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?




Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY. She is also the founder and former president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club, and her work has been published in The Boston University Chimaerid Literary Magazine. She holds a BA in economics. Brittney spends her spare time playing video games, slaying at DDR, and enjoying the Seattle rain from her apartment. She lives with her husband Steven, who would rather enjoy the rain from a campsite in the woods because he hasn’t played enough horror games. You can find her online at



Slay is a thrilling book with epic battle scenes. This  story tackles racism in gaming The book touched on many topics of sensitive subjects cyber bullying, racism, self identity, and activism.

Kiera creates an online game especially for black kids.  She has hidden her role in creating the multi-player game Slay which is inspired by Black Panther. This video game wasn’t one that had a bunch of killings and senseless violence, it was a card duel type of game.In doing so, she found her voice and gave a voice to thousands of Slay players in the world.  Her boyfriend Malcolm thinks that the video gamer role-playing is an extension of real-life culture. When game-playing turns real life and someone is murdered, Keira has to come clean and expose herself as the creator.

It was a great story with amazing characters that really forces you to think. Many of the  characters were struggling to find their identity, beliefs, and values and wondering if their were  ‘black enough’, 

This was such a great book. The writing is descriptive, the characters and setting are realistic, and it was very easy for me to sympathize with Kiera as she fought through the thosel circumstances of the murder and the trolls. I didn’t care for the profanity, but other than that, I believe this book has lessons worth learning.

I would absolutely recommend this book. I couldn’t put the book down. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.


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