[Download] ➾ Slay ➹ Brittney Morris – Pimply.info

Slay Actual rating 2.75 Now, before we start and you go mouthing off at me, I am a firm believer in equality I hold everyone to the same standards no matter their race, religion sex, sexuality, whatever I m a plot driven reader and honestly don t give a fuck about a characters skin colour The only thing I care about in a main character is a lack of an annoying personality That being said, I went into this book with a completely open mind, hell, I shouldn t even have to be writing this discl Actual rating 2.75 Now, before we start and you go mouthing off at me, I am a firm believer in equality I hold everyone to the same standards no matter their race, religion sex, sexuality, whatever I m a plot driven reader and honestly don t give a fuck about a characters skin colour The only thing I care about in a main character is a lack of an annoying personality That being said, I went into this book with a completely open mind, hell, I shouldn t even have to be writing this disclaimer, but as I m white, I m sure I ll be getting some racist backlash from someone Also btw white and black are the only races that exist in this book First of all, let me just say that Malcolm is up there with Umbridge and Voldermort as my most hated book characters What a dumpster fire of a human well fake human because he s just a character but you know what I mean Honestly, he s the main reason I had a hard time getting through this book Sometimes he d say or do something, and I d just had to put the book down and have a silent rage party It s no secret that Brittney Morris modeled him after Eric Killmonger I mean when we first meet him Kiera says he looks like Killmonger in looks, personality, and ideals So yeah, he s a hot psychopath More about him later because oh boy.I know that Brittney Morris intended to flip racism on it s head in this book, having her black characters say racist things about the white characters but all the while trying to convince us that Kiera wasn t racist I wasn t really sure what she was trying to get at, but here s the jist of what I got segregation is racist uh we all know that But Kiera makes a game for black people only segregating them from the rest of the population and vice versa , but Kiera isn t racist because she s black Now I m going to get some hate for this, but that s bullshit Everyone can be racist, no matter the colour of your skin Point finale And you can t say We want equality BUT we get to do things that other races get hate for and it be okay That s not equality Moving on.Oh Also there s this strange them going on about being black enough to be considered black or something I don t get it because honestly, who cares if you don t like or act like the majority of a community everyone is different and that should be okay , but is seems a little bit offensive if you ask me.Main girl Kiera is a little racist andthan a little bit in denial about it She spends most of the book acting like a prejudiced idiot, and when her fellow game developer comes out as mixed race to her and admits she was afraid to tell Kiera that, Kiera just becomesprejudiced I mean, for god s sake, she thinks the only white boy in her life is a Nazi because he has opinions that don t line up with her own mainly that he thinks exclusion based on race is racist and Kiera doesn t Unfortunately she is so in denial it s hard to read sometimes YOU CAN T FIGHT RACISM WITH MORE RACISM It only furthers the divide and gives every sideammunition Kiera has developed Slay, a black only virtual reality video game that is implausible we ll get to that in a second , but actually seems like it would be a good time She s a coding genius even though we never actually see her use her skills , excellent at math again, there s no real proof of that but we re supposed to take it a face value , hates getting her white keds dirty subtle, right It s obviously meant to be keeping that whole white and black seperate thing, but honeslt no one likes having pale shoes get dirty so it didn t have the impact Brittney Morris was going for the froot loops white milk thing Jordan Peele did would have been muchimpactful , and well honestly that s all we really know about her Unfortunately all of the characters except Malcolm but we ll get to him were flat and lacked substance I just couldn t make myself root for any of them which is unfortunate However, coming from a woman in the STEM field I can tell you that characters like Kiera are invaluable media and society seem to project this idea that the scientific community is very discriminatory towards women and POC, which funny enough isn t true but having people who aren t part of the scientific field saying that is scaring away brilliant young minds that happen to belong to women or POC, and seeing characters like Kiera being so successful in the STEM fields will hopefully encourage them to ignore the media and see for themselves join the scientific community Slay Basically a game of rock paper scissors but with cards in virtual reality What s so implausible about it This game is described to be very realistic with incredible artwork and sound effects, movement, object interactions, etc The thing is that this game is run by two teenagers , 17 year old Kiera and 19ish year old Cicada who don t have any money Games of the caliber described in the book cost upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars and you expect me to suspend my disbelief enough to believe that a 17 year old who can barely afford an hour with a lawyer and who s only source of income are sparse tutoring 60 tutoring sessions and a 19 year old with 37 euros in her bank account are the only ones to fund this project MmmmThe reason this