It took me awhile to finish this. It has everything...except a decent plot. The cliches are fast and furious, with a molten lava lake, circles of hell, hybrid vampires, a sassy vampire slayer, and her forbidden love interest. It shamelessly rips off other vampire novels and Buffy. The writing is atrocious. There are glimpses of the U of Penn educated writer, i.e. her uneducated young huntress using terms like "carte blanche," and then the "from da hood" writing comes out, with silly conjugations such as, "Ima," as in, "Ima gonna kick some ass." I found the writing painful. It's not hip, it is ridiculous. The black and white characters change speech patterns as easily as clothes; I'm not sure who was a brother and who was a poseur. But then again, I don't care. This novel is dreadfully bad, both in plot and writing. I'd rather have my throat ripped out than read this author's work again, which is unfortunate, as I stupidly got the second in the series before reading the first. Do I dare read the second book, hoping it's better than the first? Probably not.
This particular book... kinda sucks. And I don't say that lightly.
Apart from the fact that the writing itself is unexceptional, apart from the fact that all the characters are flat and unsympathetic (in that I just don't care about any of them -- I don't even have a handle on who some of them are), not only does it almost immediately hit the "Vamp book, so there must be lots of sex, and if not sex, several pointless descriptions of masturbation! And hey, some graphic sexual violence just for kicks!" ...
My greatest complaint about this book is the simple fact that nothing happens. Really. There's one spontaneous difficult-to-follow and never ending fight scene near the beginning of the story, and that's basically all the action (and plot) you can expect. It's a talky-talky-talky-talky book with the extra added benefit of painfully dull dialog.
I wanted to like this book. It's written in a setting I'm unfamiliar with, and proposes a few interesting novelties that I haven't come across before in this genre, but it just doesn't do anything useful with either of those things.
I own the second book. I'll probably read it just for kicks, but I'm not holding my breath.
This is the South Central version of Vampire Hunting. If you are not used to the slang of the area, this book is going to be a little hard to get through. The idea is really good. I like the fact that their are Guardians to protect the slayer while she matures to a full Hunter, but I just can't get into the ugliness of the vampires. I guess I am spoiled on the romantic version of LKH's Anita Blake series. If I had read this series, first, I would probably have enjoyed it more.
I found this series while waiting for the next Anita Blake novel to come out. This copy is an extra I came across, but I'm still trying to read my copy. I am having trouble getting into it. So far, I just haven't been able to connect with the characters - too far apart culturally, I guess - but I haven't given up yet.
Minion is an interesting tale. Damali Richards is a Spoken Word artist and the top act for Warriors of Light Records. However, when darkness falls, she hunts vampires and demons-predators. A group of rogue vampires has been killing the artists of Warriors of Light and their rival, Blood Music. Damali and her Guardian team grow weary of these strange killings that are nothing like any vampire kill they have ever seen.
I enjoyed this novel overall, but when I first began reading I was quite skeptical. The dialogue uses heavy hip-hop slang. There is nothing wrong with this, but I feel that it was over used. It appeared that the author was trying entirely too hard to sound young and hip, but ended up sometimes sounding ignorant and silly. However, when you get past the vernacular the story line is quite unique. Damali is not you average slayer, she is a Vampire Huntress by birth rite. She is ripening; her body is going through extraordinary changes. When she turns age 21 she will be fully transformed into a superhuman that emits an aphrodisiac like scent that drives male vampires insane. She will see in the dark and have all the heightened senses of a vampire. She has a sword named Madame Isis. How cool is that? This first book merely sets the foundation for a great series. Its a lot information giving and as the plot thickens near the end of the novel you are drawn in like moths to a flame or like necks to a fang :) It wasnt the greatest read, but it was fun and interesting enough for me to want to read the rest of the series.
I've tried Hamilton's Anita Blake, Anne Rice's vamp (and other) novels, the Buffy TV series & books, the Charlaine Harris Southern Vamp series, Harrison's Dead Witch Walking books, even MJD's Queen Betsy books - and too many others to name. So, I'd long wanted to try this series (there's nothing better than discovering a new voice or an original twist on a familiar concept)...but it fell FLAT FLAT FLAT for me.
A reviewer of the first book in this series, Minion, said it best...the language isn't hip, its ridiculous. I find the overuse of really cheesy slang at best a distraction from the "plot," such as it is, and at worst downright laughable. Comparisons to Buffy are a result of blatant theme theft (dynastic line Slayer loves redeemable Vampire = forbidden love), but Joss Whedon's exceptional writing and flair for dialogue are totally absent from this sad series.
This is an actual line from book 3, The Hunger: "Off da heezy fo' sheezy. Tight." Also a blatant offense to the intelligence is the constant use of I'ma, as in "I'ma go get it and be right back." And why, WHY WHY, does girl have to be spelled "gurl". I think that says it all about the failures of the writing and dialogue.
