**4.5-stars rounded up**
Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting is the latest release from the fabulous Rick Riordan Presents imprint. It follows, you guessed it, a family of vampire hunters, or as they are commonly known, slayers.
More specifically, Serwa’s parents are the experienced slayers and Serwa is essentially a slayer-in-training.
More importantly though, Serwa is just a 12-year old girl trying to make her way through Middle School. That sounds scarier, doesn’t it?
Serwa and her parents are originally from Ghana, although Serwa has lived in the United States since she was very, very young. They’ve sort of bounced around, going wherever her parents skills are needed.
One day, seemingly out of nowhere an obayifo, or witch, from their past shows up at their house and attacks, allegedly searching for a magical artifact that Serwa has never heard of.
Whatever it is, it must be serious business because their home is destroyed and before Serwa can even wrap her head around what is happening, her parents are ditching her in a remote town in Maryland with an Aunt and a cousin she barely knows.
Serwa is shocked. Her parents have always included her in their adventures. She doesn’t understand why they would abandon her now. She needs them.
Making matter worse, Serwa must even attend school. After being home-schooled her whole life, this is bound to be a big adjustment. She’s the new girl and doesn’t quite fit in.
Luckily, she has her cousin and is able to make a couple of new friends. When mysterious things begin happening at the school, though, Serwa is afraid there is a adze, or shape-shifting vampire, in their midst.
Could this be related to the attack at their old house?
When she tries to tell her parents about it over the phone, they don’t believe her and then cut themselves off from her completely.
Wow, that’s harsh. Serwa can’t tackle this very serious issue alone. Thus, she is forced to confide in her new friends. She’ll just have to train them to be slayers as well. She can always wipe their memories after…
What ensues is a wildly-magical romp following Serwa and friends as they try to solve the mystery, protect a magical artifact and save their school from evil forces.
I absolutely adored my time reading this. I listened to the audiobook and definitely recommend it. The narrator did a phenomenal job breathing life into these characters. Oh my goodness, was it fun!!
I loved the influence of Ghanaian culture and folklore felt throughout this story. I liked reading about how her family and culture impacted Serwa.
That’s really the beauty of this imprint. I’ve always learned from these books and find the different legends and folklore from around the world captivating to read about. This was certainly no exception.
The fact that it incorporates vampire lore makes it that much more fun!
I really enjoyed Serwa as a character. Her personality actually reminded me a bit of Aru Shah. I think that may have been because even though Serwa didn’t quite fit in, it didn’t stop her from being true to herself; a fun-loving, curious, determined young person.
Not everyone can be the super popular kid, nor should they want, or need to be. I loved how Serwa’s character was able to overcome being alienated from a lot of her peers. Once she found her friends, they became so close and really grew stronger together. It’s quality over quantity, y’all.
I also loved the mystery to this and the high stakes. Brown did an incredible job building the intensity as the story progressed. There wasn’t a dull moment to be found.
I did get super frustrated with Serwa’s parents though. Oh my word, I wanted to reach through the pages and shake them at times. We can’t expect adults to get everything right though, can we?
There was a truly jaw-dropping revelation towards the end of this. It basically flipped what I thought I knew on its head. I loved that! It took me completely by surprise.
Even though I found some scenes towards the end a tad confusing, I definitely think this concluded in a great spot to keep Readers drooling in anticipation of the sequel.
I cannot believe I have to wait a year to see where this story is going to go from here. You got me, Roseanne A. Brown. You got me good!
Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Another stellar addition to the Rick Riordan Presents imprint!!