all her heart in the Watchers. What the Watchers stand for. Now with the powers of a Slayer, she starts to see the other side of the story.

This a great story for all Buffy fans. Even before reading the acknowledgments I knew Kiersten White was a Buffy fan. Simply because of her respect for the source materials. Not the the tv show but the extra two seasons that were done in the comic as well. To someone who loves continuity like me this is gold.

I love the brave new world aspect of the story,and finding how the Watchers should fit into this is a great idea. Another good nostalgic touch in this story is Nina is about the same age that Buffy was when she became the Slayer. Yet where Buffy changed from normal to supernatural Nina was raised on the supernatural and it is the only world she knows. Yet she is not accepted into it. Add in her own personal trails and trauma. A great beginning of a new character. Also great side characters.

The only down side I found was a lot dame things keep getting repeated again and again. Example the mothers choice everything seem to keep coming back to that. Yet the character is 16 so as annoying as it can be, if is completely understandable.

If you are a fan of the series this is a great continuation. I am not going to day an ending because in Buffy (like this book) it is never the end.
Profile Image for Anastasia シ.
496 reviews137 followers
March 9, 2019
Full Review on my blog!
*a copy was provided by NetGalley*
“Being chosen is easy. Making choices will break your heart.” 

Wow. This was perfect in every way. It had action, romance, vampires, demons, I mean what more could you ask for?  

It was a little slow at the beginning but I was quickly drawn in. The plot was great! The chemistry between the characters was insane. I loved everything about the book~
For someone like myself who hasn't watched anything of Buffy, it was easy to understand what was happening. 

I just wish there was a little more world building.  There were so many questions left unanswered, I feel like there was a HUGE cliffhanger... BUT I cannot wait to read more! This is definitely a book you have to read, whether you've watched the show or not. I highly recommend it!

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Profile Image for Alana.
687 reviews1,309 followers
November 5, 2019
This was predictable but my paranormal lovin' ass didn't care in the slightest. I had a blast with the world building, characters, and all the action in between.

Definitely looking forward to the next one!

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Profile Image for Yusra  ✨.
249 reviews512 followers
Want to read
June 8, 2018
a cover! a description!! everything i could ask for!!!!


look at this queen writing so many books I LOVE IT AND I LOVE HER
no but seriously
I could read anything by her fsdjvshsv

Profile Image for Carrie.
3,230 reviews1,549 followers
December 14, 2018
Slayer by Kiersten White is the first book in the new young adult paranormal fantasy Slayer series. This series is a spin off and takes place in the same world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer after Buffy’s time when a new Slayer is chosen as she begins to come into her powers.

Nina and Artemis are twin sisters that have grown up in the Watcher’s Academy and couldn’t be more different from one another. Artemis has always been the strong and dominant twin training to become the best of the best of the Watcher while Nina has always been the bit of an outsider finally finding her place at the academy as a healer.

However, when a hell hound attacks Nina and her friends she quickly dispatches of the demonic beast to the amazement of those around her. Nina finally admits that she has felt different for the past few months and it becomes obvious that Nina has been chosen to become the next Slayer gaining all of the abilities that come with the job.

In my opinion Kiersten White has done a wonderful job balancing this new series with the iconic feel of the Buffyverse and inserting in her new characters and situations to continue the story. The book really can be read by anyone whether they were a long time fan with that same feel of the old or whether a new generation of fans who were never caught up in the original. There was just enough explanation of the world to allow new readers to be comfortable with the new characters and their story but also to set the stage of the classic for those that remember that feel too. Other than a few slow parts this one was a lot of fun and I’ll be looking forward to seeing what is in store for the twins after the cliffhanger of an ending.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Sara (sarawithoutanH).
512 reviews3,472 followers
January 2, 2020
Ok, if you're not a fan of Buffy then I don't think you'll like this. But I have loved Buffy since I was a wee teenager and this made me feel so nostalgic. It was campy and cheesy, but so is Buffy. It just made me feel good to read it. It was like canon fanfiction. Really looking forward to reading more in this series.

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Profile Image for Chelsea.
316 reviews2,792 followers
January 13, 2019
Okay, so here's the deal:

I way overhyped this book going into it and I was totally aware that I was doing it. I've been a diehard Buffy fan since I was about 10 years old, it's my OG fandom. So literally anything remotely having to do with this world is going to be overhyped in my mind. That being said I think this series has potential (heh...slayer puns), but this book was anticlimactic as an introduction to it.

