Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “SLAY” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.26  ·  Rating details ·  2,486 ratings  ·  758 reviews
By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her ...more
Audible Audio, Unabridged
Published September 24th 2019 by Simon & Schuster Audio
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about SLAY, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Miss Bookiverse There are no specific scenes but it is mentioned a couple of times that the main character has had sex with her boyfriend before.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,486 ratings  ·  758 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of SLAY
Brittney Morris
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I mean, I think it's pretty cool.
may ➹
SLAY is a book that I think should be in everyone’s hands. It’s such an important read, and I think it’ll be an eye-opening experience for many, while Black people will find comfort in this story so openly celebratory of Blackness.

The book follows high school student Kiera, who developed the game SLAY in an effort to carve out a space for Black gamers, after having to deal with the racism prevalent in the gaming world. With half a million users, it’s a community for and of Black gamers coming
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I need more books about gamer girls in my life and a badass black gamer girl who creates her own video game and takes some racist POS to task? YES. PLEASE.
This isn’t the type of story that I would typically read. Mainly because I prefer to actually play games than to read about them. But SLAY is such a unique and thematic MMORPG that I couldn’t help but get curious about it. I also loved the fact that it was created by a teenage girl with a normal life many people can relate to. Keira Johnson’s voice is equally strong and gentle. She is kind, patient, loving, smart … but not one to let disrespect slide.

Half of the story is spent in the ‘‘real
C.G. Drews
This whole book was so deeply fantastic. It's one of those ones where you have to remind yourself to like, unclench your JAW, because you're reading and stressing and loving the whole thing. I admit not not being knowledgeable about video games, but this actually made me wish I played something. (I mean I did Sims at 14 but WHO DIDN'T.) I also thoroughly respected the heart and love and care that came with reading an #ownvoices book about Blackness. The book is a love letter to black teens and ...more
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

SLAY, on the surface, is everything I want to read about in a book. STEM heroine, science-fictiony elements, video games, diverse rep, real world issues, and political/feminist dialogues. Below the surface, however, are several Issue Sharks swimming and circling and waiting for me to dive down below and check it out so they can chew up my expectations to ribbons.

Did my expectations become sad, tattered ribbons of disappointment? No. But
Lauren (The Novel Lush)
I'm going to really work on this review so I'll probably edit it several times, but MY GOD this book is so fucking GOOD! So much of our culture packed in 300 some odd pages. Generations of Black nuances and expression everywhere I looked. UPLIFTING Black people of all shades, all genders, all sexualities, all personalities.

Aside from that, this book is just a piece of art! The thought and world building in the game alone. THOSE CARDS FRIGGING SENT ME! Can we actually have this game please?
'As we duel, as we chat, there's an understanding that "your black is not my black" and "your weird is not my weird" and "your beautiful is not my beautiful," and that's okay.'

Damn, this book! My favorite part of the whole book is easily the MMORPG, SLAY, itself but I'm also highly appreciative of how much about being proud of Black culture it is about as well as some very kickass and well-developed Black characters while being super relevant to issues that are faced by Black people by other
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Now, before we start and you go mouthing off at me, I am a firm believer in equality. I hold everyone to the same standards no matter their race, religion. sex, sexuality, whatever. I'm a plot-driven reader and honestly don't give a fuck about a characters skin colour. The only thing I care about in a (main) character is a lack of an annoying personality. That being said, I went into this book with a completely open mind, hell, I shouldn't even have to be writing this disclaimer, but as I'm ...more
Claire ✨
In this mixed bag of novel, where the video game logistics don't make sense and the characters are boring, SLAY falls far short of slaying.

Oh boy. Here's an accurate depiction of my reaction from the start of this book to the end:

The biggest problem with SLAY is that the video game itself just isn't plausible.

The protagonist, Kiera, is a hard-working student with high grades who created and now maintains SLAY without her parents or anyone else knowing. I had so many questions that made it
Do you believe in love at first sight?

I do now. I was lusting over the cover of this book when I saw it advertised for #Bookcon2019. But now that I have finally gotten my hands on it and gotten a chance to read it I know that this is the book that I wanted to read as a little girl. As a Black woman I appreciate the depth of this novel and I'm sitting here reeling as it is Brittney Morris's first novel. I will certainly be buying copies of this book for the Kieras in my circle. Waiting with bated
This book was not made for me, but that's okay--that's kind of the point. As a white person, I'm so very rarely the person on the outside looking in, and so it's good and important and wonderful that I felt that way while reading this. I'm meant to be aware that I'm in a space not built specifically for me. So when I say, yeah, I absolutely adored this book...I can only begin to imagine how this book feels for black readers.

SLAY digs into some incredibly difficult topics, but does so with poise
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
“As we duel, as we chat, there's an understanding that "your black is not my black" and "your weird is not my weird" and "your beautiful is not my beautiful," and that's okay. It' brings tears to my eyes if I think about it too long.”

I knew when I saw this that I wanted to get my hands on this, so I actually requested this in two different places - just incase! I mean it was marketed as Warcross meets Black Panther - yes please! Thankfully Simon and Schuster was lovely enough to send me a
This book is getting a lot of hype and, honestly, it deserves every single bit of it. I don’t remember exactly what it was, or who, inspired me to request this one but I’m so glad I did. So here I am paying it forward : watch out for this one.

The summary perfectly sums up (hah) what this is about, there’s no need for me to rehash anything in my review, and honestly the less I say about this, the better, I think. Not only because it isn’t my place to talk about representation (which I never would
Update! Here's my full review: https://bookishrealmreviews.blogspot....

