by Banks, L. A.
Publisher:St. Martin's Griffin
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
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