Kelley Armstrong gives us more characters and complexity with every novel. At times it feels like you are biting off more than you can chew, but she always manages to steal you back before you fall over the edge and become overwhelmed. Haunted has a little something for every paranormal reader. But if you are looking for a simple read, this isn’t it.
When Eve Levine was bad, she was very, very bad. And when she was good, she was dead and growing bored and more frustrated everyday. Living in the ghost world allowed her to watch over her daughter, Savannah, but watching was all she could do. Eve wanted to be there to protect her baby girl but in her current state she couldn’t do anything to effect the living world. Lucky for Eve she wasn’t alone in her frustration and had Savannah’s father Kristof to keep her company.
Of course, Kris is growing more and more frustrated due to Eve’s fixation on their daughter and sees Paige and Lucas as more than capable and better equipped to deal with their 15 year-old daughter. So during one of Eve’s daily stalking trips, Kris asks her if she wants to get away and take a temp job. But before Eve gets a chance to meet up with him that night to talk about it, she learns the Fates have other plans for her.
Not fate but the Fates, as in the three-in-one woman who rules the underworld. The Fates need to catch a Nix, a demi-demon who thrives on chaos by giving people the courage to kill. The Fates have gone through three angels so far with no luck. They wouldn’t even have a Nix in the ghost world, but this Nix was “killed” while possessing a witch’s body and was sent to the supernatural realm. The Nix must be caught. What better way to catch a demi-demon than with a half-demon/half-witch bounty-hunter? Eve is all over getting to kick some ass, especially when you factor in a child-killer. And this will give her a chance to pay off a favor, which she hates to owe to anyone. If she happens to find info on how to be a better parent after death, all the better.
Of course it can’t be that simple and with three other hunters having failed the job, Eve is given a helping wing to catch the Nix in the form of an angel, Trsiel. He ends up spilling why the Fates want Eve on this mission. And it is very interesting to watch her weigh something she never thought she would have again against something she has spent the last few years trying to achieve.
Armstrong weaves in the rest of the cast of characters, minus Elena and Clay, from the other books in The Women of the OtherWorld Series and does a great job putting them to use in the plot vs background series noise. It’s the other added characters who crowd the book and detract from the main action: the random crying ghost, Lizzie Borden, the ghost gang, and the other random women whose bodies the Nix “borrows”.
There are quite a few relationships running through the novel. Not just lovers or love affairs, but friends, daughters, and even an angel or two. A stronger focus on one or two of these areas would have made for a more powerful book. And even though Eve and Kris aren’t physically involved at the start of the book, they are emotionally involved. And the support and caring these two have, in their own special way, is shown throughout.I would have liked the story to focus more on the two of them, but really this is Eve’s story, and how everyone interacts or reacts with her.
Haunted isn’t a fast read. You might have to stop a minute and work out how character or actions connect and a couple of times, they just make sense. But if you have enjoyed the series so far, you wouldn’t want to miss this one. At the heart of Kelley Armstrong’s world is a great story filled with magic, fate and multiple paranormal beings. Personally I can’t wait until Broken, when we get to visit Elena and Clay again.