(First book in The Slayer series, a companion series to the Vladimir Todd series)
How would it affect your life if one night you awoke hearing noises from your little sister’s bedroom? You waited outside her door hoping she’d go back to sleep. And when you finally open the door, you find that she’s just been killed by a vampire who is standing over her and who touches his thumb to your forehead, erasing much of the memory.
Still—you know that a monster of some sort killed little Cecile, but you can’t get anyone to believe you.
If you’re Joss McMillan and your uncle is Abraham, you’re on your way to becoming a slayer, a member of a secret society that works to eradicate vampires everywhere. Once a slayer, you’d find yourself on a mission in the woods near a hive of vampires. You’d train to be a worthy slayer. This is no easy task as training largely consists of being dropped in dangerous and even life-threatening situations, and then being expected to figure out how to survive. If you want a hatchet or a stake to drive through a vampire’s heart, you have to earn it first with a kill.
You, dear friend, are in for a lot of action. To complicate matters, slayers are being killed, and it appears that one of them is a traitor.
And if you aren’t likely to live this scenario?
Well, it is likely that your interest in vampires has made you a fan of the Vladimir Todd series, in which Vlad, half human and half vampire, has enemies on all sides—including, ironically, vampires, who don’t want the prophesied half-breed Vlad; and Joss McMillan. Joss begins the series as Vlad’s friend, but he turns enemy when he learns of Vlad’s true nature.
If you’ve heard me book talk, you know I love Vladimir Todd. Although I’m a bit less enthusiastic about this first Slayer book, it’s for reasons that I don’t think will affect most teens’ enjoyment of the book. I though that tossing Joss into numerous situations where he could be killed wasn’t very realistic (and certainly not very smart) training, and though Joss is quite intelligent, he can be pretty stupid if the action of the novel requires it. But, honestly, the combination of Joss’s whippings, exposure to the elements, and general torment along with his refusal to admit reality in the face of all evidence does make for some crazy action, and that’s going to be appealing for all readers.
You don’t have to have read the Vladimir Todd series to enjoy the Slayer series, but if you have read Vlad, it enriches the new series.