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Darkness Haunts: Book 1 (Sensor Series) [Kindle Edition]

Susan Illene
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $0.99
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Book Description

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.

Word count: 92,000 (approximate)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Susan Illene is the author of the Sensor series. She served eleven years in the U.S. Army as a human resources specialist and as an Arabic linguist. After leaving the Army, she attended the University of Oklahoma to study history. Susan and her husband live in Oklahoma. Visit her at

An award-winning storyteller and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Cris Dukehart has narrated books in a plethora of genres, from romance, science fiction, and young adult to children's literature and autobiography. Her voice, with an endearing mix of sweetness and pluck, can be heard around the world and across the Web in commercials, e-learning projects, and corporate narrations.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1844 KB
  • Print Length: 387 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B0RSNG0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,648 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The boys from Supernatural have nothing on this girl... January 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Susan Illene is an impressive new author who has successfully translated her military skills and love for all creatures supernatural into a convincing and well-written tale of danger, action and supernatural intrigue. Her world, a parallel civilization to our own, is crawling with vampires, werewolves, witches and pixies--and that's only the start. If you can imagine a creature of legend, chances are you'll find it here, running a local dance club, living in an apartment next door or driving a bus load of children to school. In short, I utterly loved the merging of our modern world with Illene's brand of legend and lore.

Melena Sanders would be a normal, attractive, retired military girl (much like the author, it would appear from the bio) if it weren't for two unusual abilities: Melena can sense and recognize any supernatural creature, no matter what kind of disguise it might be wearing, and she is completely immune to magic. Unfortunately for her, those are two traits that supernatural creatures (sups as we come to know them) absolutely abhor. So, Melena might as well be wearing a target on her back when she travels from California to Alaska in search of a missing friend. The fact that this rural, northern state boasts one of the highest concentrations of sups in the country makes her quest all the more perilous.

The twists and turns of the story are fun, surprising and, in some cases, shocking. There are moments when it seems almost certain that Melena cannot survive, and her ever-deepening and varied relationships make this a must-read for anyone drawn to the supernatural and paranormal genres. I especially love the interaction and evolution of her relationship with Lucas, a powerful nephilim who seems to want her dead and alive at the same time.

This is a truly fascinating first book, and I expect to be an early customer for book two in this "Sensor" series.

Highly recommended.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Impressive Debut February 9, 2013
By Theo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Darkness Haunts is an impressive first novel. It is the product of someone who clearly knows how to write, and how to get the reader involved in a story. I've actually had rather good luck with indie authors myself (perhaps because I pay careful attention to the reviews here on Amazon!), but I'm well aware that there are others who haven't. So the main thing I'd say on that front is that yes, this is a fully professional effort.

By the standards of urban fantasy, the world of Darkness Haunts is fairly traditional. If, like me, you spent a large chunk of the `90s playing games like Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse, this is fundamentally a landscape you're already well familiar with. It's not identical to the world of such games, of course. But there are no huge breaks with tradition.

Yet despite all this, the very label "urban fantasy" is in some ways an ironic one. For although clearly placed in our own modern - and very much real - world, much of the action of Darkness Haunts unfolds in rural and semi-wilderness landscapes. It's here the author's world-crafting skills are given more free reign. What Illene has built here is sufficiently compelling that I'd actually be rather interested to see how she'd handle a more mundane story set against a similar backdrop.

If I had to mark out one thing that prevents me from giving this story five stars, I'd have to say I wouldn't have minded more - dare I say it? - "Shades of Gray" in the characters. The best way I can put it is like this: Melena, our heroine, is kind of like Luke Skywalker.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great start to the series! January 27, 2013
By KristyA
Format:Kindle Edition
4.5 stars

Melena is a not-quite-human, trying to keep a low profile and avoid detection by supernaturals, as they are a threat to her very existence. Melena is a rare sensor -- she can sense supernaturals and is immune to magic -- and she is thrust into an association with a variety of sups when her best friend goes missing.

I loved the military aspects of this novel. That, together with Melena's special gifts, makes her a kick ass heroine. She does have a very human aspect to her as well, which helps to round out her character. The secondary characters were good, although I would have liked to have read a bit more depth. The characters all took events a little too easily in their stride. I also would have liked to see a bit more of an internal and external struggle between Melena and Derrick at various times. Derrick went from jailer to close friend in the space of a couple of days and it would have been great to have more insight into this. I think because of how much I liked the characters, I just wanted to get to know them better -- to really feel their confusion, conflict, fear and friendship.

I love the paranormal genre and it's always so refreshing to read a book with some original concepts (or original to me anyway). This book has a little bit of everything: sensors, weres, vampires, witches, a pixie, mystic, fairy, nephilim, shaman...

The story line was interesting and I read the whole book in one go. I think this was a great first book, and I am hanging out for the next one in this series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great series
Published 2 days ago by Lis
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, engaging and uplifting novel of dark paranormal fantasy
This is a wonderful, touching and entrancing novel of dark paranormal fantasy set in today's world but with the added appeal of seeing our world from the perspective of werewolves,... Read more
Published 3 days ago by T. Jackson King
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the next series for you!
I love urban fantasys that are populated by more than one creature of the night. I especially love that Mel can sense them in a world that is as of yet unaware of them. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Lisa A. Richards(alterlisa)
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good but not a page turner
It's a nice start to the series. All the basic supernatural groups are present with a slight twist. There is a mystery to be solved and battles to be waged. Read more
Published 17 days ago by M. Reading
4.0 out of 5 stars Illene made my life so much better by writing a lead who actually has...
I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the author.

I can not believe I have never read this series! Up until now I have been sorely missing out! Read more
Published 17 days ago by sabrina quarantillo
3.0 out of 5 stars Perdictable UF (the sequel is better).
Melana Sanders is a "sensor"; a human with the supernatural ability to see supernatural creatures and their magic. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Rawrr
3.0 out of 5 stars Really good
This book gets off to a very slow start. The character is a Sensor, someone who is immune to magic and can sense other supernatural beings. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Grace's Touch
Ooohhh, a Sensor. Never seen anything like Melena before. Completely unique, and rare to boot. She's human with a little something extra, and though she's mostly fragile like any... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Chelsea Head
5.0 out of 5 stars keep em comin!
Stong female lead, fantasy, action, attraction, basically everything I look for. I would recommended this one to anyone that needs a whole lot of adventure, a descent amount of sex... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting start to a new series
I really enjoyed this story. The characters at times did annoy me with certain things they did or said but overall I liked it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kaila
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More About the Author

Instead of making the traditional post high school move and attending college, Susan joined the U.S. Army. She spent her eighteenth birthday in the gas experience she is sure is best left for criminals. For eleven years she served first as a human resources specialist and later as an Arabic linguist (mostly in Airborne units). Though all her duty assignments were stateside, she did make two deployments to Iraq where her language skills were put to regular use.

After leaving the service in 2009, Susan returned to school at the University of Oklahoma to study history with a focus on the Middle East. She no longer finds many opportunities to test her fighting abilities in real life, unless her husband is demanding she cook him a real meal, but she's found a new outlet in writing urban fantasy heroines who can.

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