A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019!
“Gripping and timely.” —People
“The YA debut we’re most excited for this year.” —Entertainment Weekly
“A book that knocks you off your feet while dropping the kind of knowledge that’ll keep you down for the count. Prepare to BE slain.” —Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out
Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give in this dynamite debut novel that follows a fierce teen game developer as she 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. 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?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Brittney Morris’ buzzed-about debut reckons with forces that feel very timely, exploring the intersections between gaming culture, violence, and race. Teenager Kiera Johnson secretly develops a popular Black Panther–esque video game that becomes a lightning rod for controversy when a player is murdered in real life. Morris, along with her characters, uses this platform to dive into loaded questions but the story is never short of gripping. Told through the eyes of Morris’ sharp characters, SLAY doesn’t get bogged down by its big themes and innovative plot—it’s a clever and fearless novel.
This is an amazing book for anyone who wants a good story
Absolutely amazing!!!!! There are not enough words to express how much I love this book. As I’m writing this I’m overcome with so much emotion. Brittney did such an amazing job at bringing the characters to life and pulling me in. I felt like I was in the story. I initially bought the ebook and then bought the audiobook which just made the experience even better. Hearing the different characters voices and the build up of anticipation was thrilling! There were moments where I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting for what was to come. This book was amazing!!! Delving into the different types of Black excellence warmed my heart! It transcends over so many facets of life. Beyond college or education level which a lot of people tend to base Black excellence on. I am thoroughly pleased and will definitely be buying a few more copies to give to others. I know my little sister will love this book. Brittney killed me when I found out who Dred was! I was screaming when I finally realized it!!! That plot twist was everything. This book was so beautifully written and made me so proud to be black!!! I am hoping for a sequel in the future!!! Definitely a 10/10!!!