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The Hunted [Paperback]

L. A. Banks
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 19 2004 Vampire Huntress Legends (Book 3)
A Neteru---a hunter or a huntress---is born every thousand years in favor of the Warriors of Light as they fight against the Dark Realms. But Damali Richards is the Millennium Neteru. The one who will play a pivotal role in the Final War. The Warriors of Light had been waiting for her and the Dark Realms will do anything to either possess or destroy her. What they did not account for was the man who would love her.

Damali Richard has been to hell and back---literally---and she is not eager to repeat the trip. A Vampire civil war has been averted, but there were casualties and she believes that Carlos Rivera, former lover turned master vampire, is one of them. His death has not only shaken her emotions, but weakened her powers as well. But then Damali gets word that horrific killings are taking place in Brazil. The vampire civil war has left a small door to hell open and new and dangerous foes have risen from the Dark Realms. The leader, a deadly female, is set on a path of destruction. However, her blood lust hides a nefarious plan and the newly resurrected Carlos Rivera is at the heart of it. But Damali is not about to lose her man a second time, so she plans to send this old girl right back to hell she came from---no matter who stands in her way.

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From Publishers Weekly

In Banks's third overheated hip-hop vampire thriller (after Minion and The Awakening), Damali Richards, a vampire huntress (or "Neteru"), reconnects with her vampire lover Carlos Rivera, whom she thought was killed in the previous novel but who's now serving a penance for his vampiric misdeeds within a modern-day Knights Templar stronghold. In Brazil, where were-creatures have been terrorizing a portion of the rain forest, Damali and Carlos encounter a female vampire possessed, via were-cat infection and flesh-eating, by the bitter memories of a 500-year-old Neteru who lost her life to raping and pillaging conquistadors. Carlos is tempted by the female vampire's offer of joint rule, and Damali must battle to stop an alliance between renegade vampires and demons that promises catastrophe for were-demons, vampires and humans alike. The hip-hop turn to the book's prose alleviates the tedium of a stock genre plot, while the well-conceived and intricate rules of Banks's vampire-inhabited world provide endless opportunities for riffs on the meaning of power and sex that will please lovers of similar purplish philosophical musings found in the vampire tales of Anne Rice and Laurell K. Hamilton.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The third book in an exciting series picks up where the previous one, The Awakening [BKL Ja 1 & 15 04], left off, with spoken word artist-vampire huntress Damali Richards believing Carlos Rivera, the vampire she loves, is dead. Her depression has weakened her extrasensory skills, and her friends are worried about her. Little do any of them know that Carlos is clinging to life where they left him and is saved by three priests, members of the Covenant who believe Carlos owes them seven years of service protecting Damali. Carlos reluctantly submits, but he doesn't want Damali to know he is alive for her own safety. However, he isn't able to keep away from her, and the two find themselves in each other's arms, consummating their passion for the first time, even as danger from the Vampire Council and a powerful were-group grows. In this third adventure, Banks fleshes out the rich world Damali and her friends and enemies inhabit, making it an even more exciting place to visit. Another thrilling tale. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Again, Ms. Banks has created an outstanding work of fiction. The Hunted is another great installment to this series. A slightly more bulkier novel but it is surprisingly a fast and tense read. Due to real life, I was forced to put the book down, and each time I did--no matter where I had closed the pages--I was left on the edge of a cliff, my attention focused on the next time I would be able to read this book. She is able to bring her own unique spin to the vampire mythos to fruition with "The Hunted."

This book was sexier, darker and grittier; finally allowing the passion between Damali and Carlos to explode in one of the best love scenes I've ever had a chance to read; upping the ante on Carlos' "life" and his deals; exposing more of the Neteru's heritage; and upping the tension between Damali and Carlos, Carlos and his enemies, The guardians and their chosen paths; etc, etc. The Hunted has taken Banks' series to an entirely different level where your emotions will be sure to run like a predator, unless you are dead. Damali is near to coming into her own; in this novel, she being forced to deal with things and situations that she formerly shielded herself from due to certain circumstances. She is all Neteru in this book and I can't wait until I read "The Bitten."

Once again, however, the dialogue is the major sticking point for me. While it's dynamic and true to life, I find it a bit tedious after a while and hard to follow when more than one character is "speaking". To me, there is very little in the way of personalization and uniqueness to the characters with regards to the dialogue.

