Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Review: Slayers by C. J. Hill

Author: C. J. Hill
Publication: Feiwel & Friends; 1 edition (September 27, 2011)

Description: Dragons exist. They’re ferocious. And they’re smart: Before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant, so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it – these “Slayers” are descended from the original knights, and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator’s daughter who didn’t sign up to save the world.

The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?

My Thoughts: Dragons are real and, unlike the Disney version, they are mindless beasts who eat humans. However, there are few dragons and they can have very long gestation periods. Most humans have relegated them to the realm of myth. But now the latest eggs are preparing to hatch and slayers are being born to battle them. These Slayers are modern teenagers. The only thing they have in common is that they are descendants of the ancient knights who battled dragons to near extinction and that their pregnant mothers came near enough to a dragon egg to trigger the dormant slayer DNA in their babies. 

Tori Hampton is a spoiled senator's daughter when she arrives at the camp. She has always had dreams of dragons and has always known that they were dangerous. She wrecked her father's crystal dragon collection when she was small. She has studied all the myths. She has also studied martial arts, archery, shooting, horseback riding and skating. She is smart and athletic. She has been wanting to attend this camp for several years but her parents convinced her to give other camps a try. 

She is finally at dragon camp where she joins other slayers who have had the advantage of knowing what they were and training together since they were pre-teens. Tori has a hard time fitting in at first with the other teens even though two of them are hot boys who are the team captains of the two training teams. Jesse and Dirk are both convinced that Tori won't last as a Slayer. Tori isn't at all sure she even wants to try. She would rather that someone other than her be the one who has to fight dragons. Finally, her sense of duty and patriotism kick in and she gets with the program. Each Slayer has a special talent that can be used to battle dragons. Tori knows that she has exceptional hearing but that isn't one of the talents that their leader - Dr. B. - has identified. It isn't long before they realized that Tori can hear what is happening around the dragon eggs.

The few remaining dragons and dragon eggs have been preserved by a family that can link minds with the dragons and who want to use them to take over the world. Our Slayers need to stop the man in charge - Overdrake - because it looks like his plan could work. Just a few dragons over Washington, DC who are the size of large airplanes and who shoot out a field that wrecks all electronics could be enough to force the government to give in. 

This story has the kids training and has them conduct a raid on the facility where Overdrake is waiting for the eggs to hatch. Along the way, Tori learns about her own talents. The group also discovers that they have a traitor in their midst who has been passing information on to Overdrake. That person's identity would be a spoiler so I won't share but his/her moral conflict between his/her duty to his/her family and duty to his/her friends was well-done.

I can't wait to read the sequel which will be coming out soon. Fans of teens who have to do heroic deeds will enjoy this story.
Favorite Quote:
Down below them, the city lights continued to glow steadily against the darkness. Each light represented a life. A happy, oblivious life that had no idea of the sacrifices she was being asked to make.

She didn't know if she could do it.
I received this finished copy from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for review. You can buy your copy here.

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