Thursday, August 30, 2012

Haunted (Women of the Otherworld #5) by Kelley Armstrong

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 favor, 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 driven insane in the process. As if that’s not problem enough, the only way to stop her is with an angel’s sword. And Eve is no angel. . . .

Type: Urban Fantasy, Demons, Ghosts, 1st Person
Heat: 1 out of 5
Rating: 5 out of 5

Whew. Now that was an amazing read. Haunted was by far my favorite book in the Women of the Otherworld series. Helluva shock since I really wasn't all that taken with Eve in previous books. But man did she turn out to be a huge surprise and an incredible heroine. I really enjoyed all of the different aspects of the book from the characters and their personal journeys to Eve's hunting down the Nix, an ancient evil that's escaped hell, which was just fascinating. Haunted wasn't the steamiest of reads but damn if it wasn't completely satisfying.

One really neat thing about the story was that it flashes back in time to some of the "partners" the Nix possessed through the centuries with some being real life cases (ex- Lizzy Borden). I love little tweaks at history like that. There was a lot of grit along the way and some oh-so-gruesome bits that had this not so squeamish girl looking away from the page doing a totally girly "ew. ewewewew!" with a fully body shudder. Some seriously impressive writing. Loved it! It's one of those stories you get completely pulled into. It was just so clever and unique.

Eve was a wonderful heroine even if her morals were somewhat questionable from time to time. She was just herself with no apologies and I loved that she doesn't sugar coat what she's thinking. If things didn't go as planned she pulls herself together and jumps right back in the fight. You gotta admire a woman like that. She really grew as a character as well. Her inner battles as she comes to grip with her afterlife and letting go of her daughter were heartbreaking and had me aching right along with her. While there were a lot of serious moments with Eve there were so many little bits of humor tucked in here and there that were just priceless.
I found Kristof in my house, and told him what had happened.  
"Why not just kill her?" he said when I'd finished. 
I threw my hands up. "Exactly. Why isn't this dead obvious to everyone but us?"
While I wouldn't say it's really a romantic book there is an incredible romance of sorts with Kristof who was Eve's long ago love and the father of her daughter. Their relationship was sadly sweet and so touching. He's always there for Eve and you can tell he truly loves her. They're so comfortable with each other and even though the romance was very, very light in the book I loved all of the moments with them together. Those second chances at love get me every time especially when they're so utterly perfect for each other.

If you like gritty fast-paced heart-pounding Urban Fantasy that packs an equally strong emotional punch you definitely need to check out Haunted. I was amazed with Kelley's writing and how invested I ended up being in the characters and their lives. The ending had me bawling. Literally. I was a total mess and it really wasn't a pretty sight but OMG what an amazing ending for a truly fabulous book. It doesn't look like there are any other books told from Eve's POV which is a shame but hopefully she'll show up in some of the other books. I'd really love to see more of her and Kristof.

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