Into every generation, a slayer is born…
Kiersten White is back with the second in the series and her newest Slayer-verse novel Chosen. Set in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel world created by Joss Whedon, new Slayer Nina continues to learn the ropes. She even has a personal connection to Buffy Summers. Her father was a Watcher during the time Buffy was the only Slayer and died in his service. Now, Nina is the newest and last Slayer ever. As in, there is not going to be another after her. No pressure.
If you haven’t seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you will still be able to read this book and not miss any of the references. Any used are explained and used with context. It helps that the author is a huge Buffy fan herself. The YA novels are also canon and fit in the timeline of the show and continuation in the comic books.
Kiersten White is a New York Times bestseller and the author of YA novels. They include The Guinevere Deception, Slayer, And I Darken, Now I Rise, Bright We Burn, The Dark Decent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Mind Games, The Paranormalcy Series, Perfect Lies, The Chaos of Stars, and more. Kiersten lives with her family in San Diego, CA, where she lurks in the shadows and writes. You can follow Kiersten White on Twitter and her website. After her book Chosen is released on January 7, Kiersten will be going on tour. You can meet her in San Diego, Bozeman, Spokane, and more.
The official synopsis of Chosen from Goodreads is:
“Now that Nina has turned the Watcher’s Castle into a utopia for hurt and lonely demons, she’s still waiting for the utopia part to kick in. With her sister Artemis gone and only a few people remaining at the castle—including her still-distant mother—Nina has her hands full. Plus, though she gained back her Slayer powers from Leo, they’re not feeling quite right after being held by the seriously evil succubus Eve, a.k.a. fake Watcher’s Council member and Leo’s mom.
And while Nina is dealing with the darkness inside, there’s also a new threat on the outside, portended by an odd triangle symbol that seems to be popping up everywhere, in connection with Sean’s demon drug ring as well as someone a bit closer to home. Because one near-apocalypse just isn’t enough, right?
The darkness always finds you. And once again, it’s coming for the Slayer.”
So much happens during this book that I can’t even adequately prepare you for it. Chosen takes place a few months after the first book, Slayer, and Nina is still struggling with that outcome. She is conflicted by her medical training and the need to heal others she underwent in Watcher training. Add that in with her now amped up Slayer’s powers since she got them back with the help of Leo, they have people on edge and a little scared when she fully gives in to them. Things have settled into a routine at the Watcher’s Council castle, and everyone there has contently settled into their roles. But things don’t stay quiet for long, not when you are the Slayer. A new unknown threat starts up, causing the group to begin investigating, but they aren’t the only ones — her twin sister Artemis and her girlfriend Honora are on the same trail. Characters go through life-changing reveals, heartbreak, and more while trying to stay alive and stop the latest apocalypse event.
I liked how the book starts giving updates on what the characters have been up to since the previous novel. Everything seems to be told from two points of view, Nina and Artemis, as the two sisters are on two separate journeys and going after the new threat their own way. How each of them wants to deal with the demon causes friction between the sisters that turns to physical altercations when they cross paths.
It was nice to see the growing friendship between Doug and Nina, especially on the ferry ride, at a demon convention, and trying to figure out a name for a rescued kitten. Kiersten wrote each character to the point that you become invested in their journeys. With that, we got to see Rhys, Cillian, Jade, Doug, Imogen, the sisters, their mother, even Sean, and other characters’ progressions. They deal with heartbreak, betrayal, loss, parentage, fighting for what you believe in, and what you think is right. It is a rollercoaster of emotions and uncertainty of whose side is dealing with the Hell God.
My nerd heart smiled each time a Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference was either implied or made. Speaking of Buffy, there are some appearances from some beloved characters, more Slayer dreams, and references that are sure to please all fans. I truly enjoyed this book as both a Buffy fan and a sci-fi/fantasy genre fan. And the ending leaves the story open for a continuation – fingers crossed.