"Anne Michaelson "is trying to forget everything that happened last year. But it's hard to do when her heart aches for Ethan "and there's a wild-haired woman stalking her..."
"Ethan Kosinsky "is embracing his newfound mortality. But something is drawing him back to the girl he left behind--"back to Anne and back to the magic..."
A mysterious stranger is hunting Anne wherever she goes. No one sees her but Anne. When she searches for the woman's identity, Anne exposes secrets about her own life-- things that will change her life forever. And when the gorgeous Ethan returns, her life gets a lot more complicated.
Anne thought her journey with the Romanov family had ended, "but it was just the beginning..."
This book was just silly. Yeah, a few parts were cool, but mostly I was frustrated. Too much confusion as to what Anne was supposed to be or do, and the different situations in which Anne found herself just felt....ridiculous. Actually, in my opinion, Dreaming Anastasia didn't necessarily need a sequel, and Haunted seemed forced and muddled, plus I noticed quite a few typos in the form of missing words, such as "the", "of", "a", ect. Not much was resolved in this book and left it open for another sequel.
I just finished reading Haunted and I'm not so sure what to say. I still liked the reading style and the characters, but to me it felt a bit like the author just really wanted to write a second book.. The storyline felt a bit too much and I just wasn't into it like I was into the firs book.
I think Dreaming Anastasia actually didn't need a sequel.. But I'm still going to read the last book in the series, just because I'm curious what Joy Preble came up with. And I hope some of the magic I felt while reading the first book will come back ;)
Dreaming Anastasia continues with a darker installment, showcasing the emotional side of Anne. Anne was torn between moving on with Ben, her new lifeguard boyfriend, and leaving behind the magic, and confessing her feelings for Ethan and coming to terms with her destiny. She struggled with staying normal and embracing who she really was, and accepting her magic.
Meanwhile, a wild-haired woman who was only visible to Anne, kept stalking her, popping in and out of sight when she least expects it. This was another creature of the Russian folklore that I encountered - a creature with emotional baggage heavy enough for her to carry throughout her days. This strange woman needed something from Anne. But sick and tired of the destiny talk, Anne refused to listen and did not want to be engaged in another magical mess. The wild-haired woman’s persistence and desire presented danger, one that was propelled by vengeance.
The second installment dealt with separation of the almost couple – Anne and Ethan – and the effects and consequences of this on the two of them. In Haunted, the romance between the two of them was somewhat hesitant and sexy. A better understanding between them was also developed. Haunted also tackled Anne’s relationship with her mother. Both of them were affected by the death of her brother, David. Now that things have become weirder and more complicated, the truth cannot be easily told, creating a barrier between the two.
Told from the perspectives of Anne, Ethan and Baba Yaga, I was given a modern and young view and an ancient and wise view of all the things happening in the novel. Magic binds the three, tying them to their destinies. Another thing that I liked about Haunted was that Baba Yaga was not only viewed as a witch but also a woman, a helper and a powerful person that can stir up things. I also got to read about Baba Yaga before she was a witch. It was a short tale that told of the ways of the Old Ones and the reason behind her transformation.
Haunted is a rollercoaster ride into the dark, the unknown, the destined and the unexpected. This is a story of loss, love and chance that will leave you wanting more. I loved every page of this! It was better than the first in so many ways. I recommend this to fans of Dreaming Anastasia, dark fantasy, magic and romance.
I actually read HAUNTED before reading DREAMING ANASTASIA and I liked how, although this is the second book in a series, it had a stand alone storyline that I could follow despite not knowing the history of the characters and their introduction in the first novel. Author Preble did a great job of recounting the major events in the first book so that those who had not already read it would not be confused, but she avoided the dreaded info dump.
Unlike most of the popular young adult paranormal books out now, Preble delves into new territory by incorporating Russian folklore into her novels. This refreshing view not only introduces new paranormal creatures into the genre, like the Russian rusalka character, but it also incorporates historical aspects of Russian culture that drew me into the story more.
I didn't like the introduction of Ben as the new boyfriend. Granted I have not yet read the first book, so I don't know what Anne's and Ethan's relationship was at the end of that book, but I felt Ben was just a romantic interest placeholder. Once Ethan returned and was a major character in the story, Ben became superfluous and unnecessary. Plus, his relationship with Anne definitely seemed more one-sided. I think the romance, such as it was, between Anne and Ethan was much more authentic.
HAUNTED is a suspenseful novel full of plot twists that kept me guessing at the outcome. I enjoyed how the story was told from different points of view because it helped me to connect to the characters more. I'm looking forward to reading more of Anne's and Ethan's stories in the next book.
