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Sunday, June 16, 2013

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Review: First Kill by Heather Brewer

The Slayer Chronicles #1
Author: Heather Brewer
Released Date: September 21, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Life is Killer on the Other Side of the Stake

Joss McMillan’s perfect life crashes down the night he witnesses his sister’s murder — at the hands of a vampire. He then finds out his family’s secret heritage: They are part of the Slayer Society, a group whose mission is to rid the world of vampires. Joss is their new recruit. As Joss trains, bent on seeking revenge for his sister, he discovers powers that could make him the youngest, strongest Slayer in history. But there is a traitor in the Society, one whose identity would shake Joss to the core . . . if the traitor doesn’t kill him first.

With over a million copies already in print, The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod is still sinking its fangs into new readers every day. Now, bestselling author Heather Brewer brings us the other side of the story, from the perspective of Vlad’s former friend turned mortal enemy: vampire slayer Joss McMillan. This is the first in a series of five books that can be read alongside Vlad Tod or entirely on their own. 

     Joss has always had this perfect life – good parents, a super close cousin that can pass as a best friend, and an ever so adorable little sister – until she was murdered. Then his life goes downhill from there and he discovers a group of vampire slayers that some of his family members are a part of for generations that can help avenge his sister's death.
     I thought The Slayer Chronicles would be a spin-off from The Chroniclesof Vladimir Tod (you know... after that kind of cliff-hanger in Twelfth Grade Bites.) But it's not and now that I think about it... Captain Obvious pretty much slaps me in the face. Of course it wouldn't be a spin-off. Go figure. But I probably already embarrassed myself saying that in my review for Twelfth Grade Bites from earlier this year (oopsies). And even if it's not... at least we get to hear the other side of the story and how Joss – friend, enemy, frenemy? - became a Slayer and crossed paths with our best vampire friend from Bathory, Vladimir Tod. ^_^
     Joss's sister is absolutely adorable (then again, aren't all little kids are? Even if most hate me for no particular reason... O_o) so it was really depressing that she was murdered – by a vampire. (Thank gods it's not Vlad!) In front of Joss. It's a lot for a 10 year old to handle – a loved one getting murdered by a creature of the night that is usually find in fairy tales or books. Abraham hasn't changed that much from Vlad's side – still strict and harsh, and definitely not getting any nicer. Maybe a little, but in the broad side, not really. But it's hard to imagine Abraham being creamed and practically screaming "bloody vampire" and it somehow gets worse than that.
     I would never have expected who the traitor would actually be. For some reason, I thought it would be anyone but him (his name is anonymous in this review, by the way. ;)). He was like an alternative father that Joss didn't seem to have after his sister's death who was sympathetic/empathetic, kind, caring – pretty much everything that you can imagine from a perfect father (or maybe Father of the Year) – and just seemed too nice to be backstabbing his fellow Slayers in the end.
     It's also really surprising, however, to find Joss making promises but later breaks them after he meets Vlad (I probably would've done the same if I were Joss...). But of all places, what in the world is someone else* doing interacting with Joss? (Curiosity hasn't killed the cat has it?) And -! Consider that break off as probably saying too much if I say it. Wayyy too much. O_o
*Words have been changed to avoid possible spoilers. You're welcome. :)

Rating: 4 out of 5 Owls

Book Trailer:

~Happy Father's Day!

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.