The Last Slayer

The Last SlayerBy Nadia Lee

Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: December 26, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Netgalley

Ashera del Cid is a talented demon hunter, but when she kills a demigod’s pet dragon, the hunter becomes the hunted. Her only potential ally is Ramiel, a sexy-as-hell demon. Now the two must work together to battle dragons and demigods…and the chemistry crackling between them.

Ramiel has his own reasons for offering Ashera his protection. He knows her true identity and the real reason the demigods want her dead. What he can’t predict is how she’ll react when she discovers he knew who she was all along…

Ashera is shocked to discover that she is the only daughter of the last slayer. To claim her destiny, she and Ramiel must join forces to face down danger and outwit their enemies. Only then will she be able to truly accept her legacy…

Goodreads Summary

Some days it doesn’t pay to have a rep as the baddest demon slayer around, as Ashara Del Cid finds out when she’s hired to help out with some human-dragon negotiations and ends up toasting one of the dragons’ pet wyrms. Under attack, she reluctantly accepts help from a mysterious demi-god named Ramiel, who tells her that she’s been watched by the dragons for a long time – she has a destiny to fulfill and he’s the only one who can protect her and guide her through it.

This was a story that really grabbed me from the beginning and kept me reading because of all the crazy twists and turns. It begins so normally – as normally as an urban fantasy about a demon slayer can be – with a simple job for Ashaya and sort of explodes out from there. She begins as a character that is almost never seen in an urban fantasy or anywhere else – a relatively unattractive heroine. It’s a part of her, a lens that she sees things through and it becomes something hugely important to her later. She has a great, normal relationship with her foster sister that I hope gets continued – she really humanizes Ashara and I like that about her. I liked that despite her completely tough, physically strong and fearless exterior, Ashaya still worried about home, about whether she was good enough. I connected with her and could understand some things about her despite the fantasy setting so even when things got weird, I just couldn’t stop reading.

Once Ramiel gets hold of Ashara, the true fantasy part of the story takes over and things get a little crazy for a while. There are a ton of things to take in, a whole new world for Ashara to deal with and a lot of mythology to learn. For the most part, I like – and get – where Lee is going with all of this, but in a few places she lost me. I’m hoping in the next book things will clear up. There are some notable supporting characters introduced, especially Ramiel’s tiny butler-ish dragon Toshi who provides a lot of comic relief.

Ramiel is a slippery character that I never quite knew whether I liked or didn’t. He always seemed like he was on Ashara’s side and he did many things that were dangerous in support of her but he seemed sort of sneaky. I thought the constant trust issues between Ashara and Ramiel took up too much of the story. She’s one hell of a smart woman so the back and forth between them about her discoveries of his agendas and their relationship didn’t seem in character sometimes. I did love the murkiness of everyone’s motives, but I think Ashara would be more on guard, especially with the man she was intimate with given her past.

The villains Lee has created are wonderfully nasty and there are all sorts of Technicolor skirmishes sprinkled throughout the story with an epic showdown at the end that of course leaves big questions for the next book. This can be read as a standalone – there are hints given at the end that may answer some questions but you’ll be left with more that will want you to keep reading if for no other reason than to follow Ashara as she searches for the way to fulfill her destiny.

My Summary: Lee has created a complex and compelling world of demi-god dragons, slayers and demons with a badass heroine at the center. In this series opener, she’s already set up a second quest for Ashara, more secrets revealed about a deep family secret and the continuation of a hot romance with a little dangerous subterfuge involved. If you’re looking for a genre-blender of fantasy, paranormal and urban fantasy, then I totally recommend this for you.

Rating: B+

Barbara

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