This book takes up after Dreaming Anastasia. Anne is left with powers that didn't disappear. Ethan has left, and Anne has a new boyfriend. Her mother still vanishes with no explanations. Anne still dreams of Baba Yaga. On top of it all, a mermaid begins haunting Anne.
To complicate things even more, the source of Anne's powers begins to manifest and made known to her, and those closest to her. Things change big time in Anne's world. And not everyone is destined to make it out in one piece.
I liked this book a bit more than the first. Dreaming introduced me to Baba Yaga and I have been intrigued with her ever since. Haunted brings her story a bit closer to us. I can't wait to read the next installment to see where everything goes!
I know I waited too long to continue with this series. The first couple chapters were sounding too juvenile, but I kept going when I realized that I was reading about a Baba Yaga retelling type book. I know I definitely did not know who Baba Yaga was when I read the first book YEARS ago. So, it was an okay book, I did skim over a couple of parts that just dragged along. The introspection that went nowhere was a bit of a drag. I know what the author is trying to set up for, but it was a lot of discoveries for one book...
Quick & Dirty: A rusalka is “haunting” Anne while she tries to fight her destiny. Two men also fight for her heart.
Opening Sentence: Through the skull in my fireplace, I watch her.
It has been a year after the incident in Dreaming Anastasia and Anne has been trying her best to forget that it ever happened. Unfortunately, weird things are beginning all over again. The powers that Ethan told her would go away are not only still there, but are growing stronger. She is also dreaming again of Baba Yaga and her amazing hut. If that wasn’t enough to give Anne a bad feeling, then the crazy wet lady that’s seems to be stalking her most likely will. Just great. What could “fate” and “destiny” want with Anne this time? Hasn’t she done enough?
The story should have been done. Anastasia was released and Viktor was taken in her stead. So why are strange things still happening to Anne? This book is where Anne is forced to admit the path that destiny has lain out before. Up until now, Anne could walk away from her “purpose” and live the life of an ordinary teen: going to school, part-time jobs, hanging out with friends, and dating boys. Now she must not only decide, but also commit. This book follows her struggle against the truth of her situation. What will Anne choose in the end, a life less than ordinary and safe or one that is extraordinary and dangerous? Does she even have an option?
Anne’s struggle mirrors in a love triangle as well. Ben is a cute guy that adores her. He is smart, funny and not aware of any of Anne’s past “craziness.” They have been dating for some time now and things are looking good. That is, until Ethan walks back into Anne’s life. Ben represents all that Anne thinks that she wants and Ethan is all that she wants to hide. Her love for Ethan is mixed up within her feelings about magic and it’s like. While Anne deliberates between the two men, she is also pushing each of them on either side of the line. It parallels her inner turmoil over magic and its place within her life. If she gives up Ben, does that mean she is giving up any chance of reclaiming her life before Anastasia? Could she and Ethan sustain a normal relationship even without all the extra life-and-death madness blowing around them?
The use of Russian folktales makes this series stand apart from the rest. Not only do we have the famed Baba Yaga involved, we also get to see some rusalka. Rusalka’s are the Russian version of mermaids. Their reason for being are tragic and their purpose equally so. They lure people out into a body of water and then they drown them. So why is a rusalka stalking Anne? Why does she know so much about Anne and her mother? Where does she fit in the grand scheme of things?
The infusion of this aspect makes the story a little more complicated than the first book. There are so many new twists and turns that pressures Anne into new and more difficult decisions. Anne’s character is bombarded with “secrets within secrets” and “stories within stories” that reflect in the swift pace of the book.
The inclusion of Baba Yaga’s point of view brings a wonderful new voice to an already enriched tale. Each new discovery is explored and related by three separate characters that the reader can experience. Baba Yaga brings a more surreal and otherworldly aspect that the first was lacking. Without this added view point, this story would feel overdone. Baba Yaga introduces us to the idea of “more to come.” Anne’s position becomes that much loftier and nobler than before.
Haunted is a rich blend of mystery, magic, and the bonds between people. Preble brings forth more than a few surprises that leave the reader breathless at the end. The ghosts of unresolved issues will haunt us until the next installment.
“No!” I scream. I know it’s not real, and I can hear Tell yelling at me to stop, by I’m wading in after my mother anyway-wading up to my waist in the sludgy pond water before Ethan can grab me and pull me back. All I can see is the image of my mother disappearing in the water. It blends in my head with the image of Ben at the bottom of the pool. It doesn’t look like swimming. It looks like drowning.
