Minion - L.A. Banks

rating (Vampire Huntress Legend, #1)
Urban Fantasy

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.

But these killings area bit out of the ordinary, even for vampires. No neat puncture marks in the neck to show where the life's blood has been drained from the body. Instead 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 is a delectable morsel that promises to be part of a much larger, tantalizing entree. Filled to the brim with genuine emotion, action around every corner, delicious characterization and an even, rapid pace -- this one's a definite addition to any vampire or horror addicts plate. When the ending came around I was drooling for more; my own bloodlust was so aroused I will personally hunt down the next addition just to sate my newfound hunger.

Minion kept me enthralled from the first chapter. Beginning with people from simpler times, it leaves the reader in a daze and a cliffhanger of sorts, only to lure us closer to the main co! urse . I wasn't quite sure what to think at different moments; I went from having my questions about a certain person, to trying to unravel the plot in my head, to trying to figure out the outcome. To my delight I couldn't accomplish ANY of these things, and as a result this story ended up as my favorite type: unpredictable and knuckle-grinding.

The only complaint I could find about this one -- and it took plenty of searching to conjure up ANY negativity, believe you me -- was that I wanted more. The ending left me unsatisfied simply because I am not the biggest fan of cliffhangers. I was rabid with curiosity about what bloody mess Damali and her crew would drop into my lap next, and I have to wait to get it. But of course that technique IS the best way to draw in faithful fans for the next installments. It brings to mind what the main big bad vampire Nuit said (although not in these words) -- the newly turned will want to return to the master's cup. That being said, I for one want to know more about that vampire!

Proper suspense was built at the right moments; there's plenty of violence to satisfy the graphic crowd. The atmosphere was tight, dark, gritty. But thankfully this book did not revolve around endless, pointless violence only for the sake of doing so -- it had a heart AND a soul. The style was all about realism in a fantasy we ourselves do not reside in.

Damali Richards is a character easy to identify with. Strong and somewhat stubborn, she is young, spirited, ambitious, but also very well-rounded. She has her doubts and is experiencing her own version of growing pains; being able to bond so well with her helped this reader keep her smile. The other characters all had their own personal magic, and while at time I had thoughts about whether I would have liked to slug the "mother" Marlene or not, in the end her personality shone through and it all made more sense.

Although the bulk of the story is through the eyes of the Vampire huntress Damali, Banks also changes pace by showing different avenues of interest through the minds and actions of other key players such as Carlos, a man with his own personal kingdom.

Walk, run, hitchhike to the nearest bookstore to pick yourself up a copy. Or else take the lazy route like I do and just click onto the Internet.

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