Wednesday, August 30, 2023

🍷🍷 #Review of Sign of the Slayer by Sharina Harris

Title: Sign of the Slayer
Author: Sharina Harris
Format: 464 pages, Kindle Edition
Published: August 29, 2023 by Entangled: Teen
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Source: Entangled/NetGalley
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating: 2/5
Full Metal Alchemist meets Vampire Diaries in this fun and clever dark academia series…

High school is supposed to be about studying, socializing, and marching-band practice. Not fighting vampires. Then one night flipped my world inside out―now, my life sucks. But it isn’t all bad. I’m at a slayer academy, learning things like the real origin of vamps and how to make serious weapons out of thin air.

Every last one of them will pay for what they did. I’m doing great.

Until I come face-to-face with the actual vampire prince…and I’m not sure of anything anymore. Vampires are supposed to be soul-sucking demons. But Khamari is…something else. He’s intelligent and reasonable―and he seems to know things about me that could change everything.

He’s also hiding something big, even from his own kind. And when a threat from an ancient evil is so extreme that a vampire will team up with a slayer to take it down, it isn’t just my need for revenge that’s at stake anymore.

It’s the whole damn world.

Crystal's Thoughts:

Sharina Harris's Sign of the Slayer held a lot of potential. Vampires, slayers, the supernatural, and a forbidden romance... As a Buffy fan, I couldn't wait to dive into this story! Unfortunely, this book didn't live up to it's promise and it was a struggle for me from the onset.

Raven's life has never been what one would consider normal, but it's her life and she owns it. That is, until her high school marching band's bus is attacked by vampires and all of her friends are murdered. After being whisked away by a handsome stranger with supernatural powers, Raven's life is turned upside-down and nothing will ever be the same again... Sent to an academy of Slayers and Alchemists, Raven must navigate this new life she was thrust into and her new powers that are somehow stronger than anyone can explain. When a powerful Slayer object goes missing, Raven must work alongside the creatures she hates in order to find answers. Cans she put aside her prejudices in order to complete her mission, or will her anger and resentment doom them all?

Sign of the Slayer was an arduous read for me and I honestly should have DNF'd it when it took me five days just to get to 20%. At the beginning I was intrigued by the Buffy-esque vibes and academia setting. The storyline was a bit all over the place though making it difficult to follow from the start. It felt like the author had a lot of ideas that were never fully developed. I was interested in the academia setting itself, a cool concept of slayers and the scientists behind them, and wished the author had spent more time on world-building there so that we could have delved deeper into it's fundamentals. Readers receive substantial surface level information regarding the sciences behind the Slayer and Alchemist marks and weapons, but when the concepts came into play they didn't stick and made little sense.
The story is told in dual POV's. So while readers are learning all of the intricacies of the Slayers through Raven's eye, their history, and the tenuous truce between them and Vampires, you're thrown into the middle of vampire politics with Khamari's POV. It was a lot to keep track of, especially since all of these plot points were fragmented and not fleshed out. The budding relationship between Raven and Khamari is what ultimately kept me reading despite the insta-love feel to it all; angry FMC meets broody vampire MMC...heck yeah! However the actuality felt forced and I was unable to relate to either of these characters in the end. While Raven began as an entertaining MC with a snarky, take no sh*t attitude, it quickly became redundant and her character lacked any true depth beyond that snark. Her emotions were volatile, which while understandable under the circumstances, caused her to mouth off and make brash decisions. Id didn't see any real growth in her character and I was never certain of her true feelings. She was a walking contradiction for a majority of the story.

Then, there were a number of inconsistencies that took me out of the story often. For instance; the killing of a Royal (Which I believe was a born vampire?) was forbidden on one page, but on the next it was okay if done by the Maximus. Another instance was when the Slayers didn't want the Vampires in the know, but on the next page it was suddenly okay for an entire faction and the Prince to be aware. I had to keep going back to check what I had read. Bottom line, I was unable to connect with the writing and characters in Sign of the Slayer like I had hoped to and I won't be continuing with this series. Which is a shame, because I really wanted to love this book!

✔️ Buffy the Vampire Slayer
✔️ Vampires, Slayers, and the Supernatural
✔️ Young Adult
✔️ Academia
✔️ BIPOC Author
✔️ POC MC's
✔️ Dual POV
✔️ Intsa-Love
✔️ Royal Politics
✔️ Secrets and Scheming

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