Hachette Australia, together with the #AusYABloggers are celebrating the release of SLAY by Brittney Morris. On tour, you will find Aussie bloggers, reviewers and Instagrammers sharing their thoughts on SLAY, beginning on October 28th and running until November 1st 2019. AND TODAY IS MY STOP ON THE TOUR.
We are different ages, genders, tribes, tongues, and traditions… But tonight we all SLAY.
By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is a college student, and one of the only black kids at Jefferson Academy. By night, she joins hundreds of thousands of black gamers who duel worldwide in the secret online role-playing card game, SLAY.
No one knows Kiera is the game developer – not even her boyfriend, Malcolm. But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, the media labels it an exclusionist, racist hub for thugs.
With threats coming from both inside and outside the game, Kiera must fight to save the safe space she’s created. But can she protect SLAY without losing herself?
I loved SLAY. It is the kind of book that’s so engrossing you can’t put it down. The placing and the plot are phenomenal.
This is a book celebrating Black power and Black pride. This is a book about finding a safe space to be 100% yourself. This is a book about the good and the bad of online gaming. This is a book of a girl growing into a proud, brave and strong black women despite our modern society.
I loved the celebration of black history in this book. I loved the incite it will give non-gamers into what it feels like to immerse yourself fully into an online world. I loved being on this sometimes-nerve-racking journey with Kiera and Claire.
The POV alternates between game developer Kiera, game moderator Claire, with a few chapters sprinkled in from SLAY players. I loved the chapters from game players, but especially Jaylen’s, it really built out the whole SLAY experience. I wanted to jump into the pages and hug Jaylen, then give her a safe place to live were she could be a her and be the Queen she is in on the inside.
For three years Kiera has made and maintained a safe online space for Black gamers, but she has kept it a secret from the people in her life, each for different reasons. The secret catches up with her when everything she’s created comes under fire after a tragic event causes the mass population (white assholes) find out about the game and their exclusion. Nothing is over exaggerated in this book, as a white person I read it and thought, yep that’s how all those white males who never had to want for anything in their life would react and F*** you they deserve a safe place away from you assholes.
The dedication for this book reads “To everyone who has ever had to minimize who you are to be palatable to those who aren’t like you”. And the last line in the author’s acknowledges reads “To the Black gamers out there hungry for more heroes who look like us, I wrote this for you. #SLAY” I think these two sentences tell you all you really need to know about this fantastic read.
I say it all the time when I’m talking about queer books, everybody deserves to see themselves represented on the page, and that goes for on the screen also. I think this book perfectly gets that message across from an inside perspective. This book is never preachy, but it is real, and the message comes through loud and clear.
I loved this book and I think everybody should read it.
Side note: The whole time I was reading this book I was thinking what a fantastic movie this would make, fingers crossed it makes the jump like THUG and the world gets an equally awesome movie adaptation.
“Kings and queens, you know the drill. We are here first and foremost to celebrate Black excellence in all its forms, from all parts of the globe. We are different ages, genders, tribes, tongues, and traditions. But tonight, we are all Black. And tonight, we all SLAY.”
To follow along on the tour head on over to the AusYABloggers blog tour master post HERE, it has all the links to all the tour hosts.