A Neteru---a hunter or a huntress---is born every thousand years in favor of the Warriors of Light as they fight against the Dark Realms. But Damali Richards is the Millennium Neteru. The one who will play a pivotal role in the Final War. The Warriors of Light had been waiting for her and the Dark Realms will do anything to either possess or destroy her. What they did not account for was the man who would love her.
Damali Richard has been to hell and back---literally---and she is not eager to repeat the trip. A Vampire civil war has been averted, but there were casualties and she believes that Carlos Rivera, former lover turned master vampire, is one of them. His death has not only shaken her emotions, but weakened her powers as well. But then Damali gets word that horrific killings are taking place in Brazil. The vampire civil war has left a small door to hell open and new and dangerous foes have risen from the Dark Realms. The leader, a deadly female, is set on a path of destruction. However, her blood lust hides a nefarious plan and the newly resurrected Carlos Rivera is at the heart of it. But Damali is not about to lose her man a second time, so she plans to send this old girl right back to hell she came from---no matter who stands in her way.
In Banks's third overheated hip-hop vampire thriller (after Minion and The Awakening), Damali Richards, a vampire huntress (or "Neteru"), reconnects with her vampire lover Carlos Rivera, whom she thought was killed in the previous novel but who's now serving a penance for his vampiric misdeeds within a modern-day Knights Templar stronghold. In Brazil, where were-creatures have been terrorizing a portion of the rain forest, Damali and Carlos encounter a female vampire possessed, via were-cat infection and flesh-eating, by the bitter memories of a 500-year-old Neteru who lost her life to raping and pillaging conquistadors. Carlos is tempted by the female vampire's offer of joint rule, and Damali must battle to stop an alliance between renegade vampires and demons that promises catastrophe for were-demons, vampires and humans alike. The hip-hop turn to the book's prose alleviates the tedium of a stock genre plot, while the well-conceived and intricate rules of Banks's vampire-inhabited world provide endless opportunities for riffs on the meaning of power and sex that will please lovers of similar purplish philosophical musings found in the vampire tales of Anne Rice and Laurell K. Hamilton.
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