A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Chosen is the second book in the Slayer series from the world of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series and movie. It's written by longtime Buffy fan/bestselling author Kiersten White (And I Darken trilogy). It helps to have watched the TV series to keep up with some of the characters and lore that pop up throughout the story. Like the TV series, there's lots of demon fighting, mostly with stakes, knives, Tasers, and superpowered martial arts. Eyeballs are plucked out of vampires and also one bad-guy human, who then gets his neck snapped. There are plenty of injuries, including a slit throat and broken bones, and there's much talk about the deaths of loved ones and loss. Other mature content includes a few kisses, straight and LGBTQ, and some swearing, including "s--t" and "fecking hell," spelled like that. The main character, Nina, and friends get drunk on whiskey and absinthe and decide it's best to ask for a ride home. For most of Chosen, though, Nina is less decisive. Her guilt over past mistakes keeps her from trusting herself until she focuses every action on protecting those she loves.
What's the story?
In CHOSEN: SLAYER, BOOK 2, Nina, chosen slayer of demons, is setting up a sanctuary for them. She's determined to only slay the bad ones from now on. But lines get blurred when she finds out her twin sister, Artemis, is in cahoots with a drug dealer who preys on the very demons she's trying to protect. And when she discovers that a major funder of their operations, someone her own mother tells her not to mess with, is preying upon innocents as well. They all have ties to someone called the Sleeper, whose rabid followers will do anything to help him regain his power, even if it means the end of the world as we know it.
Is it any good?
The mysteries are too easy for readers to solve, but Buffy fans will still enjoy this witty, angsty sequel as wooden stakes fly and the other kind of stakes get even higher. Chosen follows the same pattern as the first book, Slayer, so you'll know who the secret bad guys are and you'll know what they're after. You may be miffed that the characters are so blind to it.
That aside, Chosen works well when it combines action with wit. There are plenty of moments where ultra-strong Nina takes out a bunch of villains while delivering the perfect one-liners. They remind readers what a strange job she has in this world of demons that can siphon off your feelings or skip through dimensions or hold conferences at the Marriott. Though, sometimes the wit turns to cynicism, which leads to some serious angst. While these passages of intense reflection could have been edited down, Nina's doubts and indecision are relatable, even if her butt-kicking job isn't, and Chosen soon gets back to the butt-kicking action.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Nina's dreams in Chosen. What do they mean? What does it show that she fears? How does she use them to focus on what's important?
What does Artemis want in the story? Why? Does she get it?
Would you read more stories in this series? Is there another character you'd like it to focus on? Who?
- Author: Kiersten White
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Publication date: January 7, 2020
- Number of pages: 368
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: January 10, 2020
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