Tuesday, August 31, 2010

CBR Book#58: Haunted by Kelley Armstrong

This is the fifth book in Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. I don't think that there will be too many spoilers in this review, as we don't meet the narrator in the series until after she is dead. So, her being dead isn't a spoiler, just who the character is.

In life, Eve Levine was a witch and half-demon banished from her Coven because of her acquisition and mastery of "dark magics". She lived her life on the move while teaching magic to others and earning a reputation among the supernaturals. Eventually, Eve would have a daughter named Savannah, who is just as powerful as her mother. One day, people show up at Eve's apartment and kidnap the witch and her daughter. They are taken to a high-security compound where they are held prisoner (this took place in book #2, Stolen). Eve was killed and buried on the compound grounds. Her daughter, Savannah, would become the ward of fellow witch Paige Winterbourne and her husband Lucas Cortez.

When Eve died, she went to a supernatural heaven. She clashes with the Fates, the three sisters in charge of her heaven, because of her unrelenting desire to protect Savannah from the ghost world. Eve goes places that she shouldn't and tries to do things that she shouldn't, much to the Fates dismay. After the events in Industrial Magic, Eve owes the Fates a favor that they would like to call in. It seems a demon called a Nixen was accidentally brought to the supernatural after-life by mistake hundreds of years ago. This Nix would find people who were on the brink of murder and then give them the confidence to carry out the crime. The Nix would then 'feast' on the chaos of the murders. However, the Nix entered into the body of a woman and was unable to leave her before her execution. When the Nix began to leave the deceased, she appeared as the woman's spirit and was snagged by an angel.

Eventually the Nix broke free from her ghostly prison and began entering into women again in the land of the living. The Fates have sent many ghosts and angels to retrieve the Nix, but none have been successful. This is where Eve comes in. The Fates want her to capture the Nix. Eve agrees and begins a long and tough quest to capture this evil spirit before it destroys the people that she left behind when she died while also figuring out what is important to focus on in her afterlife.

I'll admit, I got a slow start on this book. Eve isn't the most sympathetic character and the ghost world is a bit complicated and strange. However, once Armstrong really got into telling the Nix's story while Eve takes us on her journey, it began to gel for me and I flew through it. It isn't the best of the Otherworld stories, but it is interesting and brings us into an entirely new dimension of the supernatural world. I liked it but don't know that I would jump at the chance to revisit Eve or the ghost world anytime soon.

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