was an issue to me has the same root as to why I have a problem with a lot of YA science fiction because I do require some aspect of realism in science fiction And yes, I know it s science FICTION, but the thing about science fiction is that authors are supposed to build off of pre existing science and fill in the gaps with their own ideas, real or not But completely ignoring science, or in this case, finance, in a world where it doesn t need to be thrown away a.k.a not a post apocalyptic setting or otherwise , is just lazy writing in my opinion IF this were my book, I would have had a wealthy benefactor anonymous or not donating to the development and upkeep of this game, which wouldn t be that implausible considering how popular SLAY is described to be In my mind that would have had minimum impact of the actual narrative, but would have made a world of difference And finally, that piece of shit Malcolm Basically everything that comes out of his mouth is blatantly racist or sexist I mean, he thinks that everything in society is designed by white men to keep black men in their place, and he believes that black women should be solely focused on their man Oh also he thinks that inter racial couples are disgusting and that we need to keep races pure you know, like the Nazis did I mean, he is so hell bent on proving how racist all white people are that he disguises himself as a Nazi swastika, blackface, character name, attitude and all , and goes into Slay just to blow it up from the inside because he thinks that video games were designed by the white man to distract black men from accomplishing great things I actually hadn t heard that one before And he s hella abusive Oh my god When Kiera is busy with other things, he legit confronts her in the cafeteria very aggressively may I add and demands to know why she isn t focusing all her attention on him He eventually even posts a death threat on twitter his handle is xxPeaceMongerFOOxx which, you know, made me laugh because he doesn t want peace and Kiera as most abuse victims do still believes he loves her and that he s just confused.It took Kiera so long to realize that he is a straight up psychopath and let her sister call the police on him for that death threat I mean it took so long that I was getting really frustrated, but unfortunately that s the reality of abuse The victim is often in denial and continues to defend their abuser She kept saying that he s just confused and he s just angry Yeah, he s angry, but her sure as hell isn t confused And poor Kiera believes that she can still fix him after the death threat Sorry hun, but first of all that s not your job, and second of all, you can t fix a psychopath Psychopathy is a way of being and isn t classified as a mental illness for that very reason But thank god for Steph who talked some sense into Kiera and tbh she was probably going to call the cops anyway because that s what a good sister does There s also this little thing I noticed peppered throughout the book Kiera is so convinced that the world is Eurocentric the western world is but the western world is essentially Europe so idk what to tell you but holy shit is this girl and most of the US from what I ve seen ethnocentric in regards to the U.S A lot of Americans believe that problems they are facing in their country must apply to the rest of the world They don t In Canada for example, our biggest racism issue is how a lot of people treat our indigenous peoples And in the UK a lot of people have a huge issue with Polish workers And this doesn t just apply to migrants and racism Also there s this whole thing about white English a.k.a British English being the standard, but considering that they invented the language, they should by default have the authority over it We wouldn t want to appropriate a huge part of a culture, would we Look, I m not trying to offend my american counterparts, but holy shit some of you have got to cool it Also I don t know if Brittney Morris knows how different countries work because in some parts of the book set in different countries there was some very questionable and stereotypical things that she claims to be going on as if she took one experience from one person and generalized it to an entire country Anyway, because of Malcolm being such a fucking prick and the frustration that ensued , the characters being flat as hell and the just a little bit too implausible game, I m going to have to rate this book a 2.5 I d still say it s an entertaining read, though Just not an amazing one This isn t the type of story that I would typically read Mainly because I prefer to actually play games than to read about them But SLAY is such a unique and thematic MMORPG that I couldn t help but get curious about it I also loved the fact that it was created by a teenage girl with a normal life many people can relate to Keira Johnson s voice is equally strong and gentle She is kind, patient, loving, smart but not one to let disrespect slide Half of the story is spent in the real wor This isn t the type of story that I would typically read Mainly because I prefer to actually play games than to read about them But SLAY is such a unique and thematic MMORPG that I couldn t help but get curious about it I also loved the fact that it was created by a teenage girl with a normal life many people can relate to Keira Johnson s voice is equally strong and gentle She is kind, patient, loving, smart but not one to let disrespect slide Half of the story is spent in the real world and the other half in the SLAY world It may be disorienting in the beginning if you ve never read a book about gaming before but I assure you that you will understand SLAY quickly and adore it just as easily It s all about Black culture