The rusalka resurfaces as suddenly as she went under, floating on her back, arms stretched out. Still as death. It’s really her again, the lilac gown sagging beneath her, wild black curls dipping this way and that in the current. For one brief second, she raises her head, opens her eyes, and looks at me. “Please,” she says. “Oh, please help me.” And then she’s gone.
Ethan drags me up onto the grass. “It wasn’t real,” he says to me over and over.
Tess just strokes my hair and tells me it will be okay.
“I don’t know what she wants from me. I don’t know how to help her.” I realize I’m not sure which woman I really mean.
So I do what I’ve wanted to do since I first saw Ethan this afternoon. I sit down in the grass, my wet denim skirt heavy against my legs, and cry.
Dreaming Anastasia Series:
1. Dreaming Anastasia
3. Anastasia Forever
FTC Advisory: Sourcebooks graciously provided me with a copy of Haunted. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.
I was a bit disappointed to find out the rest of the series wasn't really about Anastasia which was the reason why I wanted to read this series to begin with but since I found the books altogether and for cheap I still went ahead and finished them off because why not. I def liked the first book more than the 2nd and 3rd and I had a hard time sometimes with Anne. 3/5
Joy Preble has a knack for picking such intriguing creatures to act as her villains! After Dreaming Anastasia, I immediately hopped online and researched Baba Yaga, even though I was thoroughly freaked out by her gigantic detachable hands and iron teeth. This time, it's the Rusalkas...vicious mermaids who were once wronged women. No singing and giggling for these mermaids---these creatures cloud a man's brain, lure them to the water and drown them. Nothing cute about it. While this book wasn't nearly as creepy as the last, it has a few good eerie moments.
Anne is still a strong character, and I still love Tess and the fierce way she stands beside Anne. This time, Anne is a little lost---trying to deny her powers and do all she can to grasp any type of normalcy. She has started dating Ben, who is as normal as can be, bordering on simple. Not so much dumb, but just kind of uninteresting---lifeguard, hormones running on high, sweet but kind of doofy, and when Ethan shows up again, Ben pulls the usual possessive riot act. He didn't seem to match Anne at all, so it tipped the scales of this love triangle easily toward Ethan, as he was just as heroic and mysterious as always. But still, Anne wants normal and Ethan is anything but that, so you'll have to read and find out where she lands!
I really liked the mother/daughter angle of this story. Both of them lost for different reasons, and growing further apart by the day. I liked that the story behind her lost birth grandmother continues in this one and it made for a very interesting part of the plot!
Once again, as in Dreaming Anastasia, the chapters alternate between Anne and Ethan's point of view. I encountered the same problem as last time---their voices are not distinct enough from each other for this to really work for me. I often forgot whose point of view I was currently reading and would have to backtrack a little. I would come across something that I thought completely didn't make sense, and then realize that I wasn't reading who I thought I was reading.
There was also a lot of villain monologuing in this one. With a handful of villainous characters, they all had their moment in the sun. And while it was necessary in some aspects to explain what was going on, it was a bit tedious at times. I also had a hard time understanding the motive and purpose of all three villains, and the cryptic riddles that they spoke in were definitely no help in figuring this out. Still, the tidbits we learn about their histories are important and both answer and create more questions that will hopefully be addressed in a third installment.
I enjoyed this one, although not as much as the first---but I will definitely be eager to continue the story when the third book comes along!
While I enjoyed the first book, the ending felt definite to me. I didn't get the feeling that this was to be a more than one book storyline. And to a degree I can still stand by that statement. DREAMING ANASTASIA can still stand on its own, HAUNTED however cannot in my opinion.
There is a matter of disconnect between to the two books that I didn't feel was fully addressed. The ending of DREAMING led the reader to believe the happily ever after love that Anne and Ethan shared would continue. HAUNTED is really quick to disprove this. Its not so much they aren't still in love, but they are still in love and not together. Anne is trying, really desperately, to be normal. To put all the crazy supernatural stuff behind her and focus on being normal. This is her mantra. Ethan, the poor fool, spent time roving Europe in hopes of coming to grips with his intense feelings for Anne and failing rather spectacularly at that.
Their reunion is not quite what either one expected. Ethan surprised me with how well he took being mortal again. His core self didn't change--his primary mission and want was to protect Anne. He tried to be what Anne needed, but that was hard because Anne wasn't even sure what she needed.
