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Dear Thursday: MINION by L.A. Banks [Book 9 for 2010]

Yes, yes, I know it’s Week 10 of 2010, but I promise to catch up by next week. Wait for it!

minionWhy I Decided To Read It: As an early Buffy the Vampire Slayer adopter, Banks basically had me at a “black vampire slayer.”

What’s It About: Damali, a 20-year-old LA spoken word artist and neteru (vampire huntress) who is about to come into all of her powers when she turns 21. She’s also juggling a difficult romance with a drug dealer from her past named Carlos Rivera.

What Makes It Different: Dark-skinned heroine who rocks dredlocks and kills vampires. What doesn’t make it different?

What I Loved: Hot paranormal romance featuring black people. Woo-hoo! Also, I love that Damali leads a diverse team. And I tend not to like bad boys IRL or in lit, but Carlos Riveras is a very sexy hero. Oh, and way sexy cover. Yay.

What I Didn’t Like: This isn’t so much a fully-realized novel as the first part of a multi-part story. It felt like the book ended mid-action when I was just really getting into it! And alas, since I’m trying to read a new author every week, I won’t have time to find out what happened until next year. Boo!

Also, as a former denizen of North Hollywood, I found it hard to believe that there would be a “really hot” club there. Seriously, I wished — but I always had to drive when I wanted to hit a good club with my girlfriends.

Writing Lessons Learned:

Action first, THEN team. I loved how Banks introduced Damali and her team. Basically after a couple of prologues we see the team in action on a big vampire kill THEN we meet them as individuals.

Simple-yet-complicated love story. The hero and heroine were refreshingly straight-forward. They want each other. But because he’s a drug dealer and b/c she’s a vessel for good, they can’t really be together. Simple, but at the same time, it opens the would-be lovers up to several complications.

Embrace the evil. Banks gives her morally ambiguous characters a ton of POV time, and it really helps the reader fully invest in the whole story.

To Whom Would I Recommend This Book: Buffy fans, Spoken Word Artists (finally you have a heroine!), Women with dredlocks, North Hollywooders, Religious folks.

Click on the cover pic to buy the book.