**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.**
I have harbored a secret for years – I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was so addicted to the show that I was an active member of The Bronze. If you now what that is, LET ME KNOW. I will share my screen name with you and maybe we chatted back in the day. With my secret finally out, you can understand why I was vibrating out of my skin with excitement for A YA BOOK ABOUT BUFFY! Well, a continuation of the BtVS story but with new characters. Y’all, this was so good. We all know that Kiersten can write but mother of pearl this blew my socks off.
This book already has a lot of hype around it and I’m here to tell you that it is all well deserved hype. This story pulled me right back into the middle of the Hellmouth and I never wanted to leave. This had references to past Buffy shows, characters, events, and more and it did it all without doing that horrific info-dump that most readers cannot stand. White does an amazing job of referencing the actual Buffy character without overdoing anything. Let’s just say that it everything was vague enough to figure out what was going on without the reader (me!) feeling like I was clueless. Any new readers will easily be able to figure out everything going within the Slayerverse.
This story was told from a new character, Athena (or “Nina”). She has a twin sister, Artemis, who was being trained to be the new Slayer, should one ever be called. Don’t forget this story starts AFTER the end of the BtVS show so the Hellmouth is technically closed and evil was no more. These twins were (along with the rest of the cast) were wonderfully complex and deeply flawed. In other words, they were perfect. They had sass, wit, a smart mouth, and a snappy comeback for everything. It was magic.
I will not give away what happens in the book but here is a teaser: While Nina was training to be a Watcher and medic, things start to happen around Nina that cannot be explained. Hellhounds show up out of nowhere and Nina knows exactly how to defeat them. She was never trained to fight but this girl knows just what to do. Does this mean Nina is a Slayer?
AAHH! SO GOOD! But while this story has comedic moments and some damn good one-liners, it is not all fun and games. There are some serious topics covered. Any good Buffy story/episode used dark humor to cover up the tough topics of family, fitting in, and destiny. I will provide you with a quote from the book to let you know what I’m talking about:
“Being chosen is easy. Making choices will break your heart.”
This story had my heart from start to finish. This was exactly what my Buffy-loving heart wanted and needed in a YA story. The characters were developed, the setting/world was spot on, and the plot was so good. I’m actually running out of positive words to use to describe how much I enjoyed everything about this story. I will not stop singing its praises so be prepared to hear more from me about it. If you were thinking about this one, DO IT. Add it to your TBR, pre-order it, borrow it from the library, what ever you need to do to read it. This is one you do not want to miss.