Anne was less of a trial this time. Her angst made more sense this time around and I truly felt for her. I think if Ethan had stayed gone...well her plans may have worked out. It doesn't mean it was any better than the life she has, or that Ben is any better than Ethan. Nor does it mean that she didn't genuinely hold affection for Ben. Problem is in paranormal books destiny is what destiny is.
Knowing that there is a third book to be released, I was more prepared for the ending to not be a closed loop. In some ways this could also be considered an 'end'. If book three isn't released I don't think there is enough to make fans cry foul, but there's enough threads that could be expanded upon to make a third book an interesting read. For myself, I wish to see where Anne and Ethan's path is taken, but I am content to wait. This is not an 'autobuy' or dying to read now' series for me. It’s predictable and enjoyable, good for lazy afternoon reading.
Haunted is a nice follow-up to Dreaming Anastasia - it feaures the same sweet romance, stunning cover, and creepy, Russian villains. Preble does a great job of mixing history with fantasy into Anne's crazy world. She also has a real gift for creating great bad guys. I'm not sure who I love to hate more: Victor or Baba Yaga.
While Dreaming Anastasia took a little while for us to get into the story, Haunted pretty much started off with a bang. Anne knows she's being haunted by a mermaid. Ethan has been away for a long time, and she has a new boyfriend, Ben. The mermaid stalking her then proceeds to attempt to drown Ben, which causes Anne's entire world to spin into another adventure filled with ancient Russian folklore and prophesies.
While I was never able to connect with Anne or truly like her (I found her a bit whiney and hot-headed), I really enjoyed reading about Ethan and Tess. They were actually my favorite characters. Tess is chatty and opiniated and sometimes annoying, but always supportive and protective of Anne. She's the kind of friend you'd like to have with you in a knife fight.
Then there's Ethan, who epitomizes the "nice guy" hero. Honestly, I don't think there are enough of these in YA. Brooding anti-heroes, cocky alpha males, and the best-friend-turned-lover is flooding the market right now. Where is just the average nice guy who is genuinely a good person? Why, he's in Haunted! Ethan was a great hero for me, and I found it kind of hilarious that Preble threw in the few bits of Russian culture with his love for cigarettes and Vodka.
I was really enjoying this book until about halfway through, where I felt it sort of ran out of steam. The ending felt drawn-out, and I would have preferred more conciseness. Instead of the long climax, I would have liked to see more interaction between Anne and Ethan. The book takes place within only a matter of days, and that felt slightly stilted to me, for some reason.
However, this is still a solid paranormal book for fans of the genre. The Russian folklore elements make it unique, and Preble's storytelling keeps you turning the page.
Anne Michaelson’s only dream is to be a normal girl. No magic, no immortal boyfriend, no crazy mythical Russian mermaids chasing her about. Unfortunately, she’s not about to get her wishes granted anytime soon. Trying to recover from the trials of the previous year, she finds herself knee-deep in the middle of it all again.
In all fairness, Anne does her best at appearing as normal as she can. She resists the magic and the weirdness until it overtakes her and everyone around her, leaving her no choice but to fight back. However, in spite of all that weirdness, she remains oddly grounded for a seventeen-year-old. I was highly impressed with her relative lack of attitude towards her parents and the usual teenage angst that you find in novels like this. That’s not to say that she and her mom didn’t have their moments, or that she didn’t have her own, dark thoughts, because she did. The difference here is that those moments all helped the story move forward instead of just painting Anne as a selfish, spoiled child.
Ethan, on the other hand, is a one-time immortal learning to deal with being mortal again for the first time in decades. In between his moments of indecision, once the weirdness of the year before finds Anne again, he never once hesitates to do what he believes is right – and that is to protect Anne at all costs. He is my idea of a real hero. Ethan is considerate, conscientious, and one hundred percent dedicated to Anne and only Anne. When they’re together, they’re completely and utterly happy, no matter how bizarre the circumstances.
Even without having read the preceding book in this series, Dreaming Anastasia, I was able to not just follow along, but thoroughly enjoy Haunted. Ms. Preble has a masterful way of weaving a story that is not just romantic, but exciting and magical. You’ll be loath to leave Anne and Ethan behind when the book closes. Haunted is a wonderful and imaginative story for both older teens and adults alike. Entertaining and magical to the very last page.
Haunted is an enticing sequel to Joy Preble's Anastasia Dreaming. I loved this book's Russian lore, romance, and suspense as much as I did in the first book. Joy Preble has a fabulous job at taking her readers deeper into her lore, unraveling the secrets from the first book and uncovering some unexpected twists. I was so caught up with the story this time around that I didn't even question what was going on, and the ending left me wanting more. Joy not only answers questions I had from book 1, but she also leaves room for more questions with this story's ending, which will lead right into book 3.