But, overall, I admire Ms. Banks' contributions to vampire fiction and look forward to many more great books in the Vampire Huntress series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Protection at any cost, is it possible? June 8 2004
Format:Paperback
In this third book of the series, THE HUNTED, Damali Richards, the first Neteru in a thousand years, continues her divine mission to rid the world of vampiric evil. The story begins a few days after the battle in the Dark Realms when The Vampire Council and Master Vampire Fallon Nuit's plans are thwarted as they tried to get their hands on a ripening Neteru, for the purposes of producing a "day walker." The battle weary Covenant, the Holy council anointed to protect and guide The Neteru, has dwindled in numbers as a result of the war and is searching for Carlos who has been missing since then. Their search leads them to a desert where they find a severely wounded Carlos. They immediately nurse him back to health and bestow a renewed purpose for protecting Damali. With determination and audacity, Carlos resumes his double agent ways as he is torn by the need to protect Damali while at the same time bargaining for his soul and fighting the pull of being a vampire.
Damali, now a fully matured Neteru, has lost her 'sight' and her faith is wavering. She is in despair over Carlos, as she believes that a terrible tragedy befell him during the war in the Dark Realms. Her Guardian Team is also experiencing reduced powers, and their faith is slipping as they each realize that a chance at a normal life may not be in the cards. There is only one thing that can help Damali, and now that may be lost. Above all, her protectors trying to keep recent stories of bizarre deaths in Brazil from Damali until she fully recovers her 'sight.' Something very evil from the Dark Realms has been released in the Brazilian territory; its target is Carlos and Damali is standing in the way. As this evil entity locks in on Carlos, it becomes hard for him to ignore.
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5.0 out of 5 stars terrific vampire thriller May 26 2004
Format:Paperback
The Neteru is born once a millennium to give peace to a trouble world. She is gifted with powers that enable her to destroy the supernatural creatures who want to bring Armageddon to the world. Damali Richards is this era's Neteru, a rock singer and leader of a band whose members are Guardians, sworn to help her in the fight against evil. The vampires were planning a grand feast starring the human race as the main course, but Damali and her group stopped them. However, the only man she ever loved, Carlos Rivera, was turned into a master vampire and is believed to be dead.
She doesn't know that he is rescued by a group of monks who are sworn to fight the Dark and believe that Carlos is worth redeeming. He returns to Damali and they have ten beautiful days together before they part in anger. He consolidates his empire while she and her group travel to Brazil where they have to find the creature that is killing and eating scores of humans. The creature lures Carlos down there as well and tries to seduce him but Damali won't let any evil being live who threatens her world and her beloved.
Both Damali and Carlos are fascinating characters who are polar opposites. His love for the Neteru is so pure it can bring about his redemption while she is a powerful mage who needs to battle evil but also wants to be with the vampire she loves. Their love story makes THE HUNTED a horror novel with a twist that will appeal to fans of both genres. L.A. Banks has written a work one can sink their teeth into enjoying every bite.
Harriet Klausner
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  54 reviews
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Protection at any cost, is it possible? June 8 2004
By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this third book of the series, THE HUNTED, Damali Richards, the first Neteru in a thousand years, continues her divine mission to rid the world of vampiric evil. The story begins a few days after the battle in the Dark Realms when The Vampire Council and Master Vampire Fallon Nuit's plans are thwarted as they tried to get their hands on a ripening Neteru, for the purposes of producing a "day walker." The battle weary Covenant, the Holy council anointed to protect and guide The Neteru, has dwindled in numbers as a result of the war and is searching for Carlos who has been missing since then. Their search leads them to a desert where they find a severely wounded Carlos. They immediately nurse him back to health and bestow a renewed purpose for protecting Damali. With determination and audacity, Carlos resumes his double agent ways as he is torn by the need to protect Damali while at the same time bargaining for his soul and fighting the pull of being a vampire.
Damali, now a fully matured Neteru, has lost her `sight' and her faith is wavering. She is in despair over Carlos, as she believes that a terrible tragedy befell him during the war in the Dark Realms. Her Guardian Team is also experiencing reduced powers, and their faith is slipping as they each realize that a chance at a normal life may not be in the cards. There is only one thing that can help Damali, and now that may be lost. Above all, her protectors trying to keep recent stories of bizarre deaths in Brazil from Damali until she fully recovers her `sight.' Something very evil from the Dark Realms has been released in the Brazilian territory; its target is Carlos and Damali is standing in the way. As this evil entity locks in on Carlos, it becomes hard for him to ignore. Protecting Damali maybe wishful thinking for Carlos, The Guardian Team and The Covenant.
In this continuing saga of good versus evil, L.A. Banks kicks it up a few notches. She weaves into this story a lesson on the power of love as well as some erotic scenes that were enough to make even the straightest Puritan raise an eyebrow or two. Banks incorporates several subplots of evil deeds from realms of hell and topside to keep me riveted to this book. I was on the edge of my seat as I waited to see who the ultimate winner would be. A deeper look inside THE HUNTED reveals not only an excellent tale of good and bad but it also offers an intense look at love, faith and hope on a grander scale. Despite all the faults, pain and suffering, if we truly believe in our mates, hope serves as a beacon at the end of the tunnel. We just have to trust in the love we share and allow faith to sustain us through uncertain times. In my humble opinion, this is by far the best book of the series. I look forward to the next installment in this series with bated breath.
Reviewed by Brenda M. Lisbon
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific vampire thriller May 26 2004
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Neteru is born once a millennium to give peace to a trouble world. She is gifted with powers that enable her to destroy the supernatural creatures who want to bring Armageddon to the world. Damali Richards is this era's Neteru, a rock singer and leader of a band whose members are Guardians, sworn to help her in the fight against evil. The vampires were planning a grand feast starring the human race as the main course, but Damali and her group stopped them. However, the only man she ever loved, Carlos Rivera, was turned into a master vampire and is believed to be dead.
She doesn't know that he is rescued by a group of monks who are sworn to fight the Dark and believe that Carlos is worth redeeming. He returns to Damali and they have ten beautiful days together before they part in anger. He consolidates his empire while she and her group travel to Brazil where they have to find the creature that is killing and eating scores of humans. The creature lures Carlos down there as well and tries to seduce him but Damali won't let any evil being live who threatens her world and her beloved.
Both Damali and Carlos are fascinating characters who are polar opposites. His love for the Neteru is so pure it can bring about his redemption while she is a powerful mage who needs to battle evil but also wants to be with the vampire she loves. Their love story makes THE HUNTED a horror novel with a twist that will appeal to fans of both genres. L.A. Banks has written a work one can sink their teeth into enjoying every bite.
Harriet Klausner
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Disappointed, First Read in Series June 28 2005
By Romantica Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Unlike the previous reviewer I am not at all disappointed in my decision to buy LA Bank's "The Hunted". It was and can be off putting at first to be confronted with so much "streetspeak" or slang. Especially when you're not used to reading or hearing it. But after awhile the speech became a natural rhythm in my mind and I was totally absorbed in the story. I disagree that it was "phony". This is the natural language of the urban contemporary, Hip-Hop generation. They eat and breath this language. It's only logical that LA wove it into the story.

