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The Last Slayer by Nadia Lee
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The Last Slayer

by Nadia Lee

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At first, I thought THE LAST SLAYER was going to be my new favorite urban fantasy. Ten, fifteen, twenty percent of the way through the book, I was glued to the page, thrilled to my toes, ready to squeal with glee. I adored Ashera because she seemed to be effortlessly in control of her life, in peace with herself and her place with the world.

One of the first things we learn is that she's plain bordering on ugly, but she shrugs off the sting of being mocked for her looks by being a savvy and competent demon hunter. She's aware of her true value and secure in herself, so much so that she's got a great relationship with her very, very beautiful sister Valerie. Likewise, she's an orphan and foster child who was adopted into a very wealthy family where she was never quite treated as an equal. But she's grateful for the blessings she received - a fine education, for example - and not resentful about her lot in life.

Ashera balances corporate savvy with savage martial skills, and the first few scenes show us Ashera at her most competent. Overworked but sharp and snappy, she dives into a dangerous fight with a demon and comes out ahead. Things start to go wrong when the dragonlords arrive in town, supposedly for a meeting with a pharmaceutical company. Ashera attends as part of the security detail, but it soon becomes apparent that the dragonlords - powerful demigods - have their own agenda, and cooperating with the suits is not on their list. Actually, they're looking for Ashera.

Most of the stuff that happens after that point veers off into spoiler territory, so I can't go into specifics. Ramiel shows up, and Ashera's wishy-washy emotional monologues about him provide the first hint of where the book is headed. He helps her, but can she trust him? Is he interested in her as a person, or is he only helping her because he swore some sort of vow? Ashera changes her mind about him every chapter or so. Ramiel, for his part, is painfully consistent. He bends over backwards to protect Ashera, he offers her help and hospitality, but the second he's even the tiniest bit withholding or fails to lavish her with affection, she assumes he doesn't care about her and throws a tantrum. A tantrum! What happened to the kickass Ashera of yester-chapter?

In fact, the deeper we get into the book the less kickass demon-fighting action there is and the more long baths and wardrobe changes there are. It gets to the point where even Ashera thinks to herself, "Gee, I seem to be taking a lot of baths," and, oh-em-gee, that could pass for ironic understatement. She takes a bath at every single residence that she visits over the course of the novel, and at the really fancy palatial destinations, she takes several (to sample all the different tubs, I suppose). Once she dries off, she begrudgingly dons some sort of fabulous gown, grumbling all the while about how she's a slayer and doesn't care about such finery. It's around this time that she stops seeming like someone who can rise above her own plain looks and starts seeming really, really superficial. Once the quality that drew me to her the most corrodes into something so unattractive, I was done rooting for Ashera.

The story itself mostly amounts to Ramiel telling Ashera what she needs to do, and Ashera wavering a bit before she decides to follow instructions. Another thing that makes the formerly kickass heroine seem passive and weak.

By the end, this book that had me on the edge of my seat had turned into a chore. Not recommended. ( )
  MlleEhreen | Sep 20, 2013 |
Review posted at
Ashera">www.Thebookpushers.com

Ashera
Del Cid is a demon hunter who works with her foster family’s company that defends humans against demon dream attacks. When Ashera deals with a case that quickly turns ugly she comes across the mysterious and seductive Ramiel who claims that he is there to help and guide her because she is no ordinary demon hunter, but is actually a Slayer and the last of of her kind. With her life thrown in disarray, she is drawn into a web of intrigue and warring dragon lord factions because of her mysterious origins which she discovers brings major revelations.

You have to love an opening of a book where the heroine has to drink an energetic drug potion called Sex (which doesn’t taste as delicious as it sounds) to get a boost of preternatural energy to battle demons. Ashera is a smart and independent heroine who has some great wise-cracking lines and kick ass scenes. Although she is wary to get to close to many people, because of being abandoned as a baby and thrust from foster home to foster home, she is close and loves her foster sister and foster father who are also her co-workers, but she has always felt like an outcast and an outsider.

