The Chairman of the Vampire Council is dead, and Lilith, the consort of the Unnamed One, and the Unnamed One himself are out for revenge against Damali Richards, the Vampire Huntress, and her lover, Carlos Rivera. A ruthless and carefully planned strategy---one that not even Damali will anticipate---has been developed. There is only one entity who can best Damali, send Carlos packing, and put the Guardian team at mortal risk. This powerful being was once banished into a forsaken land and possesses everything that would bring a Neteru to his or her knees. This time the fight is not so clear-cut, and it is not only Damali's soul in the balance but her body and heart as well.
Weird energy is going down, and demon-killing Damali is not at all herself in Banks's seventh Vampire Huntress Legend (after The Damned). Soon after Damali walks out on her soul mate, ex-vampire Carlos Rivera, she meets a mysterious stranger who frightens"and tempts"her more than anyone or anything has before. Is he from the Light or from hell? Something is seriously wrong in the universe, and the forces of evil may be getting the upper hand. Banks lays a lot of wisdom on the line about male-female relationships, along with more of her complex cosmology that samples various religions, folklore and a wide array of myth. But it's the characters and their passions coupled with the author's wild imagination that drive the narrative. The story has gotten so complicated it may be difficult for a newcomer to fathom, but readers already enthralled with this sizzling series can look forward to major plot payoffs. (July)
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St. Martin's Griffin
June 26, 2006
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Excerpt from The Forsaken by L.A. Banks
The day after Christmas, a horrific tsunami hit Southeast Asia, creating a natural and human disaster of biblical proportions. Disease and destruction lay in the wake of the giant wave, flooding and taking lives in eleven countries to the scale of Noah's time. But the animals sensed it was coming and were mysteriously saved. Ancient tribesmen, observant of nature's force, also strangely avoided destruction. But the cities . . . the tourists, all lay in ruins.
Humanity is now studying the instinctual nature of the animal kingdom. Tribal elders were asked how they knew, but their simplistic answers baffled scientists until debunked.
People in the fishing villages feared to eat the sea's yield, even while starving . . . so many bodies were in the water, and they reasoned that the fish had feasted upon that which the waters took.
Beyond the human suffering of more than a hundred and fifty thousand known dead, thousands missing, and millions left homeless and destitute with food shortages and tainted water, the power of the event actually shifted the planet--the Earth's poles moved to the east by a full inch, and time stopped for several milliseconds. It moved to the east . . . to the east . . . the east . . . perhaps east of Eden.
We do not yet know how this will influence the Earth's position amongst its planetary brethren. What we do know, however, is that everything in the universe is a fragile balance, like that of an immaculately designed Swiss watch. Move one part and misalign one gear, and then what? Astrologers have yet to weigh in on this matter, nor has the traditional scientific community. They simply have no answers.
All this while in the United States, Southern California has been deluged by unrelenting rains and the normally arid region was also covered by a blanket of snow . . . over one hundred and fifty inches has fallen on the Sierra Mountains . . . snow has even covered the desert region--Nevada . . . Texas and the Midwest experienced driving snowstorms . . . the Ohio Valley was covered in ice and floodwaters, forcing evacuations . . . this after four back-to-back hurricanes just devastated Florida's coast and the Caribbean, then one came that virtually wiped New Orleans off the map. Still there were more hurricanes, floods, tornados . . . forces of nature, also known by insurance companies as acts of God.
And, yet the world is still at war. Not even these cataclysmic events were enough to give mankind pause. In the ongoing human conflict, no one seemed to remember that even time stood still. The planet was rocked off its axis for milliseconds, but warring factions around the globe didn't seem to give a damn. They just kept on fighting, shooting, and blowing each other up. The stern warning is not being heeded.