I also disagree with the assessment about the story being "macho crap". I'm a veteran of the "Vampire/SCI-FI/Fantasy/Romance" genre. This is not meant to be contemporary fiction where politically correct rules apply. It was meant to be 'over the top' fantasy. And believe me the women readers of this genre DO NOT want a weak hero! I appreciated the fact that Carlos was one of the best heroes I've come accross in a long time. The intertwined good and evil aspects of his character made him more multi-dimensional and more interesting than even Damali.

I was so impressed with "The Hunted" that I went out and got LA's 2 recent releases, "The Bitten" and "The Forbidden". I hope to enjoy these just as well.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Vampire Huntress Series so far! Sept. 19 2006
By Lisa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Damali and Carlos finally consumate their relationship, hallelujah! This book was by far the best one in the series, yet. I have read up through The Bitten and will read all the rest ASAP. I read the reviews after I read the book. I'm so glad I read the book first. Some reviewers have problems with the street slang, but this is Damali's world. These are Damali's people. These people are not white preppies! She grew up on the streets as did Carlos. The language is important to the flavor of the characters that L.A. Banks writes about. It would be weird to have these characters speak as if they had college educations. This book was great! You must read all the books in the series. I wouldn't consider these stand alone novels. Ms. Banks does not re-hash alot of background from her previous books and incorporate them into her new installments. She almost expects you to understand what has happended in prior books. But, if you keep up with the series this won't be a problem. If you try to read the books without reading the previous ones, you will be lost. I love the spirituality of her books, good versus evil, God versus Satan. Try this series. You won't be disappointed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great Neteru book Feb. 12 2005
By J. Holmes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Again, Ms. Banks has created an outstanding work of fiction. She is able to bring her own unique spin to the vampire mythos to fruition with The Hunted. "Blinding" Damali is a stroke of brilliance and gives her yet another obstacle to overcome. I also loved the fact that we are able to learn more about the Guardians' role as Guardians, especially Marlene, the mother figure of the book.

Once again, however, the dialogue is the major sticking point for me. While it's dynamic and true to life, I find it a bit tedious after a while and hard to follow when more than one character is "speaking". To me, there is very little in the way of personalization and uniqueness to the characters with regards to the dialogue.

But, overall, I admire Ms. Banks' contributions to vampire fiction and look forward to many more great books in the Vampire Huntress series.
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