Slay was such a deeply fantastic novel, and I’m really honoured to be on the #AusYABloggers tour today!
Slay is one of those novels where you have to remind yourself to like, unclench your JAW, because you’re reading and stressing and loving the whole thing. I admit not not being knowledgeable about video games, but this actually made me wish I knew more about them. (I mean I did Sims at 14 years old, but WHO DIDN’T.) I didn’t want to put this book down, alright. I’ve never read a virtual battle I got so invested in ahhhhh.
The story follow Kiera, who has developed a game called “SLAY” that celebrates Black culture.
However it’s her secret, her solace for only Black gamers, and not even her boyfriend or best friend or sister knows she’s the developer. Then a player is murdered over the game and it starts to get media attention — the kind Kiera does. not. want. She just wants to have a safe place with this game? And she’s wracked with guilt over this boy’s murder, terrified of being sued, and questioning what she believes and why and figuring out who to trust. Basically this book had it ALL. Excellently nuanced messages, heartache, absolute STEM girl and Black girl power, and friendships I totally adored. 😍
The story has so much heartfelt #ownvoices discussion on Blackness.
The book is a love letter to Black teens and really unpacks a lot of cultural discussions with great care. I took a long time on writing review, because I want to acknowledge it isn’t here to teach white people anything, but I’m really grateful for the chance to listen. It talks a lot about the need of spaces for Black people to be safe in, without white people monopolising things, and I think this is such an important thing for white people to respect.
it also has…
- really epic sisterly relationship (with all the screaming and love that goes with that..I have so many sisters so this is relatable ha)
- high stakes and it made me care so much, even when they’re doing video game duels…I was just!!!
- addictive and enthralling writing
- will spin you through the entire cycle of emotions
- honestly the visuals of the SLAY game were incredible and put me in awe of STEM girls
A brilliant novel, truly.
Thank you so much to Hachette Australia for having me on the tour!
Black Panther meets Ready Player One. A fierce teen game developer battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther-inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for black gamers.
By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only black kids at Jefferson Academy. By night, she joins hundreds of thousands of black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY.
No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm.
But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals.
Driven to save the only world in which she can truly be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?
Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY. She holds a BA in Economics from Boston University because back then, she wanted to be a financial analyst. (She’s now thankful that didn’t happen). She spends her spare time reading, playing indie video games, and enjoying the Seattle rain from her apartment. She lives with her husband Steven who would rather enjoy the rain from a campsite in the woods because he hasn’t played enough horror games. Brittney is the founder and former president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club, a four-time NaNoWriMo winner and a 2018 Pitch Wars mentor.
| what do you think? |
do you play video games at all? is SLAY on your tbr pile yet? because it should be 🤗