Sunday, June 12, 2011

Haunted - Joy Preble

Title: Haunted (Book 2 in the Dreaming Anastasia series)
Author: Joy Preble
Publisher: SourceBooks Fire, 2011 (Paperback)
Length: 290 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
Started: June 8, 2011
Finished: June 12, 2011

Anne is trying her best to live a normal life, but she's still got some power sparking inside her. She's hearing and seeing things that she tries her best to ignore-like being haunted by a Russian sea nymph that claims the princess Anastasia is still alive.

That's when Ethan Kozninsky-he of the stunning blue eyes, thick brown hair, and former immortal status-returns. Anne soon realizes that everything she's been trying to forget might be impossible to bury.

After I read Dreaming Anastasia in the early days of this blog, I liked it and did end up buying it and putting it away for our future daughter (who we would name Anastasia) like I said I would. So when this sequel came out a short time ago, I knew I'd have to read it.

Things are different for Anne this time around. She still has power coursing through her, and it's only gotten stronger since Anastasia was freed from Baba Yaga instead of the other way around. She's being haunted by Rusalkas, the weird Russian equivalent of mermaids-women killed near water under mysterious circumstances. It's the Rusalkas who tell her that Anastasia is still alive somehow and that Anne's job is not yet finished. Ethan comes back to help Anne figure all this out. Plus, there's this one Rusalka who looks very familiar....

Haunted starts off slow compared to Dreaming Anastasia. We know the basic premise of the plot-things aren't as they should be and there's freaky Rusalka ladies around trying to drown people, and this somehow all relates back to Baba Yaga, Anastasia, and Viktor. But it takes until you get about 200 pages in for any of this to really go anywhere. The good thing is, once you hit that 200 page mark, the last 90 pages go by so fast and things pick up pretty quickly.

The book is narrated in the same way as the previous one, minus Anastasia's interludes, so chapters alternate between Anne and Ethan's point of view. This can get a little confusing unless you look at the headings so you remember who's talking. The book still has the same wonderful characters as the first one, and the writing is well-done.

Takes a while to get into, but if you stick with it, it does get better.

Thoughts on the cover:
I don't know why, but I love these covers. Brownie points for continuation from the first cover to this one, we have the Rusalka in the violet gown on the cover with maybe Anne's face at the top? I like the purple colour scheme this time around, and they kept the warped font for the title.

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