*May contain spoilers to those who still haven't read Dreaming Anastasia.
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.
Source: Sourcebooks Fire, Paul Samuelson (Thank you!)
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.