by Kiersten White
publication date: Jan 8th, 2019
book 1 of 2
my rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Synopsis via Goodreads
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.
So full disclosure, I’ve never seen the finale for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I’m currently making my way through the series, but this is the first time I’m watching the show in chronological order. I do however know it ends, I have in fact been spoiled on that. I think in the past I watched up to Dark Willow and then we didn’t have cable anymore and I was never able to finish the series. I also haven’t seen the movie and have no interest in ever seeing the movie.
Do you need to have watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer before reading this?
I mean you should at least watch one episode to understand Buffy’s character, but overall no I don’t think you need to.
And I really want to sit here and try to talk you into watching if you haven’t because it is a fun show with a girly badass who doesn’t want to be the Chosen One and I feel like the show kind of makes fun of itself for the chosen one trope. Like sometimes it seems like its a bit self aware and sometimes I don’t get that impression at all. But I guess overall why would someone pick up a Buffyverse canon novel if they weren’t a fan of Buffy?
I’m gonna stop now and just get into the review.
My actual thoughts:
First I am so sad that we don’t call Nina by her full name which is Athena. If I was named after Athena I would never let anyone call me anything else. Although I would love to be named Artemis as well.
The only other issue I had was the pacing with the reveals, I was pulled in with a pretty shocking sentence and then nothing, just back to the main storyline but I want the background when you drop a line like that!
I’ve come to a realization that I love reference points, I just finished The Dead Queens club and I was eating up all the references to points in history. I had the same feeling in this book with all the show references. My favorite was a remark about a watcher working with a vampire in Los Angeles…
Having the perspective of someone who was raised in the Watcher community was refreshing, along with her distaste of Slayers in general made for an interesting viewpoint. I loved Nina’s character from the start, she hasn’t been chosen to be trained as a Watcher and she doesn’t want to be a Watcher because she doesn’t want to work with Slayers, she wants to be a healer. I always love characters who start off knowing who they are and what they want, it makes the character growth that much better. I loved the internal struggle Nina faced, she wanted to be a healer and she spent a long time learning to fix things and heal people. The reality that a Slayer well slays things was a difficult thing for her to balance since she held the value of life so high. That was a wonderful thing to see.
My biggest complaint was that the side characters were pretty inconsistent about how they acted with Nina, they contradicted their own actions and thoughts several times.
I really loved this adventure into a different section of the Buffyverse and it really made me want to watch more Buffy. This reminds of last year I was reading the Lord of the Rings and playing Shadow of War which is also set in Middle Earth, from there it made me want to marathon the LOTR movies, so my life was just filled with Middle Earth for a couple weeks and I’m feeling the same feeling now with Buffy.
I just need to figure out how I can be a Slayer without losing what makes me Nina in the process.