Things I disliked:
-It was a tad info-dumpy at the beginning. There were a lot of characters to introduce and a lot of catching up on the timeline of what has happened between when the show ended and this story begins.
-All the Buffy hating going on. It got repetitive reading over and over again how much these left over watchers dislike everything she did. Not exactly a way to win over fans of the show from the get go.
-Very little action. Not much actually happens in this book. It's a good set up for where the series is going but I could have done with a little more stabby stabby scenes. Also there was very little vampire stuff. Yes, demons were a big part of the show but if this is going to be an introduction to a new slayer, we should have seen some staking and dusting.

Things I did like:
-All the easter eggs that were tossed in that only diehard fans would be able to point out. There were a few things mentioned that really paid homage to the whole series.
-The tone was similar to the first few seasons. The early episodes of the show never took themselves too seriously and the humor is cheesy, I think this book stayed true to that. The characters are sassy and do feel like teenage versions of the scooby gang.
-Seeing things from the watchers' side of things. As a book nerd, I can always relate to all the research and ancient tomes that Giles had. Since most of this book takes place from a watcher's POV instead of a ditzy blonde who doesn't care about history and just wants to fight, it was nice to see.
-That Buffy, Faith and other slayers are actually present in this. It's nice to see characters that feel like old friends and their dialogue is true to them.

So as a whole, this could have delivered a lot more. That being said, I still enjoyed it and will continue on with the series just because I'm trash for anything Buffy.
Profile Image for Mari.
711 reviews5,604 followers
April 17, 2019

Full review up now on episode 65 of Snark Squad Pod.

This is not Buffy-verse story I wanted and as a story in general, it was deeply not for me. The pacing was bad, it was repetitive as heck, the main character was the least observant and suspicious, the story telegraphed everything our main character wasn't noticing, a big portion of the plot falls apart if someone (pretty much anyone) would just decide to use their words and I don't think this book completely knew who it's audience was or what it's point was.
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
513 reviews306 followers
December 5, 2018
Mini review:

Trigger warning: Mention of world ending, mention of fire, attempted murder, and seemingly neglectant parent. Up till the point I read.


I received this E-ARC via Simon and Schuster and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Two years ago I attempted to read And I Darken by this author. It didn't work for me. Though I really liked her writing style and kept on eye on her works. Slayer sounded mildly interesting. Although I am not a Buffy fan (never watched the show and don't plan too). I figured it could still be good. Unfortunately it didn't work for me.

The beginning was really good! Something I've noticed with this author. I was hooked and intrigued! Then there was the first chapter. Nina apparently really hates Buffy and mentions so about 5 times in one page. Now I know that I've never seen the show, but this was still a huge turnoff for me. That and Nina just wasn't that interesting of a character.

There is some information about the world and the events of Buffy to go on. So it's not necessary to watch the tv show. Upon getting a good idea of the world I found that I wasn't that interested. I feel that I have read better worlds.

One thing I will give this book is that it's an easy read. I probably could have read the entire book. Also I did like the other characters. Just not Nina. There's good chance she will develop. I'm just not interested.

Overall this was personal. I do still recommend. This'll be great for Buffy fans.
Profile Image for noa.
164 reviews103 followers
May 21, 2019
my friend : so did you like this book ?
me, sitting in my BTVS shirt, putting down my kazoo after having played a beautiful rendition of the show's theme song :

Slayer takes place at the Watchers Academy (people in charge of supervising and guiding a Slayer).We follow Nina, who after untimely events discovers she is the last Slayer. All her life, Nina has been prepared to become a medic, someone who fixes other, not someone who breaks them. Discovering she is the last Slayer also creates a bigger dent in her relationship with her mother, whom she believed always preferred her twin, Artemis and wanted her to become a Slayer, not Nina.

The world was amazing for mostly one reason : it’s Buffy’s world and I was already sold with the setting. However, the Watchers Academy just wasn't my cup of tea.

Even though I liked the writing style and I felt like it matched Nina’s inner struggles very well, it wasn’t enough for me to get invested. One of the main problems I had was that every character besides Nina (and possibly Artemis) felt one-dimensional and lacked depth. Not once did we rarely get under the skin of one of the other characters. Nina was a meh main character and wasn’t my favorite. Between her constant blaming of Buffy’s action and her rejection of being a Slayer, although understandable, felt exaggerated. I simply couldn’t relate to Nina nor did I feel any type of affection for her or any other characters. What I did like was the fact that Kiersten White was able to play on both Nina and Buffy’s personalities and put in parallel their reactions when they respectively discovered they were the Slayer. For someone who hated Buffy, Nina was surprisingly like her.

