Minion

Vampire Huntress Legends

L. A. Banks

St. Martin's Griffin

0312316801

9780312316808

Trade Paperback

304 Pages

$16.99

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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. Come nightfall, however, 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 are a bit out of the ordinary, even for vampires. No neat puncture marks in the neck to show where the life’s blood has been sucked 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. His unholy intentions have also drawn the focus of other hellish dark forces, and soon Damali finds herself being pulled deeper into the vast and horrifying vampire world.

REVIEWS

Praise for Minion

"L. A. Banks’s Minion is one of the best vampire novels to teach in an undergraduate course, as I discovered through the experience of teaching it in my 'Vampires in Film and Literature' class. Students enjoyed its fast-paced story, its action scenes, its references to the music industry, and its combination of violence, love, and sensuality. The political dimension of Banks’s novel through her depiction of the vampire council, and her references to drugs and racial interrelations, make this novel very rich in discussion topics that are greatly relevant to students nowadays. Minion is an important contribution to the vampire mythology established since before Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Banks has written a vampire story that not only builds on its many literary predecessors, but also actually makes an important contribution to the genre. Banks’s novel combines a highly readable style with rich, teachable substance. Her multiple-layered narrative lends itself to group discussion about topics ranging from the awkwardness of coming of age to representations of violence in the media and the legacy of vampire myths in popular culture (including the way her main character Damali resonates with the character of Buffy of Joss Whedon’s hit television series). After reading an array of texts significant to the development of the figure of the vampire in literature and culture, including such well-known works as Dracula, Interview with the Vampire, and Salem’s Lot, my students cited Minion as one of their favorite vampire novels due to its depictions of both a compelling central character and of a wide array of racial and social communities. Students reported being hooked by the story immediately and asked for the sequel to be read along with Minion next time I teach my course. Student essays were enriched and class debates were enlivened through analyses of, and reactions to, Banks’s sharply intelligent metaphors for political power and abuse of the social system, and array of interwoven cultural reference points. Minion is also substantial and original enough in its approach to more serious issues to merit a place in an African American literature or twentieth-century novel course."—Dr. Michael Eberle-Sinatra, Université de Montréal

“We talk about the symbolism used in Minion and other literary devices the author uses to weave her tale of battle between the forces of good and evil within nature and the individual. We explain to the students that human beings not only battle the evil forces of their environment but also do battle within themselves in seeking out truth and knowledge. We compare Minion with Beowulf and Grendel to help the students understand how literature that is a thousand years old has transcended time and culture to tell the epic tale of the battle between the forces of good and evil in the universe. Pupils are able to identify with the hero in Beowulf and, in this case, the heroine in Minion. Students are able to apply skills of comparison and contrast, and successfully affix cause and effect relationships, to both pieces of literature . . . By using contemporary literature and novels, we help students appreciate the old works of literature and to see the value in all literature across cultures instead of viewing epic tales as boring or dreaded reading. Pupils are able to understand the values of courage, honor, etc. that are being taught in the above-mentioned works of epic prose. . .These are just a few ways we are using Minion and The Awakening and other contemporary literature to teach our students a love for reading."—Shirley Person, North Miami Senior High School

"This book is one high energy, high octane ride. Fresh, fast and furious; the writing just . . . rocks!"—Susan Sizemore, author of Deceptions (Laws of the Blood series)

"I highly recommend L. A. Banks' Vampire Huntress Series for use in courses ranging from high school to college. I have used this series as recommended reading for my graduate students in Women's Studies and they cannot stop talking about these works. Banks' writing is smart, poignant, and engaging. Students aren't able to put the books down. Each novel in the series brims with social critique and commentary. Banks is a perceptive writer who provides a wonderful critique of societal issues, from the impact of drugs to self-responsibility and self-reliance to the choices we all make in life. Students who engage in the work of L. A. Banks will leave the classroom with sharper critical thinking skills and a newfound joy of reading."—Gwendolyn D. Pough, Associate Professor of Women's Studies and Writing, Syracuse University, and author of Check It While I Wreck It: Black Womanhood, Hip-Hop Culture, and the Public Sphere

