Monday, February 8, 2010
Minion by L.A. Banks
It seems only appropriate for me to start with the novel that jump started my love of urban fantasy Minion by L.A. Banks. Minion is the first novel in the twelve part Vampire Huntress Legend.
Damali Richards is a successful, young hip hop artist by day and a vampire huntress by night. She along with her team, a multi-cultural group of "guardians", fight vampires and creatures of the dark. Damali is about to turn 21, a precarious time for a female Neteru in which she is highly desired by the vampires who reside down below. It is at this stage that she goes through a “ripening” in which she not only comes into her own as a vampire huntress but she can be impregnated by a vampire and give birth to a “daywalker” thus changing the balance between the forces of light and dark. To make matters worse there is a new breed of creatures a vampire/demon hybrid on the loose, a string of unsolved grisly murders and the love of her life is at risk of becoming a victim.
I have to admit that Minion was my least favorite in the series. I liked the concept off the bat. A young black woman with a less than perfect background fighting vampires.There was a passable amount of action to keep ones interest. I never felt that it was just a copy of other vampire hunter stories. What I didn't like was the language. It felt like the author was trying to hard to make the characters believably ethnic. As a black woman, I inevitably run into someone who feels that they have to talk at me in a certain way in order to "relate" to me as a person of color. If you're a black person, you know what I'm talking about. That was how I felt about this book. Even though the author herself is a woman of color, I felt she tried to hard to fit her characters into a certain stereotype.
All in all, Minion was an entertaining read. It's more of an introduction to the series and sets up the background and characters nicely. It's a must read in a series that only gets better with each subsequent book.