ARC Review: Slay by Brittney Morris

ARC review

Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2019 (first published: September 24th, 2019)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Buy Links: Kinokuniya Malaysia | MPH Online
Rating: 4.5
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Source: Huge thanks to Pansing for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.


By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, 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, who believes video games are partially responsible for the "downfall of the Black man."

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for "anti-white discrimination."

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

The story follow through Kiera, the main character who is develop of the game called Slay that over hundreds of thousands of Black gamers play the game. The reason she created the game is because she wants to showcase how awesome the Black people are, how multifaceted and colorful they are. It is a safe space for them. However, nobody knows she build that game, not even her parents, her boyfriend and even her friends. Everything run smoothly, she is an honours student at Jefferson Academy, enjoy playing the game she developed until, a tragedy happened on one of the players and people start talking about it, the media talks about it and her game, Slay has been labeled as racist, exclusionist. She was devastated by it and at lost. Too many things she has to think about and how she can protect her game without revealing her identity.

Slay carries an important message and a difficult one. It is a poignant, heartwarming and emotional story. I, honestly is feel that I could not find the right words to express my thought of this book. I'm afraid that I might write something that might not right but I want you to know that I despise racism. 

"All I ever wanted to do was escape into this magical world where for once I don't have to act a certain way because I'm black, and where I don't have to answer certain questions because I'm the black authority in the room, and where if I do something that's not stereotypically black, I'm different." Brittney Morris, Slay.

Brittney Morris has written such an incredible, powerful story also it puts at awe on the details she wrote on the VR games. I never play any VR games yet which I hope I will one day. It sounds really amazing. 

Overall, I know it is may a short review but Slay is an eye-opener for me that makes think a lot about things happened around. I love Kiera and her sister, Steph. The way Steph give her full support for her sister and the protection she gives to Kiera is really wonderful. I enjoyed reading this book so much. It was really an amazing read.