publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
release date: February 1st, 2011
paperback, 290 pages
intended audience: Young adult
first book in series: Dreaming Anastasia (my review)
source: from publisher for review
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.
Review: 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!
Visit Joy Preble's website here.