Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dreaming Anastasia ...

... a new novel by Joy Preble, a new author.

Anastasia Romanov's possible survival of the massacre that killed her entire family has been the subject of much historical speculation over the century or so since it happened (or didn't). Author Joy Preble adds a fictional twist to the tale by interweaving magic and involving the infamous child-eating witch of Russian folklore---Baba Yaga. (Save yourself the trouble of trying to say that name ten times fast ... trust me.) If that's not compelling enough, throw into the mix a modern girl named Anne, an unsuspecting descendent of the Romanov line whose task becomes the rescue of trapped-in-time Anastasia. And if you're still not feeling the need to read this book, know that there's also an incredibly handsome hero in the story with piercing blue eyes and great hair that he's constantly raking his hands through.

In some ways, I felt like this book was pulling me in too many directions. And the editor in me couldn't help but nitpick (the Anastasia letter-writing font is too flowery to be really legible, characters' hearts pound a lot in their chests, there's a bit of an overuse of the one-line paragraphs to add drama to a statement, and some character reactions feel a little formulaic---Anne's extreme anger with Ethan, the good guy who tells her she has magical powers and a mission, for instance).

But despite the minor changes I would make (if anyone wanted my opinion ...), I enjoyed the concept of the story, the changes that take place in the characters, and the deliverance of the resolution. I liked Anastasia's ultimate choice.

There are a lot of unanswered questions in the end, but it does tie together satisfyingly enough. This is a fun read. Just don't try to overthink it.

2 comments:

  1. Cool cover.

    How does it approach Russia & the Russian language?

    ReplyDelete
  2. It doesn't delve into the history or politics of the time much, just mentioning Rasputin and the tzarina's susceptibility to him. It explains that Anastasia was taught English growing up, so the Russian language doesn't come into play much.

    ReplyDelete

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