The romantic subplot was also a real joy to read and I really loved Ramiel who I think was pretty sexy and charismatic and the scenes he shared with Ashera oozed with sexual tension. I especially loved their first love scene which was very sensual and the imagery depicted was imaginative and erotic. I really liked how their relationship progressed in the book which had its fair share of road-bumps and especially how it tied in with the development of Ashera’s character who undergoes a real metamorphosis throughout the book. I also felt that the romance evolved naturally with real tension but without any forced angst and I look forward to see how it develops in future books to see how it further develops.

I also really loved Nadia Lee use of mythology which was really vivid and full of rich details. The world she created of dragons and their dragon lords, and other demon beings was very memorable, and it had a dreamy descriptive feel. The different types of dragons such as the wyrms and wyverns in the action scenes was tense and creepy. But I have to say I really loved the tinker wyrm who plays a butler type role for the Dragon-Lords, and I especially loved Toshi, who was Ramiel’s servant who gave real splash of humour to the story who was pretty neurotic about his domestic duties for his master.

I wished there was more time spent on Ashera’s feelings towards some of the revelations she uncovers especially the scene that is integral about her mother. And I did feel the pace slowed in the middle of the book whilst the ending was rushed and a bit anti-climatic with the lead up to the big battle, although that final scene felt really epic in scope and filled with high octane action. But nonetheless, it was a fulfilling ending to a highly enjoyable book.

The Last Slayer is an imaginative and action packed Urban Fantasy that I immensely enjoyed with its premise of dream demons and dragon-lords. For a genre that I have been kind of burned out on the past year or so, it really felt refreshing from the all the usual vampires, werewolves and witches and tropes that is usually featured in Urban Fantasy. The underlying erotic tone also adds a touch of heat but doesn’t overpower the story or characters but really adds to the book. With an engaging wise-cracking heroine and a smouldering hero, and epic fantastical tone, I highly recommend The Last Slayer if you fancy something new. ( )
  Has_bookpusher | Sep 20, 2013 |
The story is good fun, although I found it a bit hard to follow in some places. The heroine complained about her looks a little too much, but that's the only complaint I have at the moment.

Look forward to reading more, seems like a fascinating universe. ( )
  snitchbitch | Sep 10, 2013 |
At first, I thought THE LAST SLAYER was going to be my new favorite urban fantasy. Ten, fifteen, twenty percent of the way through the book, I was glued to the page, thrilled to my toes, ready to squeal with glee. I adored Ashera because she seemed to be effortlessly in control of her life, in peace with herself and her place with the world.

One of the first things we learn is that she's plain bordering on ugly, but she shrugs off the sting of being mocked for her looks by being a savvy and competent demon hunter. She's aware of her true value and secure in herself, so much so that she's got a great relationship with her very, very beautiful sister Valerie. Likewise, she's an orphan and foster child who was adopted into a very wealthy family where she was never quite treated as an equal. But she's grateful for the blessings she received - a fine education, for example - and not resentful about her lot in life.

Ashera balances corporate savvy with savage martial skills, and the first few scenes show us Ashera at her most competent. Overworked but sharp and snappy, she dives into a dangerous fight with a demon and comes out ahead. Things start to go wrong when the dragonlords arrive in town, supposedly for a meeting with a pharmaceutical company. Ashera attends as part of the security detail, but it soon becomes apparent that the dragonlords - powerful demigods - have their own agenda, and cooperating with the suits is not on their list. Actually, they're looking for Ashera.

