MINION: A Vampire Huntress Legend
L. A. Banks, . . St. Martin's Griffin, $12.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-312-31680-8
Lovely African-American Damali Richards is a "spoken word" performer with a complement of musicians and technicians in this first of a projected horror trilogy from Banks. As if this weren't fantasy enough, Damali is also a "vampire slayer." The entourage of this black "Buffy" is a politically correct rainbow of seven guardians, who disguise their weapons as musical instruments to get through airport security and on to the next gig. When the guardian team faces action, they tend to stand around jive-talking their adrenaline up for pages before they go after the vamps. But they aren't just vampires: master vampire Fallon Nuit uses his recording label as a front for gangsters, drugs and a multinational corporate empire that controls most of the world's economy. He's hooked up with a demon and has created "the Minion" of rogue hybrid-vampires. Nuit's so bad even the Vampire Council wants him gone. Damali's not just a slayer either. She's "ripening" as she hits age 21 into a superhuman who emits an aphrodisiacal scent that makes male vampires "go nuts"—they must "choose to kill her or take her." Overheated prose ("massive incisors ripped through her gums like they were giving hideous birth") and a complicated "legend" backstory (a hodgepodge of New Wave, paranormal, astrologic, Judeo-Christian, pseudo-African and mystical mythology) weigh down a story more calculated marketing idea than original literary concept.
Reviewed on: 05/05/2003
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-312-98701-5
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-9440-8