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Book Review: The Vampire Huntress Legends Books 1-5 January 31, 2008

Posted by battysgirl in Books, Reviews.
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Minion
Awakening
The Hunted
The Bitten
The Forbidden

L. A. Banks

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Rating:
An average of two and a half stars (of four).

 

 

Amazon.com
In fiction, film, and TV, vampires are a dominant trend of the young millennium. Is it is because the blood-suckers are a perfect metaphor for corrupt politicians and corporate executives? Because alternative sexualities are gaining acceptance? Because the idea of living forever (even if undead) is so alluring? The reasons are unclear. What is clear is that the hottest subgenre (in both popularity and sensuality) is the vampire-huntress subgenre, thanks to Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter and Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With L.A. Banks’s debut novel, Minion, a tough, sexy new vampire huntress challenges the dominance of Anita Blake and Buffy.

Damali Richards is a rising star of Warriors of Light Records–but her fans would never guess that she is also the most important vampire hunter in a millennium. However, unfortunately for the inexperienced young huntress, the vampires and demons have both discovered her existence. An age-old war escalates to unprecedented heights of violence as the dark forces strive to slay Damali before she comes of age and gains her full powers.

Damali is an appealing heroine, the concept is intriguing, and the series is promising. However, the first novel is rocky. Damali is a vampire-killing martial artist, and Minion presents an epic struggle between good and evil, yet the novel neglects to include a climactic battle between Damali and the bad guys (or much of a climax at all; a sequel is obviously forthcoming). Another problem is that Damali’s teacher withholds crucial information from not only the huntress, but also her guardians, who should have learned everything many years ago. In contrast, the characters frequently tell each other things they already know. Readers craving the twisted erotic charge of the Anita Blake novels or the Buffy-Spike relationship may be dissatisfied that sexual tension is less important to Minion; and readers seeking Hamiltonian melodrama may also be disappointed. –Cynthia Ward –This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly
Lovely African-American Damali Richards is a “spoken word” performer with a complement of musicians and technicians in this first of a projected horror trilogy from Banks. As if this weren’t fantasy enough, Damali is also a “vampire slayer.” The entourage of this black “Buffy” is a politically correct rainbow of seven guardians, who disguise their weapons as musical instruments to get through airport security and on to the next gig. When the guardian team faces action, they tend to stand around jive-talking their adrenaline up for pages before they go after the vamps. But they aren’t just vampires: master vampire Fallon Nuit uses his recording label as a front for gangsters, drugs and a multinational corporate empire that controls most of the world’s economy. He’s hooked up with a demon and has created “the Minion” of rogue hybrid-vampires. Nuit’s so bad even the Vampire Council wants him gone. Damali’s not just a slayer either. She’s “ripening” as she hits age 21 into a superhuman who emits an aphrodisiacal scent that makes male vampires “go nuts”-they must “choose to kill her or take her.” Overheated prose (“massive incisors ripped through her gums like they were giving hideous birth”) and a complicated “legend” backstory (a hodgepodge of New Wave, paranormal, astrologic, Judeo-Christian, pseudo-African and mystical mythology) weigh down a story more calculated marketing idea than original literary concept. FYI: The author has written romances as Leslie Esdaile and TV tie-ins as Leslie E. Banks.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to the Paperback edition.

 

From Batty’s Girl

The books get better the further into the series you read, however, they take a little getting used to.  The characters are very urban and hip hoppy, so their language is very different.  Once you can get passed the dialogue, and start to flow with the story, the plots are pretty good, if not generic and sometimes predictable.  As is the problem any time you pick up a series and read them back to back, you start to ask yourself, do these characters EVER learn from their mistakes?

The book I’m reading now, “The Damned” is by far my favorite, so I hope the series pick ups from there, since I have three more already purchased to go 🙂

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Comments»

1. Avid Book Reader - February 1, 2008

Great, a whole series! Just what I was looking for, something to read for a little while and get “sucked” into. Thanks for the review, I’ve been looking for another good vampire series to delve into.


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