Most of the stuff that happens after that point veers off into spoiler territory, so I can't go into specifics. Ramiel shows up, and Ashera's wishy-washy emotional monologues about him provide the first hint of where the book is headed. He helps her, but can she trust him? Is he interested in her as a person, or is he only helping her because he swore some sort of vow? Ashera changes her mind about him every chapter or so. Ramiel, for his part, is painfully consistent. He bends over backwards to protect Ashera, he offers her help and hospitality, but the second he's even the tiniest bit withholding or fails to lavish her with affection, she assumes he doesn't care about her and throws a tantrum. A tantrum! What happened to the kickass Ashera of yester-chapter?

In fact, the deeper we get into the book the less kickass demon-fighting action there is and the more long baths and wardrobe changes there are. It gets to the point where even Ashera thinks to herself, "Gee, I seem to be taking a lot of baths," and, oh-em-gee, that could pass for ironic understatement. She takes a bath at every single residence that she visits over the course of the novel, and at the really fancy palatial destinations, she takes several (to sample all the different tubs, I suppose). Once she dries off, she begrudgingly dons some sort of fabulous gown, grumbling all the while about how she's a slayer and doesn't care about such finery. It's around this time that she stops seeming like someone who can rise above her own plain looks and starts seeming really, really superficial. Once the quality that drew me to her the most corrodes into something so unattractive, I was done rooting for Ashera.

The story itself mostly amounts to Ramiel telling Ashera what she needs to do, and Ashera wavering a bit before she decides to follow instructions. Another thing that makes the formerly kickass heroine seem passive and weak.

By the end, this book that had me on the edge of my seat had turned into a chore. Not recommended. ( )
  MlleEhreen | Apr 3, 2013 |
I got this book a while ago for review but it's taken me a while to get to it, as I explained in a previous post. I'm really happy that I've finally read The Last Slayer, though, because it's a fast and delightful read set in an outstanding world.

Ashera del Cid lives in a world where demons are common, though dragonlords, who are demigods, are not. Ashera's made a great living as a demon hunter for her adopted family's firm, as she tries to track down the incubus who killed Miguel, her first love. Unfortunately for her, she's hired to help with a meeting with a dragonlord, which is what propels the rest of the novel, since the dragonlords have been looking for her since she's the titular last slayer. A spell had hidden her until her 27th birthday, so now she's fair game and they're looking to eliminate her as soon as possible. Thankfully, she has a mysterious ally in Ramiel, who saves her and helps her explore her birthright while also sexing her brains out.

Ashera's a fun protagonist and I quite enjoyed following her journey from regular (though talented) hunter to potential dragonlady. She's in a situation she's not prepared for, which is unusual for her, but she copes and struggles and perseveres even though she's out of her depth. I was rooting for Ashera almost instantly and I'm sure you will be too if you give The Last Slayer a try.

Ramiel's a nice foil for Ashera. He's mysterious at the beginning, but we learn a lot about him over the course of the novel and it gives him a lot more depth and helps explain his motivations. He acts as Ashera's guide, partner, and also lover, though the roles don't always sit well with Ashera, particularly when he's being less than forthcoming. After learning about his past, I'm quite intrigued to see where their relationship is going since they will likely continue to work closely together.

The world building of this story is what really grabbed me, though. The idea of dragonlords and dragonladies is quite fun, even though I think the term dragonlady doesn't sound nearly as powerful as dragonlord. (It does make sense etymologically but there's something about it that made me cringe the first couple times.) Dragon society is explored in really interesting ways and I particularly liked learning about the different types of dragons and the hierarchies and roles they have. My favourites were the fairy dragons, especially Toshi, who was absolutely adorable. He'll win you over instantly!

The one thing I did find a bit odd was the idea of Sex (with a capital 's') as a way to power up magically. But not necessarily by having sex. You can just drink it and apparently it comes in different flavours. The origins of Sex are discussed in The Last Slayer but I'm still not 100% sure why folks use it so I hope that it gets explained in more detail in the next Heartstone novel, which I fully intend to pick up because I want to find out what happens to Ashera next.

http://ireadgood.wordpress.com
http://www.tyngasreviews.com ( )
  jthorburn | Jul 9, 2012 |
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