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review 2020-07-01 17:04
SLAY - Brittney Morris

audible audiobook

english review only

rating: 4.5 stars


Summary: 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?


My review: I need more of this!!!


Seriously, the closer I came to the end of the book, the sadder I got cause I didn't want to say goodbye to Kiera. Also Steph and "Cicada". I LOVE THESE GIRLS TO DEATH!!!!


I don't care how realistic it is for a highschool girl to come up and run a game like this. I just don't care. CAUSE THE STORY IS INCREDIBLE. THE GAME SHE CAME UP WITH IS INCREDIBLE. The mind of Brittney Morris to come up with such an incredible gaming world and the card system and just everything.


The topics were spot on and just super interesting to read about. Also I just about had it with white people calling it racism against white people if FOR ONCE THEY AREN'T INCLUDED IN SOMETHING. I read too much of that shit in social media over the last couple of weeks. I love that this was one of the main themes of the story and how ridiculous this notion is.


I need more books about girls in the gaming world!!!

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review 2020-05-02 14:04
Hell Bound
Hell Bound (Heroes in Hell) - Andrew P Weston,Janet E. Morris

by Andrew P. Weston


This one looked like an interesting concept, though not too far into it I started thinking, 'too much testosterone'. The writing is good, it just has the tone you get with stories about ex-Green Beret mercenaries who carry a glock, if you know what I mean. But the protagonist is a reaper and has the ability to harvest souls, something that other denizens of Hell find frightening. Apparently he can kill them too.


This was actually a good story and very well written. The ideas were original and although I didn't like the main character, a lot of other readers will. Especially those who like the macho vibe. I was immediately impressed with the vocabulary and use of language and have actually looked to see what else this author has written, hoping for something as good that might appeal more to my character sympathies.


The only thing that was cringe-worthy was some of the names, mostly of people but the Inseine River was of the same ilk. Clever, but maybe a little too clever.


The Hellscape aspect of the story was very well done and imaginative beyond what I usually see in this subject matter. I may actually read this again, despite my lack of attraction to the main character machismo. I have to rate it high for the quality of writing itself.

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review 2020-02-29 15:14
SLAY - Brittney Morris

Nobody really needs a sleepy 40-something white woman’s vague and poorly expressed opinion of a YA book written by a Black woman for Black teens, but if that’s something you’re actually interested in, here you go:


I really enjoyed it! I had a huge suspension-of-disbelief problem with the existence if the titular VR game (I think the book is being mismarketed as contemporary when it should be listed as sci-fi), but the real-life issues the book deals with are absolutely contemporary, and it gave me a whole lot to think about. I wish I could articulate my thoughts, but it’s like 1:30 AM and my brain is mush so all I’ve got is: book good, me have feelings.


I will say that parts of this book made me full-body cringe because I was a lot like the main character Kiera’s white friends Harper and Wyatt at that age, saying and thinking racist stuff that I thought couldn’t possibly be racist because I, myself, could not possibly be a racist. “We’re all the same on the inside! I don’t see color! I have a [insert minority here] friend!” Ugh. This book made me uncomfortable, but in a good personal growth kind of way. If only extra-white teen me could have read it! It could have saved my POC friends heaps of unintentional aggravation.

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text 2020-02-28 13:29
Reading progress update: I've read 219 out of 323 pages.
SLAY - Brittney Morris

Ah, they rent six servers, not just one. That makes me feel a little better. But how do these two jobless students pay for server rent x6? (Yes, I’m still pedantically stuck on little details. My brain won’t quit it. Help.)

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text 2020-02-27 15:16
Reading progress update: I've read 172 out of 323 pages.
SLAY - Brittney Morris

Okay, so Kiera is saying that she’s built the game over three years (starting when she was 14) using textures and character models crowdsourced (for free) from artists and coders in the player base. I guess it’s possible, but given the in-game descriptions, it’s still got to be in the future. Or an alternate Earth where VR socks are a thing. So far the most believable thing I’ve read about the gameplay is characters and their in-game pets glitching out and falling through the map. Why isn’t this marketed as sci-fi? Why make the Ready Player One connection in your ad copy and not follow through in your genre categories?

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