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Minion [Mass Market Paperback]

L. A. Banks
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 29 2004 Vampire Huntress Legends (Book 1)
Minion: The Special Huntress Edition
In this exciting new edition of the first book in the Vampire Huntress Legend series, both fans and newcomers alike will experience a Minion that includes:

* An Exciting New Beginning
* Never-Before-Read scenes
* Fast and Furious Action-readers better hold on to their seats!

Fans wanted more and now they've got it! In this special author's edition of Minion, readers will uncover more intrigue, more heat, and most importantly, more Damali Richards, vampire huntress.

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. Damali and her Guardian team cannot afford such delusions, especially now, when a group of rogue vampires has been killing the artists of Warriors of Light and their rival, Blood Music.

When strange attacks erupt within the club drug-trafficking network and draw the attention of the police, Damali realizes these killings are a bit out of the ordinary, even for vampires. Instead of neat puncture marks in the neck showing where the blood has been drained from the body, these corpses are mutilated beyond recognition, indicating a blood lust and thirst for destruction that surpasses any Damali has encountered before. Soon she discovers that behind these brutal murders is the most powerful vampire Damali has ever met-a seductive beast who is coming for her next...

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From Amazon

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars my opinion on Minion Dec 6 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
this book was definatly different then i expected. When i first started reading this book i thought it was horrible, i didnt like the writing style or even the plot. i thought it was boring and was missing something. as i continued to read on it started to pick up and after you get use to how the characters talk it wasnt so bad. i am going to give the second book in the series a chance and see from there.
my opinion is that if you buy the book then read it until the end before you judge it. its different but not bad.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good start to a fantastic series June 27 2007
By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
L.A. Banks laid it down on this book. This book stars the first multi-cultural vampire huntress series with a multi-ethnic, multi-religion cast of characters. I think that this book is better than the first editorial review would lead you to believe. Minion is a tale of the legend of the Vampire Huntress. Minion is defined as one who is highly favored, a darling. This correctly describes our main character, Damali. She is a 20-year old spoken word artist and one of the top acts for Warriors of the Light Records. But at night, she and her group of guardians hunt vampires. In this story, vampires and demons are not myths, they are reality. Without going into too much detail, the action and drama are well-balanced and the main and supporting casts are nicely introduced and fleshed out, making them quite believable.

Although the amount of "necessary" explanation of the Neteru and Guardian history may cause you to double back to make sure you've understood everything, I think the author did an excellent job of setting us up for her mini-series. There is an eroticism associated with vampires and Fallon Nuit is no exception. The author describes him with a sensuality of the most masculine of men, but the prettiness of a female. Nuit is sexy enough to make a straight man want him. It's this type characterization that makes this novel stand out.

The tone of the novel is dark, fast pace, and truly imaginative. The characters are very well developed. You can feel their pain, power and terror. The grotesque descriptions in the novel give it authenticity at that. If you like vampire stories, you will love this novel and if you don't like vampire stories, you will still love this novel.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Promising Beginning or Prelude to Disaster? July 19 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The version of Minion that I am reviewing is the paperback special edition which boastes to be a slightly rewritten from the tradesized version. Minion is the uneven first book in series that tells the story of the Millenium Neteru Damali Richards, whose destined to be an uber Vampire Huntress. The Vampire Huntress Legend is a series in every sense of the word, because this book is not a complete story arc but a set-up for the rest of the series.
I don't think I've ever changed my feelings about a book as much as I have this one. After reading the prologue and first few chapters, I thought the book sucked but I was going to read it anyways since it was less than 300 pages long. The book would plod along and every know and again I would come across a scene that was just mesmerizing. Then it would plod along again. The only reason I'm giving the book 3 stars is because the last 40 or so pages were when the story finally seemed ready to take off.
The major problem with Minion is that it trying so hard to set the scene for the rest of the story that it forgets to give us readers a real pay-off. As the story ends, most of the characters in Damali's band/slayer group are still sketchily developed, Damali herself is only *just* coming into her awsome powers, and the forces of darkness are just getting ready to act on their plans. Aside from the first chapter and a scene were Damali's Neteru powers compell her to chase after a vampire there is very little action on that front. Most of the time the hunters are holed up in their hide-out waiting for Damali to awaken to her powers. Lots of talking about the mystical mechanics that this world runs on too. Banks definitely could have introduced those elements in a better way than endless chunks of dialogue.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible July 10 2004
By A Customer
This book was so bad that I couldn't get past the first couple of pages. I tried to give it a shot, but the writing is terrible. I can see where the ideas of the book are wondeful, and even though there are blatant rips off from different vampire myths, this book should be good. It isn't. Within four pages of reading the book, I wanted to put myself out of my misery. It's a great idea to have a more ethnic version of vampire stories, but this one sucks. Sorry.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Dont waste your time!!!! July 9 2004
This book is nothing more than a rip off of Buffy and Anita Blake, only set in the ghetto. While I thought it would be refreshing to read a vampire novel with a more ethnic feal, this book sits in the dredges of humanity and revels in stereotypical characters and poor writing. Don't waist your time.
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1.0 out of 5 stars letdown July 6 2004
By A Customer
An utter disappointment. The writing was atrocious, the dialogue was horrible and the plot was a cliché done too many times. I didn't get past page 27. I tried to enjoy it, but I realized it was not only a waste of my money, time but also paper.
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4.0 out of 5 stars has potential, needs more character development July 5 2004
Some of the issues others complained about-- the "multicultural Buffy the Vampire Slayer" issue in particular-- were exactly what I hoped to find here. I didn't have a problem with the use of a similar "world" to other vampire mythologies. What I didn't really care for in this book was an entirely different issue: the writing.
The novel reads like a screenplay that was badly adapted to novel form. There's lots of dialogue, and sometimes it can be a little irritating in its attempt to be "street cool." But even that I could handle if there was more about the characters that I was interested in, or even liked. I found it hard to be sympathetic or care about the major characters because I just didn't know enough about them, about their world, about their past. What description I did get was sometimes a bit trite-- the Latino drug dealer chock-full-of machismo, for example, was not really a new take on an old stereotype.
Long ago, in my fiction writing class, we discussed the concept of beginning a story "in medias reas" or "in the middle of things." The first section of the book starts this way-- right in the middle of an action scene, and this could be cool for, say, a movie where much of the "description" is obvious from set design, costuming, actor emotion, etc. But sometimes the descriptions here are so sketchy that I will miss an important action because I didn't "hear" that as happening, and have to read back to see what happened. (Like when one character gets "vamped" I still wasn't sure what was happening at first and had to skim back a page).
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