cover image The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill

The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill

Heather Brewer. Dial, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3741-9

Launching a companion series to the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Brewer rewinds the clock to deliver the back-story of a supporting character. After a vampire murders his younger sister, sensitive outsider Joss McMillan is invited by his reclusive uncle Abraham to join the secretive Slayer Society, an organization dedicated to killing the undead. Three years later, Joss, now 13, is summoned to upstate New York to begin the final phase of his training, in preparation for his becoming a full-fledged Slayer. Pushed to his limits, Joss conquers every challenge that Abraham and the other Slayers present to him, surrendering himself to his unforgiving and dangerous destiny. But as Slayers are killed, evidence points toward a traitor in their midst; forced to fight for his life, Joss must overcome his biggest weakness—empathy for his enemies. Action-packed and suspenseful, Joss's story works equally well as the start of a new series and as an expansion of the Vladimir Tod storyline, offering fans a sympathetic portrait of a slayer's rise to vengeance. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)