Series: Slayer Chronicles #3
Published by Dial on February 20, 2014
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Heather Brewer, the New York Times bestselling author of THE CHRONICLES OF VLADIMIR TOD, brings this spin-off series to a thrilling conclusion.
All secrets will be revealed as Slayer Joss McMillan tracks a murderous vampire terrorizing his hometown of Santa Clara. During his investigation, Joss comes head to head with old enemies seeking revenge and faces the truth about his sister Cecile’s murder. Joss must use all of his skill to protect his loved ones, even if it means paying the ultimate price.
Heather Brewer has done it again! Third Strike is an amazing novel and an epic ending to an incredible trilogy.
The emotional growth that Joss has experienced from First Kill to Third Strike is massive. I’m pretty sure it’s the biggest character growth I’ve ever seen, in any book, period. He goes from a scared little kid, desperate to avenge his sister’s death and thinking all vampires are evil, to a young man, ready to take on whatever challenge comes his way, opening his mind to all these thoughts and possibilities – especially where vampires and the Slayer Society are concerned. He deals with a lot of inner turmoil and conflict, which further show the ways in which he has matured and grown.
I absolutely love Henry. He’s funny, sarcastic, the voice of reason and a loyal friend. He was amazing in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod and I’ve missed him, so it was great seeing so much of him in Third Strike. He and Joss were at odds for so long, but I’m really happy with the way their story ended. It was a perfect ending and it was fitting, considering. It’s hard to explain without getting spoilery. But, as a long-time fan, I’m really happy with where Joss and Henry were at the end of the series.
There are several more characters I would LOVE to talk about, but the thing is – especially as a series ender – there are so many spoilers attached to so many characters, it would be impossible to discuss them without ruining things for those who haven’t read the book. But I will send shout-outs to Sirus and Kat, two characters I loved and who.. Well, their fates were interesting. I’ll leave it at that.
Third Strike had a lot of different themes and concepts. Three that stood out to me were hope, understanding and compromise – Hope that things can get better; understanding that “No group of any kind of person is all good” – or, in some cases, all bad; and compromise, in that you can’t force someone to think the way you do but, over time, you can agree to disagree and sometimes, people can change their ways and beliefs.
There were some pretty epic revelations in this book, which is to be expected in a series ender – As a reader, we always hope the last book will answer all the questions we’ve been asking ourselves since book one. But when it comes to Heather Brewer, nothing has a simple answer and everything has a twist to it. I was literally on the edge of my seat for the last sixty or so pages. Every time something happened and shocked me, something else happened a few minutes later and shocked me more. Though one or two things came as no surprise – and one thing was even a little anti-climatic (though still sad) – I was still shocked with the things we learned. One theory I had turned out to be true, which is always fun.
Overall, reading Third Strike was bittersweet. On the one hand, I’m excited to finally have all the answers, to know what really happened and to see how it ended. I was so pleased with the ending and with where all (or, well, most) of the characters ended up. At the same time, I’m incredibly sad. Third Strike marks not only the end of the Slayer Chronicles trilogy, but also the end of new books set in the world of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. I’ve been a Minion since 2007 – seven years, guys. For the last seven years, I’ve always had new Vlad or Joss book to dive into, to distract me from real life. I’ve been a proud Minion and I always will be. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for another book set in this world, with these characters, because they are an inspiration, a comfort and a life lesson: Auntie Heather owns her weird and we all should, too. Be yourself, be happy and don’t ever let anyone push you down. Don’t let the bullies win.
If you have not read The Slayer Chronicles, I highly recommend them. And if you’re interested in investing your time, I HIGHLY recommend you read The Chronicles of Vladimir Todd, as well. These books are so amazing, I would recommend them to anyone and everyone. Even if you aren’t a fan of vampires, give them a chance. Because these books are about way more than just vampires.