Anne is just as feisty as she was in the first book only this time around I feel like she speaks her mind a bit more as the story progresses. I adore her best friend Tess just as much as I did in book one and I may have fallen in love with Ethan even more. Finally these two admit their feelings for each other, but of course it's much more complicated than just professing their love for one another. With a Rusalka who's stalking Anne, a complicated love triangle, and Anne gaining powers she didn't know she had, Ethan and Anne have more than their feelings for each other to contend with. There's a lot that gets uncovered in this story and it puts everyone Anne cares about at risk.
Joy did a great job at showing three different sides of this story through Anne, Ethan and Baba Yaga's narrations. I have to admit, Baba Yaga started to wear me down a bit in this book and I even felt myself sympathizing with her a little. This sequel has a fast paced plot line that's full of surprises with it's secrets inside of secrets, mystery, danger and of course a few kissy scenes. I really liked the direction this series has taken and the way in which Joy was able to dive deeper into her Russian lore. She kept this story line exciting, kept me on my toes and in the end left me feeling both satisfied and wanting more. If you've read Dreaming Anatastia I highly recommend picking this sequel up. There is some very mild language, and some swoon worthy moments between the love interests.
Anne Michaelson's only dream is to be a normal girl. No magic, no immortal boyfriend, no crazy mythical Russian mermaids chasing her about. Unfortunately, she's not about to get her wishes granted anytime soon. Trying to recover from the trials of the previous year, she finds herself knee-deep in the middle of it all again.
In all fairness, Anne does her best at appearing as normal as she can. She resists the magic and the weirdness until it overtakes her and everyone around her, leaving her no choice but to fight back. However, in spite of all that weirdness, she remains oddly grounded for a seventeen-year-old. I was highly impressed with her relative lack of attitude towards her parents and the usual teenage angst that you find in novels like this. That's not to say that she and her mom didn't have their moments, or that she didn't have her own, dark thoughts, because she did. The difference here is that those moments all helped the story move forward instead of just painting Anne as a selfish, spoiled child.
Ethan, on the other hand, is a one-time immortal learning to deal with being mortal again for the first time in decades. In between his moments of indecision, once the weirdness of the year before finds Anne again, he never once hesitates to do what he believes is right - and that is to protect Anne at all costs. He is my idea of a real hero. Ethan is considerate, conscientious, and one hundred percent dedicated to Anne and only Anne. When they're together, they're completely and utterly happy, no matter how bizarre the circumstances.
Even without having read the preceding book in this series, Dreaming Anastasia, I was able to not just follow along, but thoroughly enjoy Haunted. Ms. Preble has a masterful way of weaving a story that is not just romantic, but exciting and magical. You'll be loath to leave Anne and Ethan behind when the book closes. Haunted is a wonderful and imaginative story for both older teens and adults alike. Entertaining and magical to the very last page.
Final Score: 3/5 TL;DR Review: The writing and character development in Haunted saw a slight improvement over Dreaming Anastasia, but I feel that the overall plot of the book fell a bit flat. That, along with the introduction of an uninteresting and irrelevant new character, made this book feel a little meh. Not horrible, but not great either.
Five Point Review:
Plot: 3/5 Unlike in the first book of the series, the storyline in Haunted seemed to be a little all over the place. For the first half of the book barely anything happened, and then suddenly so much happened that I could hardly follow what was going on. However, I did still enjoy the creative fantasy and folklore elements. I mean, who doesn't love mermaids, right?
Characters: 3/5 I liked the characters better in this book than I did in the previous book. They all seem to have grown and developed a bit. Even Tess, who was somewhat annoying in the first book, was toned down enough for me to grow fond of her. There was also more major development of the relationship between Anne and her mom, which I enjoyed. However, the new character Ben saw no development, I was not made to care about him at all, and the story would have been fine, maybe even better off, without him.
Writing: 3.5/5 The writing in this book is an improvement from the first book, but it could still use a bit of editing to get it to flow more smoothly and naturally.
Setting: 3/5 As with the first book, there is not much special about the setting or the world of this story other than the fantasy elements that, in this book, were more of a plot element than a part of the setting.
Entertainment Factor: 2.5/5 Although there are some technical improvements over the first book in the series, I actually did not enjoy reading this one quite as much. In several sections I found myself bored with the drama of Anne and Ben because it was obvious from the start that she would end up with Ethan. Furthermore, the way things were explained made the plot complicated and a bit hard to fully understand near the end.