"Damali Richards is a vampire slayer whose loyal team helps her battle creatures of the night. As spoken-word artists, she and the team—including her mentor, Marlene; brokenhearted Jose, who lost his true love to vampires; and sexy martial artist Shabazz—keep watch over the clubs in which they perform. One night, after an intense performance, the group encounters a particularly vicious pack of vampires. Among them is Jose's lost love, Dee Dee, who attempts to draw Jose to her. Mike, another team member, stakes her, but Jose is left gravely ill. Damali and Marlene are apprehensive about these vampires, who they realize weren't sired by an ordinary vampire. Their mystery is directly linked to the mysterious deaths of Damali's parents, and resolving it will pit Damali against an old foe who will do anything to take her down, such as using the only man she has ever loved to do it. With an exciting premise and a cliffhanger ending, this first book in a new series packs a powerful punch."—Kristine Huntley, Booklist

"A pulsating blood-booster . . . Blade meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this first of a trilogy about a no-nonsense guerrilla leader of a rock-'n'-roll vampire-killer band."—Kirkus Reviews

"Minion is arguably superior to the Buffy franchise . . . While Banks relies on an established vampire-slayer mythos for part of her story, she is also wildly creative and invents a totally new and refreshing milieu . . . Its social hierarchy and politics are fascinating, and the author’s reinterpretation of the seven levels of hell is brilliant. Minion is an entirely delicious read, leaving the reader licking one’s lips and wanting more, cursing the cliffhanger ending."—Fangoria Magazine

"Banks has written a powerful vampire tale . . . The most impressive aspect was that they were a diverse group of brotha’s and sistah’s kicking vampire ass! Their . . . smooth personalities gave this novel a stylish twist. It was an excellent read."—QBR, The Black Book Review

"[Minion] literally rocks the reader into the action-packed underworld power struggle between vampire rivals with a little demon juice thrown in . . . Cutting-edge wit and plenty of urban heat flies from the pages of this quick read."—Philadelphia Sun

"Minion is an action-packed journey through a world of vampire hunters and hunted, told with the flavor and rhythm of the hip hop generation. If you enjoy Anne Rice, Blade or Buffy then Minion is the novel you have been waiting for."—Tananarive Due, bestselling author of The Good House

"Minion is the thrilling debut of what promises to be an exciting, groundbreaking series. L. A. Banks has created a magical, brilliantly imagined world that brings our deepest fears to vivid life. Damali Richards, the tough, sexy vampire huntress, is a heroine for the ages. I can't wait to read the next book in the Vampire Huntress Legend series."—Brandon Massey, award-winning author of Thunderland

"A wonderfully creative world of vampires and demons. The heroine and her friends will leave you eager for Book 2."—Romantic Times

"Readers, run out to your bookstore now or order on-line Minion, the latest and the greatest in the vampire books. It will scare the living daylights out of you at times so keep all the doors and windows locked while reading this enthralling book about Damali Richards, vampire huntress . . . Ms. Banks is a master storyteller that will stun you with her talent."—Suzanne Coleburn, The Belles & Beaux of Romance

"Banks has written an urban fantasy novel that deals with several social issues in a manner that is both educational and entertaining. The character that is most intriguing is the man who will be either the [Neteru’s] savior or doomslayer, which is why readers will want to read Awakening as soon as it is published."—BooksnBytes

"Banks does an excellent job giving these characters depth . . . and she gives us a cliffhanger ending rarely seen in novels."—Book-remarks.com

"A fascinating modern day vampire saga that will keep you reading until the last page. Hooked on the storyline, you find that you can't wait for the sequel and Damali's new adventure."—Alice Holman, RAWSISTAZ

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Nighttime, summer
Philadelphia


Damali Richards could still feel the electricity of the crowd and the adrenaline rush of her spoken-word performance pulsing through her veins as she entered the backstage dressing room. The club was jumping so hard it seemed like even the walls were sweating. The bass thumping from the extensive speaker system was like an insistent heartbeat that she could feel vibrating through the floor and smoke-thickened air until it entered her body through the soles of her feet. Dirty aqua-colored paint peeled at the corners of the cramped
Read the full excerpt
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • L. A. Banks

  • L. A. Banks is the author of the Vampire Huntress Legends series.  She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and a master's in fine arts from Temple University.  Banks considers herself a shape-shifter. She has written romance, women's fiction, crime and suspense, and, of course, dark vampire huntress lore.  She lives with her daughter and her dog in an undisclosed lair somewhere in Philadelphia.
  • L. A. Banks
    L. A. Banks
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