Saturday, April 9, 2011

Haunted- Joy Preble

It's sequel time again!
Haunted is the follow-up to Dreaming Anastasia, which I reviewed a while back.  This book is a worthy successor, what with even more Russian folktale fun and lots of fun plot twists.
In this book, Anne has tried to move on from the Anastasia debacle with Baba Yaga from the first book.  Ethan ran off to Europe for a while, leaving Anne to date lifeguards and hang out with her friend Tess.  She's trying to have a normal life, but she's still having dreams and seems to have some powers that just won't go away.
So Ethan shows up again, and she's all, "Do I like him, do like him not?  Do I like Lifeguard Ben, do I like him not?" but then all this other stuff happens.  This mermaid keeps showing up and being creepy and trying to drown people, because that's what Russian mermaids, or rusalkas, do (they are very unlike Disney mermaids indeed).  Anne's mother is having issues with life, Anne is confused, Ethan is also confused, Lifeguard Ben is quite normal and seems completely out of place, the owner of the shop Anne and her mother works in turns out to be someone else, and then everything TWISTS.  All of a sudden, all kinds of stuff happens; things are revealed.  Everyone is taking everything very seriously, except of course for Tess, whose pragmatic sarcasm and insight is always a nice break from the angst of the other characters.  And there is angst.  Tess, of course, finds out about everything and takes it all in stride, while other people involved get upset.  I think Tess is one of the most likeable things about the book simply because she is so different from the other chracters.  Now, Anne is a strong character, don't get me wrong.  But since Anne is so serious, and the rest of them tend to be very serious too, Tess really stands out.  And she can be pretty funny.
There is plenty of suspense and action, as well as romance and relationship dynamics.  Baba Yaga is even an interesting and complex character, as well as the rusalka.  This books is definitely worth reading if you liked Dreaming Anastasia.

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