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L.A. Banks

L.A. Banks fantasy author(1959-2011)
L.A. Banks is the pseudonym of Leslie Esdaile Banks. She wrote paranormal urban fantasy. You can read excerpts of her novels at the Vampire Huntress website and the Crimson Moon website.

Minion: Too talky

Minion by L.A. Banks

In the interest of accuracy, let me note that the edition of Minion that I have is the “Special Huntress Edition.” This is a sort of “director’s cut” that contains scenes not in the original edition of the novel. I have not read the first version and do not know which scenes are new.

Minion tells the story of Damali, a young African-American woman, and her friends, who together make up a rap band and, secretly, a vampire-hunting team. Damali has been chosen Buffy-style as the champion of Light against the forces of Darkness, and her friends are the Guardians sworn to protect her until she comes into her full powers. There is a second plot as well, dealing with Damali’s ex-boyfriend, Carlos, who was once a Guardian candidate but has fallen into a life of organized crime.

L.A. Banks draws many parallels, throughout Read More

Surrender the Dark: A promising series opener

Surrender the Dark by L.A. Banks

The angel Azrael has been sent to earth in a human body, with a very important mission. He must find Celeste Jackson, a woman who is one of the Remnant, the last remaining descendants of angel/human couplings in ages past. The Remnant must be gathered so they can lead the human race when all hell breaks loose in 2012.

When we first meet Celeste, she’s an unlikely leader. Labeled “crazy” all her life because she sees demons, she has fallen into an abusive relationship and heavy drinking. One night she’s sure it’s over — that her boyfriend is finally going to kill her — but instead he is killed by the demon that has been inhabiting him. Celeste escapes the demon but finds herself lost and hopeless, until she meets a drop-dead gorgeous man who claims to be an angel.

The interactions between Azrael and Celeste are, for the most part, terrific. Celeste doesn’t believe the ... Read More

Death’s Excellent Vacation: A good audiobook for your next vacation

Death’s Excellent Vacation by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner (eds)

Even paranormal creatures need to get away from it all sometimes. In Death’s Excellent Vacation, editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner present a collection of thirteen stories tied together by the theme of “vacation.”

The “headliners,” as evidenced by whose names are in big type above the title, are Harris, Katie MacAlister, and Jeaniene Frost. Each of these three authors contributes a vignette from one of her popular series: Sookie Stackhouse, Aisling Grey: Guardian, and Night Huntress respectively. These stories will be enjoyable to readers who have been following these series. Case in point: I’... Read More

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: For a dose of crazy genius

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination edited by John Joseph Adams

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination is the latest themed anthology edited by John Joseph Adams — and it’s another good one. This time, Adams has collected a set of short stories featuring the hero’s (or often superhero’s) traditional antagonist: the mad genius, the super-villain, the brilliant sociopath who wants to remold the world in his own image — or occasionally, maybe, just be left alone in his secret lair to conduct spine-tingling experiments that, as an unfortunate side-effect, may cause drastically rearranged geography, rampant mutation, or major extinction events.

Under the editorial direction of John Joseph Adams, this anthology offers an impressively varied view on this archetypical character. Some stories refer back to mad geniuses you’ll be familiar with (Frankenstein, Lex Luthor). Some of them feature ... Read More

More urban fantasy from L.A. Banks

Crimson Moon — (2008-2010) Publisher: Sasha Trudeau knows all about working beneath the shadows, back-alley deals, and things that go bump in the night. She also knows that the world is unaware of the existence of the paranormal — and that the government would like to keep it that way. As a highly trained Special Ops soldier, Sasha and her team are an elite group of individuals who are survivors of werewolf attacks, now trained to be loyal to only to each other and their government. But when she returns from a solo mission, she finds that her team has mysteriously gone missing. Shocking government conspiracies, double-dealing vampires, and a host of stunning revelations about who-and what-she really is are only just the beginning…

L.A. Banks Crimson Moon 1: Bad Blood 2. Bite the Bullet 3L.A. Banks Crimson Moon 1: Bad Blood 2. Bite the Bullet 3. Undead on Arrival 4. Cursed to DeathL.A. Banks Crimson Moon 1: Bad Blood 2. Bite the Bullet 3. Undead on Arrival 4. Cursed to DeathL.A. Banks Crimson Moon 1: Bad Blood 2. Bite the Bullet 3. Undead on Arrival 4. Cursed to DeathL.A. Banks Crimson Moon 1: Bad Blood 2. Bite the Bullet 3. Undead on Arrival 4. Cursed to Death 5. Never Cry WerewolfL.A. Banks Crimson Moon 1: Bad Blood 2. Bite the Bullet 3. Undead on Arrival 4. Cursed to Death 5. Never Cry WerewolfLeft for Undead


L.A. Banks Neteru Academy 1. Shadow WalkerShadow Walker — (2009) Publisher: Sarah Rivera has a lot going on in her life right now. It’s bad enough that she’s being shipped off to Temt Tchaas Academy also known as Neteru Academy, a high school for future Guardians of the Light who have special powers, but she has to go there with her cocky twin brother and the rest of her compound brothers and sisters. To make matters worse, everyone has ridiculous expectations of her all because her parents are like supernatural rock stars for saving the planet sixteen years ago. But what nobody, not even her best girlfriend Tami seems to be getting is the fact that, Sarah doesn’t think she’s special, doesn’t want to be a demon-hunting hero, and is even afraid of the dark! So what that her mother was a Warrior Angel and her Dad used to be a Hell Council-level Vampire? Opposites attract. Go figure. As far as Sarah is concerned, all she got from the combination was a pair of fangs that lengthen at inappropriate times to embarrass her in front of her secret crush; whereas her brother, Alejandro, got the good looks and cool wings. However, what her parents’ status has created is drama in her life by ensuring that the mean girls at school will make her life a living nightmare. Sarah knows her family’s renowned slayer reputation will also ensure that everyone at school will assume she had it easy and should be able to do everything her famous rebel parents can do, when the heartbreaking truth is, she cant. Not by a long shot. Once at the hidden boarding school in the Appalachian Mountains, things go from bad to worse as Sarah tries to fit in. Her nightmares increase and it isn’t just anxiety; her second sight is suddenly developing at a record pace. Layers of secrets are held in the building, held by her parents, and nothing is as it seems. There is something really bad going on at the school, worse than bad — deadly. Only, faculty and administrators don’t know where to begin to look for the cause as students start to disappear. Sarah must then make a choice to stand on the sidelines or to help use her gifts to save someone dear. But to do that means facing all of her greatest fears, along with a demon or two.