Thursday, May 6, 2010
(I'm reposting this review from my old blog The Black Vampire Chronicles)
All Damali Richards ever wanted to do was create music and bring it to the people. Now she is a Spoken Word artist and the top act for Warriors of Light Records. But come nightfall, she hunts vampires and demons--predators that people tend to dismiss as myth or fantasy. But Damali and her Guardian team cannot afford such delusions, especially now, when a group of rogue vampires have been killing the artists of Warriors of Light and their rival, Blood Music. Strange attacks have also erupted within the club drug-trafficking network and drawn the attention of the police. These killings are a bit out of the ordinary, even for vampires. No neat puncture marks in the neck to show where the life's blood has been sucked from the body. These bodies have been mutilated beyond recognition, indicating a blood lust and thirst for destruction that surpasses any Damali has encountered before. Damali soon discovers that behind these brutal murders is the most powerful vampire she has ever met, and this seductive beast is coming for her next. But his unholy intentions have also drawn the focus of other hellish dark forces. Soon Damali finds herself being pulled deeper into the vast and horrifying vampire world.
Minion by L. A. Banks is Book One of a thirteen book series written by L. A. Banks. I have to say, Minion was a tough read for me. Not because the content was "bad" but -- I'm a die-hard Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and this book initially reeked of rip-off innuendo from that series. Buffy is a Vamp Slayer. Damali Richards is a Vampire Slayer. Buffy - One Slayer dies - another is "activated." Minion - Slayers are born - but Damali is a MILENIUM Slayer. (Yeah this dates the book a little but go with it). Buffy is trained by Watchers. Damali has a group of Guardians. So you can see the similarities are a bit irritating.
However Banks is able to take this similar "type" of storyline and urbanize it. Damali is a rising African American spoken-word performer and her Guardians are her band members. By day, they perform concerts all over country and by night they are a kick-ass, vamp slayer group hunting and killing vamps and demons in the traditional good against evil war. Minion takes it’s time setting up the background for the reader, explaining the history of the Neteru, (Vampire Slayer) weaving in tons of paranormal, astrologic, Judeo-Christian, pseudo-African and mystical mythology that can at times, leave your head spinning. But the relationships between Damali, her Guardians and love interests lends for a great backdrop.
So I guess you’re wondering why I’m talking about this book at this point right? Well for all the crammed details – and mind blurring “think deep” pockets of the book – Bank’s creates the perfect setting for her Vampire Huntress Legend series that makes you want to move on to Book 2, The Awakening. The urban-hip-hop style of writing can be hokey at times – but when you focus on the storyline, you can see the potential. As you continue through the series, you'll definitely get hooked.
Get your read on!