The cards that are used to fight other players explore a particular element of Black culture So this is the kind of book that entertains you as much as it teaches you My only regret is that it s so descriptive and the majority of conversation that happens is in text form, which makes this a pretty slow read It took me three days to finish it despite having lots of free time and being genuinely interested in the story Part of me wishes there had been pictures because, to use that clich saying, a picture says a thousand words Thankfully, I enjoyed reading about the two SLAY moderators greatly, Keira and Claire Keira s family is also intriguing, especially Steph, her, sister, who is a know it all you can t help but love This book did not disappoint and I m looking forfrom this author in the future, but please oh please add a quicker pace to your stories if possible Ms Morris Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin 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 I needbooks about gamer girls in my life and a badass black gamer girl who creates her own video game and takes some racist POS to task YES PLEASE. This whole book was so deeply fantastic It s one of those ones where you have to remind yourself to like, unclench your JAW, because you re reading and stressing and loving the whole thing I admit not not being knowledgeable about video games, but this actually made me wish I played something I mean I did Sims at 14 but WHO DIDN T I also thoroughly respected the heart and love and care that came with reading an ownvoices book about Blackness The book is a love letter to black teens and r This whole book was so deeply fantastic It s one of those ones where you have to remind yourself to like, unclench your JAW, because you re reading and stressing and loving the whole thing I admit not not being knowledgeable about video games, but this actually made me wish I played something I mean I did Sims at 14 but WHO DIDN T I also thoroughly respected the heart and love and care that came with reading an ownvoices book about Blackness The book is a love letter to black teens and really unpacks a lot of cultural discussions with great care and nuance This book isn t here to teach white people it discusses the need of spaces for Black people to be safe in too, without white people monopolising things , but as a white person I m grateful for the chance to read it still and listen to important voices and perspectives.it also has really epic sisterly relationship with all the screaming and love that goes with that..I have so many sisters so this is relatable ha high stakes and it made me care so much, even when they re doing video game duelsI was just addictive and enthralling writing will spin you through the entire cycle of emotions honestly the visuals of the SLAY game were incredible and put me in awe of STEM girlsA brilliant novel, truly Instagram Twitter FacebookPinterestSLAY, on the surface, is everything I want to read about in a book STEM heroine, science fictiony elements, video games, diverse rep, real world issues, and political feminist dialogues Below the surface, however, are several Issue Sharks swimming and circling and waiting for me to dive down below and check it out so they can chew up my expectations to ribbons Did my expectations become sad, tattered ribbons of disappointment No Bu Instagram Twitter FacebookPinterestSLAY, on the surface, is everything I want to read about in a book STEM heroine, science fictiony elements, video games, diverse rep, real world issues, and political feminist dialogues Below the surface, however, are several Issue Sharks swimming and circling and waiting for me to dive down below and check it out so they can chew up my expectations to ribbons Did my expectations become sad, tattered ribbons of disappointment No But they definitely got gnawed on a little.Kiera is seventeen years old and one of the few black kids at her prestigious school She has a black boyfriend, and a supportive family and sister, but most of her friends are white, and a lot of people at her school treat her like she s the Official Ambassador of Black People , much to her annoyance The only place that she really feels like she can be herself is an online virtual reality MMORPG called SLAY which she built and coded herself.SLAY is to video games what Black Panther was for superhero movies it s the READY PLAYER ONE for black cultural references, and rather than taking an exclusively Western view, Kiera tries to be inclusive to the entire African diaspora in her game The premise is pretty simple it s a card based dueling game where characters can build decks and use cards that give them special superpowers, kind of like Yu Gi OhOnly instead of monsters, the cards have things like Black Jesus or That One Auntie s Potato Salad written on them.Membership is invite only and exclusive to black people, because Kiera wants it to stay a safe space It s completely underground and everything seems golden until someone IRL is killed over a game dispute, and suddenly SLAY is splashed over news headlines as the latest example of gang violence Worse, white people who aren t in the game start to say that its very existence is discriminatory if they don t get to play, and people begin to talk about whether or not the creator can be sued One of these in particular manages to get access to the game and trolls Kiera and other members ruthlessly, baiting them to come out and do something about it And Kiera intends to do exactly that.So, as I said before, I have a lot of thoughts I get why this book is a Big Deal , and honestly, the things I liked most about it were the things I liked about READY PLAYER ONE pop cultural references and wish fulfillment fantasy SLAY