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Shadow Walker: A Neteru Academy Book Paperback – December 10, 2010
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About the Author
Author Bio: L. A. Banks has written more than 42 novels and contributed to 23 novellas. She writes in the genres of YA, paranormal/fantasy, romance, women's fiction, and crime/suspense thrillers. In addition to a busy writing schedule, she is a proud member of The Liars Club, is a board of trustee member for the Philadelphia Free Library and serves on the Mayor's Commission on Literacy. Ms. Banks is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania Wharton undergraduate program with a master's in fine arts from Temple University. She is a full-time writer living and working in Philadelphia. www.NeteruAcademy.com
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Set sixteen years since the last battle, we find the Neterus (Carlos and Damali) and other Guardians preparing to send their children to the Neteru Academy (a school built by them to educate those destined to fight evil). The kids hail from across the globe, each with a story, a gift and a destiny. The Academy run by none other than their guardian seers/grandparents (Marlene and Shabazz) was designed to develop their skills, as well as prepare them for the future. While the Guardians all hoped it would be way in the future, it appears that a mysterious evil has crept into the very institution meant to protect them. There have been a series of troubling events reported to the Guardians (a few missing and dead people associated with the Academy) which makes them reluctant to release their most precious gifts (their children).
The main characters, twins Sarah and Alejandro Riviera are like most siblings, constantly competing for their parents (Carlos and Damali) affection and acceptance. Natural rivals, the two struggle with being the children of the most powerful "Light¨ warriors (the renown Neterus), and have been placed in different groups based on their powers. Feeling the pressure to be "extraordinary", and live up to their parent's reputation/legacy, the two feel that they must prove themselves. Sarah struggles with self confidence and her classification as a "blend" leaves her feeling inadequate and insecure. She also feels a little cheated since the only thing special about her seems to be her father¡¦s fangs (that pop out at the most inopportune time). Coupled with that, Sarah is afraid of the dark, has been having some weird dreams and has seen some strange things out of the corner of her eyes. On the other hand, her twin brother Al (AKA Alejandro) seems to be everything she is not. He is reckless, fearless and seems to be the golden child, destined for great things. He has even inherited his mother's wings and can fly. He seems to yearn for the excitement of battle and wants nothing less than to live up to his promise. As the two struggle to make their own way, and not live in their parents shadows, they also uncover what they are destined to do and be, and find that their mutual love and respect will always protect them. Afterall no matter what the differences, they can always count on each other, their friends and extended family.
I think most teens (and most adults) will be able to relate to the characters in the story. [And for those of us who love the VHLS, this is a nice way to catch up with those Guardians that we have come to know and love.] Who doesn't remember the ups and downs of being a teenager, attending high school or boarding school? Haven't we all at one point in our lives felt awkward, insecure and had felt like we did not belonging? While clearly a paranormal teen thriller, Banks tackles some serious teen issues in a very responsible way. It was even clever how Banks used the classification in the school to immediately show you (literally and figuratively) the perils that some kids face when it comes to labels. [And of course, how you can't judge a book by its cover. OR how a classification should not "define" you.] Banks has brilliantly woven a story about friendship, first loves, and bullying, creatively showing how kids struggle to be accepted and belong. She uses some interesting situations that include teens engaging in risky behavior, making mistakes (while learning from them) and shows how these events enable young people to eventually learn and accept who and what they are. I enjoyed this story, and look forward to the next one. This book was definitely the solid foundation for a promising new series.
The teenagers have inherited limitless talents from their parents, and have been tested, classified, and assigned to their dedicated areas. Carlos is tripping most, because he does not want to let his offspring, twins Sarah and Alejandro, leave home. He has committed a clandestine act which could come back to haunt him. The 'Net-Compound' kids have never experienced anything or any body outside of their compound style living, and as typical teenagers they are excited and apprehensive about leaving home. But, the adults are nervous; something is amiss at the academy. Two students are dead and at least five are missing, one of which is Ayana. The freshman students are barely in class before curiosity, jealousy and mayhem create almost insurmountable dangers. They must battle refugees amongst both the human and supernatural populations. Sarah Rivera, thought to be the most logical and the most timid of the group, begins to realize her powers and the danger that parallels it.
Banks again goes to her creative bank to bring a series that offers celestial hierarchy, teenage morality, the power of prayer, and a hip street philosophy. SHADOW WALKER lets us know the fight is not over, and the team needs new soldiers. Readers will be suspended as the teenagers, along with everything else they must learn, struggle to overcome typical adolescent drama. The series is still ingenious, inventive, and multi-dimensional. Banks has clearly set the stage, for another adventurous, awe-inspiring ride. One particular declaration had me pumping my fist. For newbies to the Huntress series, Banks has supplied a glossary of need-to-know information.
Reviewed by aNN
of The RAWSISTAZ(tm) Reviewers
Leslie ..you have once again captivated my attention with such an awesome extension of the VHL Series!!
When I finally get my book of the ground..I hope I can write just as wonderful as you!!
Now about "Shadow Walker"...the netpound kids are chips off the ole blocks!!..lol
Sarah has such a beautiful spirit ..like her mom Damali....Al..fiesty,arrogant, a hot-head, fine, hardheaded!!..just like his dad Carlos!!
Although Sarah and her brother Al are for the most part always at odds, he loves his sister and is quite the protector!
Another compound bud, Val , Al's best buddy has takin and interest in Sarah...adorable!as a matter of fact Miss Sarah has her hands full, a school mate Wil has also takin an interest Sarah as well!!
Tamara , Sarah's BF and compound buddy...has a conflicting relationship, with sarah, she loves her bestie and has her back, but she's also jealous and envy's her as well!.. Tamara has to decide whether, she's going to put the petty nonsense aside and start being a real friend or is she just gonna throw there friendship under the bus!
there's so much more to share with you all, but i think im gonna let u get the series and decide for yourself if Leslie should continue this series, cause I for one am here to TELL YA!!...
I WILL ALWAYS PLAY FOR TEAM VHL AND THIS NEW FANTASTIC SERIES!!