While I understood that the author was trying to go for a more uplifting and religion-positive message - it was very heavy handed, often blurring the focus of the book - and further, leading to some very poor writing. Throughout this series you often feel as though you're being hit over the head with the religious theme. I can think of other authors who have done a better job using religious symbolism in their universes without bludgeoning the reader with it, Archangel, by Sharon Shinn, is one example. I cannot even count how many times a character would cuss and then another character chides them, to "watch the language"...after a while you just get tired of it. Ok, we get it, really, negative words invite negative thoughts. Leave off already.
Here's some actual language from book 2: "You are girded in spiritual armor, young Neteru. The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, your feet are shod in the gospel of peace...and in your hand you have the sword of spirit, the truth, which is the word of God." "Shod in the gospel of peace"?? What is she, some kind of holy Carrie Bradshaw?
I have no objection to religion in my reading, if its done WELL and it enhances the themes the author is trying to express. I felt that this was an unoriginal idea whose execution was poorly plotted and badly written and that the religious themes acted as a substitute for the missing plot & story instead of a good addition to the flavor of the Vampire Huntress universe.
After several starts and stops, I'm giving up on trying to like this book, this author and the writing style. Paranormal fiction are my latest addiction, but this FIRST book in this series will definitely not make me buy the sequences.
While other paranormal fictions may start of slow and pick up speed, or start fast and taper off, this does neither. It's slow, mumbled and boring from the beginning.
Although background information was there, it was like reading through a maze to get to it. The book was slooooooow and seemed to take forever to get anywhere. Once there, I wasn't sure where the story was. I guess there was supposed to be intrigue; if so, it fell flat. I do not recommend this book...and it is the beginning of a series.
I fell in love with this book and the series. It has a strong mixer of religion, passion and horror. Its not the cookie cutter Vampire is sweet type book but it does feature a strong female Huntress with great love scenes. If you are looking to enter a world that is different from the everyday Vampire stories this is the series for you.
RIP L.A. Banks you truly will be missed.
Book one of the Vampire Huntress Legend series, you enter a new world with these books. Damali Richards only wanted to create and perform music, but as the current Neteru, she must also go out at night to hunt vampires and demons. More importantly, it is her destiny to find her one mate with which she will give birth to the next Neteru. If she is destroyed before this can happen, evil will be given free reign over the earth and humans will be enslaved by vampires and demons from all levels hell. The other protaganist, Carlos Rivera is a man whose soul is not totally pure. Engaged in drug trafficking and determined to carve himself an empire, yet protective of the weak, he and Damali fall in love. The characters are gutsy and street smart. The dialog is somewhere between the bario and the hood. A new style of vampire legend where the emotional highs and lows grab you in the heart as well as the gut.
The story starts off pretty slow in that for a possible half hour event, it took one and a half chapters to just get them out of a building. After it warms up and you are introduced to all the characters it goes pretty smooth. There is just enough suspence in who or what the major character is and her origins. You are introduced to a love interest that gives you doubts, but the story is told in such a way that you want to have faith and hope for the characters connection. After it got going I truly enjoy the telling of the tale and look forward to the next installment of this series. Just hope that it not drawn out too much just to make sells on a series.
Not a big fan of vampire themed novels I do however like paranormal and this book featured a vampire hunter as a main character. I liked the storyline and the mix of humanism and romance. The set up of the characters (for the next part in the series) was done well and will make you want to continue well into the next book(s). My first book by this author and I would recommend her highly.
Took me a while to finish this one, as I just wasn't really into this story I guess. It's not a bad book, or story line, just a bit out of my liking I guess. Not highly recommending this one, but wouldn't tell someone not to read it if they thought it sounded good. I like the author, have read some of her other books, I just don't think I will follow this series.
This book is so boring. I didn't like any of the characters and the plot just seemed to go no where. It was not exciting. Really disappointing since I heard many good things about this series. I guess some people really like the story and others don't like it at all. Give it try and see what happens for you.
I have only read the first two chapters and cant go any further. It is a very hard book to get into. I was hoping that if I put it aside and picked it up at a future date, that I would have better luck.
Damali Richards is the slayer or Neteru. with her are Guardians of the Neteru who also moonlight as her band for Damalis spoken word performances. These people all live together, perform as a band, and hunt vampires at night.
There have been strange attacks on gang members. Instead of the typical vampire bites, the corpses are left mutilated beyond recognition. One of the most powerful master vampires, Fallon Nuit is behind these attacks. Now Nuit has set his sights on Damali. Now in order to defeat him she must find out what her past connection is to him.
I enjoyed this first book of the Vampire Huntress Legend series. I liked the interactions of the characters, especially Damali and her friends. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, The Awakening.