Leslie Esdaile Banks, born December 11, 1959, died today two years ago in a fight against cancer. She's been writing for a long time, and was famous for the Vampire Huntress Legends series, starring an angelic vampire huntress and a high-shot vampire wanting redemption. However, I didn't know of her through them. I was lucky enough to read her spin-off, featuring the kids of all the people in the VHL.
I'd really gotten into the world she created in a YA setting, and at the time, hadn't known she'd passed months after reading it. I was waiting for the next book to come out, wondering why it was taking so long- I was both ashamed for the impatience and saddened by the news. I hadn't found out until a year later when I'd decided to look her up and see what the holdup was.
It's never easy losing a loved one to cancer, but I'm glad that people still get to enjoy all the beautiful work she's done over the years in her life.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world following the Armageddon, in Shadow Walker, the teenage children of the world's Guardians of the Light must learn to hone their extra-sensory talents to one day join in the battle with their parents.
While they are secreted away in the Temt Tchaas Academy, (aka Neteru Academy), these students must learn to fight evil as well as learn to resist the temptation of fighting with each other. Although these young people have super powers, they still struggle with the same dramas and insecurities like any other high school student - and just because their parents may be superhuman doesn't mean their parents are perfect. Far from it. That only makes life more confusing, as peer pressure, budding romances, decisions about whether or not to snitch, or whether or not to use one's supernatural gifts for personal gain must be sorted out.
In this coming of age story, Sarah Rivera and her twin brother, Alejandro, must figure out when to use their wings or fangs, how to get along with their compound siblings, how to fit in with others in a huge new school, and perhaps most importantly, how to pick their battles to always fight for what is right.
I fell so hard for this book! I'm really into boarding schools, and Sarah was a girl who hadn't come into her own, yet. Her twin was a major pain in the ass and joined one of the highest ranks in the academy, while she got stuck in the "Blends", which is considered the lowest for a lack of any particular talent. I got embarrassed with her, I laughed with her, and I experienced school through her. It was a perfect blend of drama and hilariousness. One of my favorites was her natural gift which, at the time, was a nightmare for her. She could see little monsters in the shadows around her, and up until her realization of what she was, they haunted her, made her feel inferior to both Al and everyone else.
I'm all for diamonds in the rough, so it was great getting to see her go from the "Blends", the lowest ranks in the academy, to the highest class (even higher than Al), the Shadows. Sarah was a Shadow Walker, a person who could control the shadows around her and defeat demons that way. Eventually, she'd have grown into a fine adult and charged to control the Reapers (like her teacher in the Shadows class), she was that kind of powerful.
Not only was this almost every kid's dream in high school, it also had a great sense of family bonds. All the kids in the compound weren't related (save for Sarah and Al) but they were raised right and tight, to stick with family no matter what happened. Al might have been a jerk and a tormentor to his sisters, but he stood up for them and had their backs when Drama Time came to call.
All in all, I think this would've been a very well-loved series. It's already a novel that gets every other writing blood pumping. It sure pumped mine.
Happy Reading. :)