4.5 Stars. It took me forever to read this book because I was giving birth to my daughter while in the process of trying to complete it haha. Let me start by saying that this book isn’t for everyone. A lot of people will pick up this book and feel disconnected because they don’t understand the cultural and social importance of this book for black readers. I’ve seen this book get low ratings under the guise of “I don’t
Happy Book Birthday!

Reviewed on July 7, 2019:

I've been wavering between 3. and 4 stars since completing SLAY, so I'm settling on 3.5 stars because I have a HUGE gripe with the 'twist'. Not only do I have a gripe, it only gets addressed within the span of 2-3 pages. Even after a month, I still feel unsatisfied. I don't even know how to talk about it without spoiling it, so I'll mark the spoiler below.

Before I get to that, I will address all the positives :)


Kiera Johnson or "Emerald" -
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-the-book
This is a beautiful written book about being a Black teen that touches topics like racism and cultural appropriation. The setting is a high school with mostly White teens. And it is such a wholesome tale about friendship and trust. And learning how to listen to eachother.

Kiera is our MC, she lives with her sis (who goes to the same High school) and her parents. Kiera who btw kicks ass! Builds her own online game called SLAY for Black people only where everyone can be theirselves. It has become a
Wow another great dubet that I read this month. My reading streak is high rn. Onto my next read for the month! 4/5 stars!(:
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We are a diaspora. We span hundreds of shades, religions, traditions, and cultural nuances. If you don't understand what some of these cards mean, blame the slave trade.

I had a lot of feelings about this book, almost all of them mixed, but I came to the conclusion that although this book is for me in some ways, in many ways it is not. I'm a black, queer woman and over time I have come to terms with each of those identities separately and as a whole. It took a while, all of high school and
Kate (GirlReading)
A phenomenal book with a beautifully produced and performed audio narration.
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute listening to this. It truly deserves to be in the hands of all teens and adults alike. Brittney Morris is definitely one to watch, I can't wait to read more from her in the future. Loved it.
The Nerd Daily
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Sasha Zatz

If you love gaming and teenage girls who stand up for their rights, you will adore Slay. It was important and moving, I just couldn’t put it down! The author was inspired to write it after watching Black Panther, so I thought it was smart to pick it up just after I watched the movie and I was not disappointed.

The novel follows Keira, who secretly developed Slay, an online gaming community where black people duel from all over the
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, coming-soon-19

This book is a powerful debut that makes me extremely excited to see what Brittney Morris does next. The ending was the best part, the climax and conclusion equal parts action-packed, subversive and heartfelt. SLAY is a short and smart novel about the importance of freedom, pride and safe spaces where people can be their kickass selves in today’s frustratingly unjust society. Rating: five YASS cards/five

For fans of: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas, Warcross
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How do I give this book more than 5 stars? Thank you Queen Brittney Morris.
Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-author
3.5 Stars
Thank you to Simon Teen for sending me an ARC of this book to read and review.

I REALLY wanted to LOVE this, but I just didn't. For those who don't know I am a software developer so I really felt like the ball was dropped when it came to the technological aspects of the game. Based on the description I assumed it would just be like an online trading card game with a forum attached, something easily created as a website, but it turns out it's a much more immersive world.

Unfortunately it
Laurie –A Court of Books–
"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
I received an ARC of SLAY at BookCon, this in no way impacts my opinion. However, my opinion of this book is based on an unfinished and uncorrected copy, please note that what I've read may differ from the final book.

I don't feel comfortable enough about what bothered me in this book to actually phrase it properly and to write it down myself. It's always difficult to
The Artisan Geek
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcase

Finished this book yesterday, absolutely loved it! Review to come! :)

You can find me on
Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
Ben Babcock

SLAY in the story is a MMORPG where players duel using in-game cards that derive their names and powers from elements of various Black cultures. Kiera Johnson is 17 years old and should be worrying more about whether or not she’s getting into her first choice college. But she’s also the secret creator and developer for SLAY. She wanted a gaming world that embraced players’ Blackness rather than punishing it. She wanted a space where Black people could express themselves in “unapologetically
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
oh my god i need this
Oh. My. Wow!! I now understand why this book is so loved!

I love the idea of a powerful video game that brings people together around their history. I love that Brittney Morris got that idea, and I love how she rendered it in this book. The multiple point of view really helps to understand the immensity of the community, and how a game like this is needed, even in the real world. I love how she treated the online bullying aspect, and how you don't have to plan everything for your future. Let
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Full Disclosure
  • Pet
  • Jackpot
  • The Revolution of Birdie Randolph
  • Light It Up
  • Who Put This Song On?
  • Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
  • Frankly in Love (Frankly in Love, #1)
  • The Good Luck Girls (The Good Luck Girls, #1)
  • Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks
  • I'm Not Dying with You Tonight
  • War Girls (War Girls, #1)
  • The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
  • With the Fire on High
  • Patron Saints of Nothing
  • Clean Getaway
  • Gravity
  • Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls, #1)
See similar books…
Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY. She holds a BA in Economics from Boston University because back then, she wanted to be a financial analyst. (She's now thankful that didn't happen). She spends her spare time reading, playing indie video games, and enjoying the Seattle rain from her apartment. She lives with her husband Steven who would rather enjoy the rain from a campsite in the woods ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“As we duel, as we chat, there's an understanding that "your black is not my black" and "your weird is not my weird" and "your beautiful is not my beautiful," and that's okay. It' brings tears to my eyes if I think about it too long.” 7 likes
“As we duel, as we chat, there’s an understanding that “your Black is not my Black” and “your weird is not my weird” and “your beautiful is not my beautiful,” and that’s okay.” 0 likes
More quotes…