Kelley Armstrong
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Buy *Haunted* online Haunted: Women of the Otherworld
Kelley Armstrong
528 pages
May 2005
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Even from the afterworld, Eve Levine - half-demon, half-witch and currently a ghost - is obsessed with watching over her only daughter, Savannah, a fact that has Savannah’s father and Eve’s once-beau, the now-dead Kristof Nast, exasperated even in the hereafter. The only people who can distract her are the all-powerful Fates when they call in a marker that Eve is bound by her word of honor to pay.

Eve’s assigned the almost impossible task of finding and capturing the Nix, a demonic creature that thrives on pain and chaos, that has escaped from hell and is now wreaking havoc on earth by possessing potential killers and enabling them to carry out their dark deeds. Can Eve do what even angels have failed so far to do? Just as it begins to appear so, than the mission turns deadly personal as the Nix targets Eve’s greatest weakness, Savannah.

Kelley Armstrong needs no introduction – this masterful creator of the “Women of the Otherworld” series has held readers captivated ever since the first book, Bitten, was released. Now she continues this spell-binding literary tradition with yet another potent new book, Haunted, starring Eve Levine, a character whose image so far has been that of a reviled but powerful black-magic witch who dies unexpectedly, leaving behind an equally powerful daughter: Savannah. How Eve prevails even from the great beyond is the unusual concept empowering this fiery book.

The story is decidedly darker in its overabundance of killers, both human and supernatural, and Eve’s dealings with them often results in breath-taking action sequences filled with blood and gore. Through the Nix, readers are given a disturbingly fascinating insight into minds of serial killers, and the book positively bleeds with pain whenever this character is around. Eve and Kristof’s romance, despite obstacles galore as well as lack of corporeal bodies, is also impressively achieved.

However the most intriguing part here is the vividly and creatively imagined afterworld with its own rules, varied denizens and equally varying hells. Eve’s continued daring and tenacity in a such a hereafter and her compelling maternal instincts together with her demonic tendencies makes her an incorporeal protagonist the likes of which readers have seldom, if ever, encountered. A sterling addition the “Otherworld” series, Haunted is a story that will leave the readers longing to read more by this undeniably talented author.

© 2004 by Rashmi Srinivas for Curled Up With a Good Book

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