The Dreaming Anastasia series is a very original and enjoyable series and Haunted did not disappoint. There is still enough mystery, romance, family secrets and Russian lore to keep you very satisfied. After the events in Dreaming Anastasia, all of our favorite characters have changed, and while they thought it was all over, they realize in Haunted that it is just beginning. New threats threaten to tear them apart and it's up to Anne, once again, to try and save everyone.
Anne has been dealing with a lot since the end of DA, but pretends everything is ok. She has a nice, normal boyfriend, Ben, but her best friend Tess knows something is up. Turns out Anne's been having nightmares of Baba Yaga, is being stalked by some crazy lady in the water that only she can see (which turns out to be a Rusalkas, a Russian mermaid), feels guilty for Anastasia choosing to die, and not only that, but her power is getting stronger. On top of everything else, Ethan decided to leave America, so he can give Anne a normal life, not realizing that what she really needed is him.
I loved Ethan so much in DA, and he is just as sad and broken in this one. He loves Anne, but thinks it's best to stay away from her. He also isn't immortal anymore. He spent the last 100 years thinking one thing, to realize it was all a lie. Now he needs to learn what it's like to be mortal again.
Haunted dives deeper into Anne's family secrets and we learn a lot more about her moms biological mother, which was very interesting. I really enjoyed the parts with Anne and Ethan too. They have such a great connection and they both deserve happiness. I also loved that the book is written in different POVs. I really get a much better feel for the story and all of the different characters.
Haunted is a fast paced and enjoyable read. I am excited to see how it all comes together in the last and final book, Anastasia Forever.
This book picks up where Dreaming Anastasia left off. I didn't enjoy Dreaming Anastasia as much as I had expected, or wanted to, but I enjoyed Haunted more! I have to admit that I signed up for this ARC tour before reading the first book in the series. I was intrigued by the blurb, it sounded like my cup of tea. Apparently, Dreaming Anastasia was not, unfortunately. Although, I enjoyed being on my first ARC tour, and I appreciated the opportunity to read a book before it's release, I am sad to say I didn't enjoy the book as much as the tour process. I did enjoy it much more than the first book though!
First of all, Dreaming Anastasia leaves you with a happy, albeit predictable ending, where the two main characters fall in love, but then, in Haunted, they aren't together! The main character, Anne, has a new boyfriend! I was very unhappy when I read that. The romance between Anne and Ethan was the best part about the book, it spurred on to read Haunted. It was disappointing, but it also meant the second book would also be predictable in the romance department. I knew the main characters would be fighting against their feelings throughout the book...lo and behold, they were.
The plot of the book, other than the romance, also intrigued me. It was about a Russian mermaid who haunts Anne. I like mermaids a lot and I read mermaid books whenever I come across them. I have always liked the way mermaids were beautiful and usually sang. This mermaid, however, was nothing like that, and although I like the usual mermaids the most, I did appreciate the new take on the myth.
Overall, I was very happy with this book compared to Dreaming Anastasia! I gave this book a score of three masks.
To find out more about Joy Preble and her books, visit her website HERE. *I recieved this book from Star Book Tours!*
Throughout this book I get the feeling that Anne doesn't want to see the answers and just wants to pretend that she's living a normal life. When we get told some of the answers or clues to the mystery, it is easier for the reader to figure it out then for Anne to figure it out, making her seem clueless when it's actually simple but she just needs to want to see the answer.
It is a mild love triangle in this book. She's dating Ben but almost-loves Ethan and when Ethan comes back then the love triangle begins. She start referring to Ben as her ex-boyfriend who doesn't know it yet because Ethan is back. Yet within this book, she never actually breaks up with Ben. Even at the end of the book, we are told that Ben still keeps on calling her while she is about to go on her first official date with Ethan.
From this book we would also think that she has learned and accepts that this is happening to her, she thinks that she can just brush this off her and not think about it then it will go away but she's wrong and by doing this, it's making the situation worse. I still get the feeling of Tess being annoying but a good character. I like her more in this book from parts like when she followed Ethan to the lake and when she was fending for Anne by knocking on the witch's door. In the next book I hope we see more of Anne's growing relationship with her mother as well as her acceptance of her (and her hated word) 'destiny' and accepts fate. If Ethan's studies in folk lore and history now should also be able to help her and influence her on getting to know her heritage and the stories that roam.
I was somewhat reluctant to pick up Haunted. After reading Dreaming Anastasia, I wasn't really sure that Anne's story needed more telling. Unfortunately, this feeling stayed with me through about a quarter of the book. However, once I was fully immerged in the storyline, I was very happy that Anne's story wasn't over.
