Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE AWAKENING by L.A. Banks

THE AWAKENING

A Vampire Huntress Legend, Book II

By L.A. Banks

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-312-31683-6
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Second and shorter trade paperback entry in the Afro Vampire Huntress rock ’n’ roll trilogy rip-off of Blade, Buffy, and Lestat, following Minion (2003).

At 20, destiny-driven Damali Richards, a New Orleans orphan and now a Spoken Word artiste, nears full awakening of her superpowers as an adult vampire huntress as she runs about carrying rhino bullets fresh-packed with hallowed earth and holy water grenades that blast like C-4—which has got master vampire Fallon Nuit and the Vampire High Council in a major tizzy. Unhappily for Damali, her sometime lover Carlos Rivera got turned and is dead, man, or rather undead, and time’s gotta come when Damali or one of her devamper Warriors of Light stakes him out so that he gets real cool, real dead. It’s war, with Fallon Nuit’s demonic Minion of rogue hybrid-vampires against Damali, who’s protected by seven guardians, including band members who double on drums and crossbow, or computer-crossbow-wooden stake, or as Aikido instructor/choreographer/bassist. As Carlos is led through a many-layered hell of demons, each layer as richly defined as Dante’s Inferno, his bloodthirst rises, and, back on earth, he nearly attacks his mother, his grandmother, and their young helper Juanita before he’s interrupted. Meanwhile, the Council demands that Carlos bring in Damali in three days, when she ovulates, so their seed will ripen in her before her birthday. Technically, Carlos, who died in prayer, is not dead, only transformed, and thus untrustworthy for this job. Will he sign the eternal contract and deposit his soul with the Council? Will Nuit’s plan for armies of hybrid demons to turn hundreds of thousands of Damali’s concertgoers on five continents be successful? Will vamps get viral immunity to sunlight and become daywalkers?

Strong improvement for Banks, who found herself attacked by Internet fans of Laurel K. Hamilton, Anita Blake, and Buffy’s Joss Whedon, vampiricists who make no reflections in mirrors.