Overall, this wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. That being said, I did like Kiersten White’s writing which is why I might give a chance to her other books.

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Profile Image for Meagan.
334 reviews185 followers
Shelved as 'dnf-try-again-later'
March 2, 2019
DNF @ 35% maybe I'll try again later
10/17/18 So this is supposed to be canon???? I have to catch up on the comic book continuation ASAP!
I like you Kiersten. I really do. But do not fuck this up. When you evoke the name of Buffy, I expect greatness.
Profile Image for TheYALibrarian.
295 reviews133 followers
August 20, 2019
Rating 2 Stars

*sigh* Oh lordy did I have high hopes for this one. I thought for sure White would actually deliver and stop going the predictable, romance-centered route like she always does.

For did I want to love this book? FUCK YES

Was I here for this book? FUCK YES

Did it deliver? description Not really.....

The book did start out promising. I liked that we were starting off characters that were working to become watchers. I could already get a hint of these characters personalities and I was really liking Reese, Artemis, and Killian. But then the main character Nina just went on a rant about how much Buffy sucks. How she destroyed the world again, how she has no respect for watchers, blah blah blah. It's a little off putting when you are a Buffy fan which I am. Yes Buffy has fucked up quite a bit but she never had disregard for watchers. Giles was a father figure to her. So as I could understand where Nina was coming from since Buffy was the reason her father died she still didn't have to keep going on about it.

Another big issue I had was Leo. He was a decent guy (minus not delving the important detail that he is half demon) that became Nina's watcher once her Slayer powers grew to fruition but it should have just stayed professional. There doesn't always need to be a romance. But knowing White there always has to be one.

And then there was Artemis. I can get wanting to protect the sister that was always the weakest of the two of them but it was getting a little ridiculous when she always tagged along on missions. How she always insisted that Nina was incapable of taking care of herself even though she now had super human powers. The worst part of all of it is that she refused to believe her own sister that Honora was bad news and that the demon Doug was not. It's hard to believe sure but you would think you would do the mature thing and give your sister the benefit of the doubt. So yeah she frustrated me.

Speaking of frustrating even the adults were at times. How they refused to make Artemis a watcher when she failed the test just because she chose her sister over the world. How they also were reluctant to accept Nina as the last Slayer. It was all dumb and whenever Nina or Artemis tried to confront their mother she would always get defensive and leave in a huff. Now that is childish. A lot of things could have been solved if the council put on their big boy and big girl pants and tried to actually pay attention to what was going on. Since they didn't one of them ended up dead and a member of the council ended up being a demon who caused the death and almost killed Killian. The more I think about it, the more it seems that everyone was acting like idiots.

Then there was the fact that the plot was predictable af. I knew something was off about Eve, her behavior being shady and always trying to niggle at Nina's brain to make her think Eve was trustworthy. Their mother was acting almost opposite but it was obvious she was not the bad guy and was just keeping a lot of secrets. So it came as no surprise when Eve revealed her true form and drained Nina of her slayer powers. Nor did it surprise me when Nina's mother divulged everything and that she was just trying to protect her girls and loved them with all her being. Don't get me started on the weirdness that was Nina's dreams where she can interact with other slayers, including Buffy. Her little emotional conversation with Buffy was just weird so was the one with Faith. I knew White was trying to include Buffy in this somehow but I think it would have been better off if Buffy was just a name mentioned in this book. Last but certainly not least was the ending of this book...

me after finishing it:

So Leo dies and comes back for the last time to somehow give Nina her powers back? Okay....can anyone say dumb, dumb, and more dumb.

Anyway do not recommend to Buffy fans and I guess the only thing I can say I liked was the good pacing of this book and the characters Reese and Killian. That's it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,868 reviews2,245 followers
January 11, 2019
DNF about 150 pages in

^^me when this book didn't live up to my expectations.

Buffy was my whole life from age 12 to................. well present. It's the show that defined me. I made lifelong friendships because of my love for this show. When I found out there was a YA novel set in the Buffyverse I was so excited! But honestly..... this book was BORING.

Hopes and dreams dashed. Most anticipated book of 2019 was a flop.

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