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Haunted    by Kelley Armstrong order for
by Kelley Armstrong
Order:  USA  Can
Seal, 2005 (2005)
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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

It's not often that the main characters of a novel are dead people, but that's the premise of Haunted, the latest installment in Kelley Armstrong's very entertaining Women of the Underworld series.

Eve Levine was first introduced as a minor character in Stolen, where she'd been kidnapped by a megalomaniac intent on harvesting the powers of supernatural beings and using them for his own twisted ends. Eve dies during an escape attempt but not before exacting a promise from fellow prisoner and witch, Paige Winterbourne, to look after her troubled daughter Savannah and keep her out of the clutches of the nasty Nast Cabal (think Godfather only these guys are sorcerers). Savannah is not only the offspring of one of the Nast heirs (Kristof, who's been killed by rival sorcerers), but she also has great potential in dark magic, something the Sorcerers dearly want to control. Okay, I've either confused you or whet your appetite; maybe the best thing to do before reading Haunted is to backtrack and read all its predecessors.

Eve and Kristof now both reside in a dimension that's sort of a waiting room before their next ascension, controlled by the Three Fates. Eve's and Kris's relationship on Earth didn't work out, but now the former lovers have plenty of time to sort through twenty years of emotional baggage. Kris wants forever but has a hard time convincing Eve, who's still obsessed with protecting Savannah from the machinations of Kris's family. Before he can further his cause to win Eve back, and convince her that she no longer has control over their daughter's life, the Fates step in. They want Eve's help in capturing an escaped Nix demon who's been wreaking havoc on the human plane. If Eve succeeds she will earn her wings - literally. She teams up with an angel named Trsiel and with his, and occasionally Kris's help, plays a dangerous cat-and-mouse game with a destructive demon who has no intention of letting herself be re-captured and relegated to a hell dimension.

Kelly Armstrong's wonderfully original series continues to evolve. In Haunted, she's created still another new world teeming with possibilities - and hopefully a return engagement from Eve and Kris, two very likeable and multi-faceted characters. The tale did tend to meander at times, and the final confrontation with the Nix could have used some serious editing, but overall the story, with its host of marvelous characters, was right on the mark.

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