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Urban Fantasy Review: Darkness Haunts by Susan Illene

Darkness Haunts by Susan Illene (The Sensor #1)

review request from the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
Melena Sanders faced her fair share of danger with insurgents and terrorists when she served in the U.S. Army, but now she is about to go up against a new threat. Her best friend, Aniya, has disappeared while on a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska—a supernatural haven. Most humans have no idea darker races lurk amongst them. Mel knows better. If she wants to get her friend back, she’s going to have to go in alone—but not unarmed.

Melena has a few special skills the Army didn’t provide, but the odds are still against her. She’s got to come up with a plan fast that doesn’t involve her, or her friend, dying. But danger likes to play it rough. A war for power is about to rise in Fairbanks and if she wants to get Aniya back, she’s going to have to step right into the middle of it.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US($2.99)/UK(£1.91)


* * *
 Darkness Haunts was good, peeps, and I breezed through it within a couple of hours. Miss Illene is a definite fan of urban fantasy and it is her genre. I also loved that all of this was happening in Alaska. This is not a region very popular in UF, and I can only name a few books that chose to use it as their setting.

There are plenty of yummy moments and interesting characters: Mel herself is an intriguing woman with a background as a military interrogator; Lucas is a Nephilim angel who mostly annoys her and occasionally saves her life; and Nikolas oozes charm surprising for his advanced age and level of power.

I very much enjoyed Mel. She is tough, she is not afraid to be ruthless and use her knife or her gun. She fights for what she feels is right and she knows when to retreat. I like clever and resourceful characters, and I think that given some time, Mel will become a formidable heroine.

The  plot moves really well and involves all sorts of supernatural beings - werewolves, vampires, witches, fairies. Saying all that, the book felt too tentative in its exploration of the characters and world-building. I was interested in the world and I wanted to know more, and I think the book would only have won from extra 100 or so pages.

Susan Illene is not afraid of writing about darkness, and her villains are done really well, I just think she should dig even deeper and bring all those deep, powerful, painful emotions, all those conflicts and moments of extreme joy to the surface to make her future books even better.

I will be rooting for this author because I think she's got great potential. Susan, turn it up to eleven! *grinning*

* * *
Я думаю, что из Сюзан Иллен выйдет очень хороший автор, однако её дебютная книга несмотря на то, как легко её было читать, страдает излишней робкостью.

Ну вот хорошие характеры, интересный мир, а мало. Хочется в них покопаться, разузнать о мире побольше, добавить к сюжету хотя бы страниц 100 с плюсом...

Мел прямая, интересная женщина-сенсор, скрывающая свою природу от мира паранормала всю свою жизнь. Однако её секретам приходит конец, когда одна из её ближайших подруг пропадает в Аляске, и Мел бросается её искать, так как полиция отказывается что-либо делать.

От своего странного ангела-хранителя, Люкаса, Мелена узнаёт, что Аляска - это известный анклав паранормала, что как сенсор, она рискует своей жизнью поезжая туда. И действительно, Фэйрбэнкс кишит вампирами, вервульфами и ведьмами.

Местный шаман предлагает Мел сделку, она поможет ему найти древнего вампира, спрятанного под заклинанием сна где-то в регионе, и разбудить его, тогда и найдётся её подруга, но Мел отмахивается.

В итоге, местная глава вампиров, которая держит у себя в логове  Аню, подругу Мел, все равно узнаёт о таланте Мелены и шантажирует её жизнью Ани, чтобы та нашла того же самого вампира, чтобы вампирша смогла его наконец-то убить.

Мел - бывший армейский допросчик, и ей приходится использовать всё, чему она научилась, чтобы выжить и спасти свою подругу. В книге полно добротных персонажей, о которых очень хочется узнать побольше - таинственный Люкас, очаровательный Николас, милашка Эмили... Однако, так как автор не решается вдаваться в детали, сделать нам это не удаётся.

Я очень надеюсь, что к следующей книге Сюзан расхрабрится и распишет её поподробнее и поярче, так как потенциал у неё очень хороший.


Blodeuedd said...

For some reason I am just saying no today. The military angle bothers me, which is so strange

Anachronist said...

No nephilims of fallen angels for me please. Otherwise sounds...like your average UF book ;p.

Aurian said...

This sounds very good to me, thanks for the review.

Mel said...

Hey, any character who's name is Mel is enough for me to be interested! :-)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh wonderful! I've been waiting to hear what you thought of this one. I really like the sounds of it, so this adds to the want. :) Thank you.

Unknown said...

Mel sounds awesome! Can't wait to meet her. Sounds like a really cool read. Fabulous review! :-)

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Blodeuedd, there is no military angle really, she's just has a past in the army ;)

Anachronist, pretty much :D

Mel, you've won it, right? :)

Aurian, Melissa, Lauren, thank you, darlings! :)

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