actually has a one up on READY PLAYER ONE in that it doesn t cater exclusively to the white and male geek niche this version is muchdiverse and female friendly, and I really appreciated that I also liked how many dialogues there were about ethnicity, culture, and safe spaces Even if I didn t agree with all of them, I loved that it was happening, that there were some really smart and meaningful passages in here that everyone should read especially teens about discrimination and bias, and honestly, it s a great learning opportunity.The dialogues in this book were probably my favorite thing about SLAY.The things I liked less about the book was the nebulous execution of VR and gameplay Does this take place in the future The technology that Kiera is using seems much beyond what we re capable of doing today, and the idea that someone invented all of this as a teenager without making any sort of splash until a murder happens seems a bit ridiculous Likewise, it seems like a lot of the players just sit around watching other characters play instead of playing themselves and, like, that s not really what you do when you MMORPG A lot of MMORPGs do have moments of slow play, called grinding, where you have to do repetitive tasks to build up stats, or you might have to wait in a turn based game for everything else to go through before you make your move It s deferral of gratification and it sucks Games are boring if you re not playing Anyone who has a sibling knows how much it stinks to have to wait around and watch someone play while you wait for your turn.I also thought the exclusivity element was iffy I fully get the need for safe spaces and places where people can shape and form their identifies in a way that is validating But I also don t think banning people of certain ethnic groups from these spaces is a good thing or should be celebrated, and it bothered me that the people saying this in the book were being branded as the bad guys Doing this doesn t just keep out the racists it also alienates allies, and also other people of color who might not identify as black, or who do identify as biracial There s this really sad passage in here where one of Kiera s friends actually asks her if she isn t allowed to play because she s half white, and I think the fact that Kiera s game membership fostered that kind of attitude speaks to the toxicity of that kind of exclusionary environment It wasn t really fully addressed either, Kiera feels bad, blows off talking to her friend about it, and then basically goes, no it s totally okay you can play my game But that doesn t address the issue, and it essentially makes Kiera the gatekeeper to black identity in this world.One thing I do want to praise this book for doing, however, is calling out racism within the community of people of color, as well as the effects of harmful rhetoric as spoken by both white people and people of color Morris did a good job showing how words can hurt even if they weren t intended that way There s a twist in here that s really well done I didn t see it coming, although once I thought about it, it all made sense and confirmed some of my initial gut feelings So props for doing the unexpected and making it a morality play without seeming heavy handed.Even though SLAY has its problems and I didn t 100% agree with all the messages in it, I did like the core message of the book it s a celebration of black excellence, black culture, and female empowerment I honestly am so excited for all the young girls and boys who are going to read this and enjoy a book about video games with a STEM heroine as the main character It s so great to see women especially women of color getting to live out their geeky wish fulfillment fantasies, too.Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review 3 stars SO FREAKIN GOOD can t believe i was sleeping on this book for a year read this via the audiobook and absolutely LOVED the narrators this book is filled with compelling and multi faceted characters, incredible game descriptions, and just a fast paced plot with INCREDIBLE TWISTS loved all of the discussions of race and the many parts of black experience that it touches on GO READ THIS BOOK NOW BECAUSE IT S FREAKIN AWESOME another fave of the year hands down. I m going to really work on this review so I ll probably edit it several times, but MY GOD this book is so fucking GOOD So much of our culture packed in 300 some odd pages Generations of Black nuances and expression everywhere I looked UPLIFTING Black people of all shades, all genders, all sexualities, all personalities.Aside from that, this book is just a piece of art The thought and world building in the game alone THOSE CARDS FRIGGING SENT ME Can we actually have this game please PLEAS I m going to really work on this review so I ll probably edit it several times, but MY GOD this book is so fucking GOOD So much of our culture packed in 300 some odd pages Generations of Black nuances and expression everywhere I looked UPLIFTING Black people of all shades, all genders, all sexualities, all personalities.Aside from that, this book is just a piece of art The thought and world building in the game alone THOSE CARDS FRIGGING SENT ME Can we actually have this game please PLEASE Oh man, I want to start the book over I binged it in about 5 hours and I need.Brittney Morris is an auto buy author for me from this day forward I had no idea what this was about going in, but it was so good you can find this review and others on my blog SLAY is a book that I think should be in everyone s hands It s such an important read, and I think it ll be an eye opening experience for many, while Black people will find comfort in this story so openly celebratory of Blackness.The book follows high