Book 1, Dreaming Anastasia, had a lot going on. Haunted has even more. The almost constant action helped move the plot along but the addition of Ben - point 3 in a frustrating love triangle - fell kind of flat for me. I guess I understand why he was added to the story, but at the same time, I didn't think his character really had anything to contribute. Also, I didn't really understand why Anne was so mad at Ethan. I didn't get that vibe from her at the end of Dreaming Anastasia so her hostility was a little confusing to me.
Final verdict: Overall though? Haunted packed quite a punch. I thought I knew what was going on - and I was right - sort of. Lots of mystery to this tale. Lots of stories within stories. The part of me that craves intricate layered fantasy loved this aspect.
Pretty sure there will be more books in this series and I'm looking forward to it. I'm really interested in how much more of Anne's story we don't know.
I also really enjoyed Joy's writing. She's on my radar now and I'll defiantly be picking up her next work - whatever it may be :)
I think I being a little generous with the 4 rating, but I know I enjoyed more that those books I give a 3. It was really the ending that I had issues with.
I've noticed lots of reviews that stated the reader was surprise/upset that Ethan and Anne are not together at the beginning of this book. I fully expected it and it didn't bother me. I think they were both trying to process and deny what happened during book 1. Ethan was coming to terms with being mortal and trying to avoid the girl who made him that way. Anne was doing the same. Sometimes being together isn't the best idea no matter how much you care for one another.
I really enjoyed the story of the rulaska. I don't know a lot about Russian folklore and this series had definitely changed that. I liked how she could be seen in very little amounts of water. It's no wonder Anne that she was going crazy. I liked how all the pieces fall together in this installment. Everyone is connected somehow from the jewelry shop owner to the rulaska herself. It's not something I even suspected at the start of the story.
The ending is the only thing that bothered me a little. First, I still have no idea what Baba Yaga really wants from Anne. Anne made a deal with her, but I don't think she even knows what she really has to do. I'm guessing there will be another book to explain it all. If not, I have no idea how the story really ended.
HAUNTED is a beautiful story of self acceptance and honor, believing in what is good despite what is seen.
I'm a sucker for multiple POV tales, especially fantasies with a creepy edge. Just as in DREAMING ANASTASIA, the first book in this trilogy, HAUNTED follows more than one narrator: Anne--the girl with an unearthly connection to a girl trapped from book I, Ethan--the boy destined to find Anne, and Baba Yaga--the witch, who's entrapped the girl Anne dreamed about.
The journey begins with both main characters living separate lives, still dealing with the past they've shared while continuing to long for each other. And it doesn't take long for the paranormal to intrude in Anne's life again or for Ethan to show up.
Readers will enjoy a slanted take on otherworldly elements used to move the story forward and expand on Anne's character. Although those elements stretch the reader's mind toward the mythical and things hidden to most, the story also explores the human side to Anne and Ethan's struggles.
Anne longs to understand her mother, build a solid and trusting relationship. The tale slowly unveils the beauty and strength of mother-daughter bonds, until it culminates with a powerful friendship and ending that I won't reveal here. Anne grows stronger with every flip of the page, and in the end is willing to sacrifice whatever it takes for what is good and right--even if that means giving up a piece of herself she may never get back.
Haunted by Joy Preble is the second book in the Dreaming Anastasia series. This book picks up a few months after Dreaming Anastasia ends. Anne is still trying to deal with the aftermath of what happened in book one. She feels guilty over what happened with Anastasia. She is angry at Ethan, but she still misses him as well. Anne wishes her life would go back to the way it was before magic, before Baba Yaga, before Viktor. However that doesn't happen. In fact she's now being stalked by a rusalka, which is a Russian mermaid. Before you start singing "Under the Sea", you should know that these mermaids are more like sirens from the sea. They are more likely to lure you to your death than anything else. Anne, Ethan, and Tess have to figure out why the rusalka is after Anne before it hurts someone that she loves. One of the things that I love most about these books is that they introduce me to Russian mythology. In the first book I learned about Baba Yaga, a powerful witch. In this story, a mermaid out for vengeance. Preble does a fantastic job of incorporating these myths into the modern-day story line. Haunted is full of action, mystery, and suspense. It's the perfect second book to this series. The only complaint I have is the love triangle. Love triangles are done so much that I almost expect them when reading books. I feel as if this story would have been fine without it. Other than that everything else is good.
