My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Simon & Schuster Canada
Published: September 24th, 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Gaming, Black Culture, Racism, High School, Relationships, Family, Friendship
This isn’t the type of story that I would typically read. Mainly because I prefer to actually play games than to read about them. But SLAY is such a unique and thematic MMORPG that I couldn’t help but get curious about it. I also loved the fact that it was created by a teenage girl with a normal life many people can relate to. Keira Johnson’s voice is equally strong and gentle. She is kind, patient, loving, smart … but not one to let disrespect slide.
Half of the story is spent in the ‘‘real world’’ and the other half in the SLAY world. It may be disorienting in the beginning if you’ve never read a book about gaming before but I assure you that you will understand SLAY quickly and adore it just as easily. It’s all about Black culture. The cards that are used to fight other players explore a particular element of Black culture. So this is the kind of book that entertains you as much as it teaches you.
My only regret is that it’s so descriptive and the majority of conversation that happens is in text form, which makes this a pretty slow read. It took me three days to finish it despite having lots of free time and being genuinely interested in the story. Part of me wishes there had been pictures because, to use that cliché saying, a picture says a thousand words. Thankfully, I enjoyed reading about the two SLAY moderators greatly, Keira and Claire. Keira’s family is also intriguing, especially Steph, her, sister, who is a know-it-all you can’t help but love.
This book did not disappoint and I’m looking for more from this author in the future, but please oh please add a quicker pace to your stories if possible Ms. Morris.
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