school student Kiera, who developed the game SLAY in an effort to carve out a space for Black gamers, after having to deal with the racism prevalent in the gaming world With half a million user you can find this review and others on my blog SLAY is a book that I think should be in everyone s hands It s such an important read, and I think it ll be an eye opening experience for many, while Black people will find comfort in this story so openly celebratory of Blackness.The book follows high school student Kiera, who developed the game SLAY in an effort to carve out a space for Black gamers, after having to deal with the racism prevalent in the gaming world With half a million users, it s a community for and of Black gamers coming together to honor and be proud of their identities.But when a gamer is killed as a result of a conflict in relation to the game, SLAY is plastered all over the news and called racist and discriminatory Kiera is forced to deal with the consequences, all the while trying to hide her identity as the game moderator Emerald and fighting a troll in the SLAY gameIf black gamers want their own space online away from the eyes of the majority, let them have it Y all have Mummyand Legacy of PlanetsDo you need to have everythingI had so much fun reading SLAY It was a thoroughly entertaining, engaging book, and once I started reading, I didn t want to put it down Kiera s voice is so easy to read and relate to, and that made it an all theimmersive experience It s a mostly character driven book, but still has enough excitement to keep you on your toes.Kiera is a really strong main character, and not just strong as in well written, but also as a person in general Her strength as a Black woman is so admirable, and I love the way she isn t afraid to stand her ground And I love the little things that make up her personality too her joking and playful side, her beautiful love for people, and of course her passion for gaming.I also was pleasantly surprised to see the sibling relationship in this book I had no idea about it going in, and it was so relatable to me The way that Kiera and her sister Steph fought at times, and how Kiera felt an overwhelming love for Steph at other times I loved it all so much and it feels like the perfect sister sister dynamic.The side characters in this book were also interesting I think the most prominent ones were Steph, and Kiera s fellow game moderator Cicada While the book did talk about these characters and others, it was mostly focused on Kiera and I do wish it had expanded a bit upon other characters.And SLAY, the game itself It s so cool I m not much of a video game person, but SLAY sounded so good And I really loved that so much of Black culture was weaved into the game the cards that you use to duel are all based on important Black things And it s going to make for an AMAZING movie example of the cards, seehere I think SLAY is muchof a character driven book, which I don t mind and actually love The plot meanders a bit sometimes, but it means that we get to seeof Kiera as she grows and learns how to navigate in this world where her and others Blackness are unaccepted.But even though it s not super action packed, there is a really good plot twist that I didn t see coming at all though I do suck at guessing plot twists , and I LOVED it And because of that twist, and everything leading up to it, the end of the book gets a little bitexciting action wise, which I really enjoyed and think others will too My only complaints with this book were just small things that had to do with the writing There are a few other POVs sprinkled in, and I would ve liked it had it not been literally only one chapter in that character s perspective and with no further expansion Also, a very very minor thing, but some of the paragraphs in this took upthan a page and that took me out of the story sometimes, since it was so long.I also do feel like the pacing was just a tiny bit off, in multiple places The way certain events were wrapped up or resolved felt too quick and rushed at times, almost enough that it felt a bit unrealistic However, my enjoyment of the book wasn t affected a lot by these things, which I m glad for If we in the black community are thriving, surviving, learning, and living our best lives, we are all in the talented tenth Overall, though, SLAY is so powerful, and empowering as well The author artfully tackles issues that Black people face currently, and discuss topics that most people don t care to listen to I feel like there will be some people who find it annoying and too preachy or whatever, but I found it to be important, considering the fact that these things aren t usually allowed in narratives.Even further, it s just a beautiful, beautiful book It s hard to read at times, because you get justifiably angry at the injustices that Kiera and other Black people have to go through But seeing the pride that she holds over being able to create a safe space for her people and to cultivate a community of Black gamers who are unapologetic in showing pride in their Blackness It s gorgeous Absolutely gorgeous.I fully recommend this book, for its beauty and importance, its enjoyable story, and its strong characters I can t wait to seepeople fall in love with the book and the game, and I think it s a story everyone should read and rememberrep Black female MC, multiple Black side characters content warnings abusive relationship emotional , racism, video game violence, murder off page Thank you to Simon Schuster for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review This did not affect my opinions in any way.All quotes are from an advance copy and may differ in final publication

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