Review: After saving Anastasia, newly mortal Ethan is traveling around Europe to redefine his life. Anne is back home in Chicago trying to pretend she is a normal teenager, but it's proving challenging. Her powers are growing, she is still dreaming about the hut in the woods and she is being stalked by a mermaid. Meanwhile, she is dating a really nice guy (Ben) who makes her feel normal, but she cannot reciprocate his feelings of true love. When the mermaid starts to take drastic measures to capture Anne's attention (like almost drowning Ben), Anne, Ben, Ethan (who comes back in town) and Tess go on an adventure back to Baba Yaga's hut.
I enjoyed the alternate narratives between Anne, Ethan and Baba Yaga. Overall, this was a decent book but it was not as strong as it's predecessor. Anne has a much stronger personality than Ethan and he comes off as really weak (in his defense, he was also kind of weak in book one but I was hoping he'd grow more of a backbone) and she was almost shrill at times. It was frustrating that she used Ben throughout the book and refused to make a decision (even to herself) about being with Ethan. I was also mad that Anne's didn't confide in Tess after Tess continued to prove what a loyal and dedicated friend she was. While the Russian mermaid was interesting, it didn't hold the historical significance of Anastasia Romanov in the first book. There is another book in the series and I hope the Romanov theme comes back into play.
Haunted is a sequel to Dreaming Anastasia, and while I didn't read the first book, let me say 2 things. 1) I am SO going back and reading the first book, and 2) I could easily pick up Haunted and follow along without having read the first book.
It's a complex tale that is difficult to summarize in one blurb, but Anne's heritage traces back to the Romanovs, full of magic and deceipt and lies. In Haunted, Anne is being stalked by a Russion mermaid; she's hooked up with a new boyfriend; her old flame, Ethan, returns; and the old witch, Baba Yaga, is haunting her dreams. Everyone seems to want something from Anne, and Anne not only needs to sort out her feelings and riddles, but is forced to extreme lengths to protect her friends and family.
Joy's writing is fluid and a pleasure to read. She immediately draws you in to the story, her characters are well defined, and you care what happens to them. It's even easy to like her shallow best friend, who obviously cares for Anne. The interweaving of the story with Russian folklore and history is seamless and clever. Despite the complexity of the plot, it's easy to follow, and the twists and turns will keep you flipping pages at breakneck speed to see what happens next.
I would definitely put anything written by Joy Preble on my TBR list!
My favorite stories are the ones that authors take myths, legends, folklore and fairy tales and make them their own. I can't get enough of them. Joy Preble is an awesome writer, I like how fluid it is and i love her characters.
Anne and Tess are best friends who would do anything for each other, they aren't afraid to tell each other what they feel and they are hilarious.
Ethan is so swoon worthy with his incredible blue eyes, and he is so sweet and always thinking of Anne.
Viktor is just evil as all get out. Lily and Baba Yaga are just crazy. Ben is sweet too, but he is just not right for Anne, he was the safe choice and not who she is supposed to be with.
So how did Viktor escape and will Anne figure it out and then what she is supposed to do capture him again or let Lily have him, Lily said that Anastasia is not dead, if not then where is she and does she have anything to do with Viktor escaping, is that how he got out because she isn't dead is what I mean. If Lily gets her revenge then who is supposed to be with Baba Yaga. It wasn't supposed to be Viktor, maybe it could be Lily, but I don't if that will work her being a rusalka (russian mermaid) and all, that maybe wishful thinking on my part. If this ends up as a tragedy I am not going to be happy, I hate tragedies!!!!! Anne should end up with Ethan and I wouldn't even care if Tess and Ben wind up together.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I had never read a YA novel until I picked up Dreaming Anastasia. The reviews were good and the premise sounded like a good one. Not only was I not disappointed, I found myself hungry for a second installment.
In Haunted, Joy Prebles further refines and deepens the central characters from the first book. They are richly drawn and finely detailed. Her characters are at once gifted and all are fully human enough to give into the foibles we have all experience. To cause us to suspend our beliefs while showing us normal human flaws, quirks, eccentricities and strengths is a quite a trick and one Ms. Prebles handles masterfully.
She further cements her reputation by taking on a challenge few writers would attempt - a narration from three different perspectives. Anne, Ethan and Baba Yaga's narrations are done in distinct voices with no bleeding into each other that one would expect.
As the story progresses Ann grows as a person as her special talents grow. The same can be said of the other characters. They all change and develop, growing into larger, better more complex versions of themselves.
Haunted is a novel that delivers the goods. It is a good story, well told by a woman who knows her craft. The book is engaging from the first page, challenges us to keep up throughout and provides a dynamic conclusion.