Review: SLAY by Kim Curran
‘Slay did two things, and they did them well. Play killer music and kick demon butt. Music done. It was butt-kicking time.’
If you love One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer and McFly, you’ll love Slay. JD, Tom, Connor, Niv and Zek are the next big thing, and fans all over the world are eager to get a piece of them. They never stop touring, for one reason and one reason only.
Yep, you guessed it: so they have an excuse – and the money – to fly all over the world defeating demons and keeping humankind safe.
Milly discovers Slay’s secret when her mother gets possessed by a demon. Unfortunately the boys are too late to save Milly’s mother, but they manage to save her and she’s quickly swept up in a demon slaying adventure.
The demon possessing Milly’s mother, Zyanya, is desperate to resurrect Tezcatlipoca – the god of all demons – and she needs the Blade of Shadows to do it. The only way to destroy the Blade of Shadows is to take it to the Aztec temple where the ritual to bring Tezcatlipoca back must be performed. Risky? Yes. But there’s no other way to get rid of the blade, and if they don’t demolish it they risk the demons successfully managing to bring back the biggest bad the world has ever seen.
SLAY is basically an episode of Scooby-Doo. There are bad guys running around all over the place, slipping through the net and causing all kind of havoc, but you never really think they’re going to get away with it because of the meddling kids in Slay (and Milly, of course). It’s been compared to Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer too, and these are both good comparisons. This isn’t the kind of story you normally see on the page, and that’s both a blessing and a curse.
It’s a good thing, because it means that SLAY is a unique book, and you probably haven’t read anything like it before (even if you’ve definitely seen stuff like it). However, some of the scenes blur in an incoherent fashion – it’s written rather cinematically, but there’s not much description which makes it hard to follow exactly what’s happening at points. I certainly found this when the band are initially introduced: there’s a brief montage of descriptions about each boy, but they unfold so rapidly that it’s hard to differentiate them (except for Niv, who has been mute since the death of his and Zek’s mother).
This book is definitely aimed at a younger audience, sure to appeal to early teens who are just starting to get properly obsessed with boy bands for the first time. I know this would have been one of my favourite books if I’d read it when I was a bit younger!
I was torn between giving SLAY three or four stars, but decided to drop it down because the ending is a bit too quick compared to the rest of the story, which takes a while to develop. With the sequel, Slay on Tour, coming towards the end of the year, it feels as though the plot goes off the rails in the attempt to ensure the reader will return. I’m certainly going to, because the book ends on a little bit of a cliffhanger which has captured my attention, but if you’re looking for a fun standalone you don’t have to continue on with the series if you don’t feel so inclined.
If you’re interested in learning more about SLAY, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!