Title: The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill
Author: Heather Brewer
Release Date: September 20, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (Penguin imprint)
When Joss McMillan was 10, his sister was murdered, killed by a vampire who snuck into her room and drank her blood. Three years later, Joss is brought to the Catskills by his uncle for some training. Some special training. training to be come a Slayer, a killer of vampires. But what happens when they discover vampires also hidden in the Catskills? What happens when they believe there's a traitor among them? Will Joss be able to survive?
Heather Brewer brings her minions right back to the beginning, but this time she gives us Joss's side of the story that first began in her The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series. Readers will dive right back into a world populated by humans, vampires, and Slayers, and new readers don't have to worry about missing anything important (but I would advise that they read Vlad's series as well, to learn both sides of the same story).
Such a change from Brewer's other series. Here we get Joss at what could be his most vulnerable, his most desolate and lost and confused. He's so young but also so emotional, a trait his uncle is ready to beat out of him. Even if it costs him his life. This book made me love Joss the way Vlad's series made me love Vlad. They were so similar in the beginning, lost and confused, not sure who he could talk to or turn to, trying to figure out the new change in their lives. Trying to stay alive.
This book was interesting, giving us the beginning of Joss, before he was harsh and unforgiving, before he wanted to kill Vlad because he was a vampire. Joss the Slayer is all we knew, all Brewer gave us, and this allows us to understand the circumstances, to walk the mile in the other person's shoes so we learn why he does what he does.
I adored the scenes with Kat. I want more Kat. I didn't expect her to be there, the one spot of normal in Joss's harsh and brutal summer, but I loved it.
Fresh but familiar, Heather Brewer don't disappoint loyal minions left wanting more at the end of her previous series and gives them another tortured soul to care for, one who does what he does in the memory of his murdered sister.
(I received an advance copy from a friend and fellow blogger. She'd picked it up at ComicCon on a whim and I told her I wanted it.)