Haunted by Kelley Armstrong (A Women of the Otherworld novel)

Eve Levine - half-demon, black witch and devoted mother - has been dead for three years. She has a great house, an interesting love life and can't be killed again - which comes in handy when you've made as many enemies as Eve. Yes, the afterlife isn't too bad - all she needs to do is find a way to communicate with her daughter Savannah and she'll be happy.

But fate - or more exactly, the Fates - have other plans. Eve owes them a favour, and they've just called it in. An evil spirit called the Nix has escaped from hell. She feeds on chaos and death, and is very good at persuading people to kill for her. The Fates want Eve to hunt her down before she does any more damage, but the Nix is a dangerous enemy - previous hunters have been sent mad in the process. As if that's not problem enough, it turns out that the only way to stop her is with an angel's sword. And Eve's no angel…

Haunted is the fifth of Kelly Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, which focuses on various women in urban fantasy settings, similar in style to Laurel K Hamilton and Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series of books. In Haunted the main protagonist is a ghost called Eve, who in life was a black witch and half demon. In the afterlife she has kept her powers but is trapped beyond the reach of her daughter, Savannah, whom she has developed an obsessive attachment to now that she cannot protect her.

The Fates decide to send her on a mission to capture a Nix – an evil spirit which has been body-hopping amongst women for centuries and who provides those with murderous desires the resolve to enact their fantasies. Three times previously the Fates have sent hunters to capture the Nix, but all have failed. With the help of her sorcerer ex and an angel, Eve will literally have to fight out of hell itself in order to take down the Nix before it destroys those she loves.

If you enjoy the style of Hamilton and Butcher’s books you’ll like this series as well as it runs on a pretty similar template. Set in an America suburbia but with a supernatural dimension to the story, Armstrong brings in witches, angles, werewolves, evil spirits, sorcerers and ghosts and creates an interesting layered afterlife where ghosts live a similar style of ‘life’ as they did when they were alive, with rules and a hierarchy of power, but also with movement between dimensions and the living world. Eve’s quest takes her across these dimensions, from encounters with murderers suffering eternal punishment to demons living in Scottish castles, but it also has a healthy dose of humour to balance out the horror. Eve is particularly likable as she thoroughly kicks ass, and is pretty powerful, but isn’t overbearing in the way Hamilton’s heroines can be. She comes across as having human weaknesses, but also has a refreshing lack of morals, so she is happy to try and bend as many rules as possible to get to her desired end.

Haunted is an easy read and great fun – the only downside I can think of is that it often felt like I was reading the second part of a series and I had missed the first book focusing on Eve’s life before she died. There are secondary minor characters that have been in previous books, such as her daughter’s foster mother Paige Winterbourne, but this is the first about Eve herself. Apart from that I would say that this is good fun and highly entertaining – I look forward to reading some of the others in the series.

8/10 An easy read and great fun.

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Haunted reader reviews

8/10 from 1 reviews

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