Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Guest Post on Slayers 2: Friends and Traitors by CJ Hill

This is one of the stops on the Slayers 2 Blog Tour with Fire and Ice as the host!  So, if you want to see what others thought, go there to check out the schedule!

Book Summary: In C.J. Hill's action-packed sequel to Slayers, the group of teens known as Slayers have been betrayed—but they won’t give up without a fight.

Tori’s got a problem. She thought she’d have one more summer to train as a dragon Slayer, but time has run out. When Tori hears the horrifying sound of dragon eggs hatching, she knows the Slayers are in trouble. In less than a year, the dragons will be fully grown and completely lethal. The Slayers are well-prepared, but their group is still not complete, and Tori is determined to track down Ryker—the mysterious missing Slayer.

What Tori doesn’t bargain for, however, is the surprising truth about her powers. She isn’t just a Slayer, she’s part Dragon Lord, too. How can Tori fight to save her friends when half of her is programmed to protect dragons? And with a possible traitor in their midst, the Slayers will be divided in more ways than they ever imagined.

My Thoughts

I was DYING to read this book, because Slayers was fantastic!  It didn't hurt that CJ Hill (her pen name) is one of my favorite authors!  My son and I were both thrilled when it came in the mail!  He got to read it first, since I have a lot more to do than he does, but I still was able to get it pretty fast!  He read it in a few hours and kept trying to tell me about it!  He is bad about spoilers!  So, I won't be!  I LOVE the Tori, Jesse, and Dirk characters deepening (to where you really feel like you know them, their conflicts, what they love, what they don't love, and who they are).  It was amazing seeing things from their eyes!  Once again, I can't wait for the third (and final) book in the series!  It is fantastic how CJ Hill manages to turn what you think is one book into a whole series!  I desperately hope that there will be a movie made of the Slayers series!

About the Author

About the AuthorCJ Hill is a pen name for a YA author who is best known for writing romantic comedies. (Slayers will be her 18th published book.) Her writing has shifted away from the romantic comedy genre, so her editor thought a pen name would be a good idea. (New books will include: dangerous dragons, time travel to dystopian worlds, and flesh-eating beetles.) Since the publisher refused to let her have the pseudonym : The Artist Formerly Referred to as Princess, she chose a name to honor her mother. CJ Hill was her mother's pen name, or at least it would have been if her mother had published. Her mother wrote a few children's books and a middle grade novel but was taken by cancer before she had fully learned the craft.
(Most writers' first novels aren't publishable. CJ Junior's first novel wasn't, but somehow was published anyway. Now, even though it is out of print, it remains forever available on Amazon, where it taunts her with its badness. This was another good reason to use a pen name.)
CJ Hill has five children, three of whom like her on any given day depending on who is in trouble. She has lived in Arizona for the last half of her life, but is still in desert denial and hopes that one day her garden will grow silver bells and cockle shells or maybe just tomatoes

Now for the guest post from CJ Hill!

The Slayers: Who they were and who they’re becoming
One of the challenges of writing a trilogy is that the characters need to grow, not just in one book, but in three. Tori’s growth has probably been the easiest. She didn’t know at an early age, like the other characters, that she was destined to be a Slayer. She saw herself as a socialite—a senator’s daughter who would do her best to represent her father and help him with his campaigning. Things she could do in high heels and designer dresses.
Becoming a superhero puts a big wrench into those plans. In Slayers, she has to put aside her plans, her time, her entire life really, for the good of the country. Despite how comic books portray their heroes, this would be a hard decision for most of us. Who wants a dangerous, unpaid job that would most likely lead to a swift death between the teeth of a dragon?
In Slayers: Friends and Traitors, Tori is committed to being a Slayer, but that doesn’t mean she believes she has to keep all of Dr. B’s rules—like that whole no-romance-between-Slayers rule. She also doesn’t want to be a captain.  She doesn’t want to make the battle decisions that will save some Slayers and sacrifice others. Personally, I wouldn’t want that job either. (When you come right down to it, I would make a lousy heroine.) Unfortunately for Tori, she’s stuck with the job of captain. It puts pressure on her and makes her grow.
Jesse has his own obstacles to overcome. In Slayers, he had to overcome his initial mistrust and dislike of Tori—which he accomplished so well that in the beginning of Slayers: Friends and Traitors he realizes that his feelings for Tori are a liability. It’s hard for him to stay focused on killing dragons when he’s more worried about protecting her. He struggles between wanting to do his duty to the nation and wanting to have a relationship with Tori.
And then there’s Dirk. I don’t want to give any spoilers away to those who haven’t read the first book, but let’s just say Dirk has a lot of internal conflict. His duty to his family puts him at odds with his loyalty to his friends. He struggles to do right by both groups. It’s a struggle that lasts throughout the trilogy. Since the first book took place exclusively at camp, the reader didn’t get to meet Dirk’s family. In Slayers; Friends and Traitors, the reader—and Tori—get a better look at them. I hope readers will understand better why Dirk is so conflicted.
In literature, it’s not the clear cut choices that are the most interesting. It’s those murky choices where there is no right answer. All of my characters must make decisions where there’s no way to untangle what they want, what is right, and what will hurt people they care about. It’s sort of like life sometimes. I guess that’s why we like reading.

You can buy this Slayers book, but if you haven't read the first one, you definitely need to buy that one first!

*Disclosure:  I was sent this book as a review, and was not paid for my thoughts!*

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