I have my doubts, due to it only being a vague match, and the timeframes not matching up, but the first book sounds like the official novelization of Pitch Black.
A rogue comet spears an earth-bound commercial spacecraft, forcing it to plummet to the surface of an unknown planet. With the captain dead, a brave pilot performs a perilous crash landing. Other than three suns-which create perpetual light-and a slight oxygen deficiency, a search party discovers that the planet isn't much different from Earth...until they stumble across a ghostly settlement littered with the human remains of geologists who mysteriously perished exactly sixty years ago. And the most horrific discovery of all: below the surface of the soil, where darkness reigns, live hungry predators with a deadly appetite.
Once every sixty years a solar eclipse darkens the skies and allows the blood-hungry creatures to escape from their underground tomb. With only hours before total blackout, everyone must unite in a race to raise the geologists' abandoned ship before becoming a long-awaited meal...
Riddick, the criminal they're transporting, can see in the darkness, and therefore is their best hope to guide them to safety. However, the book came out in the year 2000, which is almost a decade late for you.
There was a novelization of the second film, The Chronicles of Riddick
No matter how long or how hard they strive, no matter how extensive their education as a species, no matter what they experience of the small heavens and larger hells they create for themselves, it seems that humans are destined to see their technological accomplishments always exceed their ability to understand themselves.
As with the film, the main villains are the Necromongers, "a militant death cult bent upon destroying intelligent life to trigger the end of all things", and they are opposed by the Elementals, although only one shows up in the film. We do have a small cast of characters and their ship getting caught up in the conflict, but it's largely different people from the first book/movie. Also, it didn't come out until 2004.
Still, this might be of help, or might help others looking for a similar set of books.