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*