Book Review: The Haunted
By: Jessica Verday
Narrated By: Cassandra Campbell
Published By: Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: August 2010
Audio Length: 11 hours, 8 minutes
Audience: Young Adult -Paranormal
* There may be spoilers if you have not read book one, The Hollow*
On The Story & Writing:
I loved The Hollow so I had really high expectations for this book. Sadly, this book lacked the appeal of the first one and entered the sophomore slump. I suppose most of the exposition in this one was necessary to set up the final book, but it was really hard for me to stay focused - this one drags in many parts. My mind kept drifting. I wanted Abby and Caspian's story to be as appealing as it was in the first edition, but I found myself being frustrated with both of them at every turn. Abbey's constant whining and Caspian's jealousy were a bit much to handle at times. I have high hopes that they both will redeem themselves in the next book. I just couldn't connect with either one this time around and their romance wasn't as compelling.
In spite of my lackluster response to Abbey and Caspian, I did enjoy some elements of the book. More about Kristen's death is revealed in this installment - I appreciated that as so many questions surrounding her lingered from The Hollow. Also, I really enjoyed the moments spent in the company of Nicholas and Katie. They were one of the elements that made this series so appealing to me so it was nice to have them once again play a prominent role. I also LOVE the setting of this series and Verday does a beautiful job of bringing it to life. Finally, the additional element of Reapers was a new twist that I didn't see coming.
Overall, The Haunted was a good read, but it just fell short for me which was upsetting because I wanted to love it. I still love Jessica Verday's writing and will read the final book. This is a prime example of how expectations can ruin a read.
On the Audio:
I was not a fan of this narrator. She sounded far too old to voice Abbey. Furthermore, there was little distinction with character voices and there were moments where I chose to tune the narrator out in favor of daydreaming. Perhaps Abbey and Caspian would have appealed to me more if I had heard their voices in my head instead of coming out of the audio. I was also confused quite about what was a dream and what was actually happening. The audiobook did not distinguish between the two elements which made for a lot of "Huh?" moments; my rewind button was put to good use for this one. I would recommend opting for the printed version.
One Last Gripe: The ghost lore in this one really bugs me. Why can Caspian touch stuff and not people? Why can Abbey hug Nicholas but not Caspian? I don't think any of it is adequately explained. Perhaps it was in book one and I'm just forgetting, but since its a major plot element it should be revisited in the series.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The Sleepy Hollow references and setting
First Sentence: I was so lost when Kristen left.
Favorite Character: Nicholas
Least Favorite Character: Vincent
An impossible truth. An impossible love.
After a summer spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget the boy she fell in love withthe boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is deadAbbey returns to Sleepy Hollow, ready to leave the ghosts of her past behind.
She throws herself into her schoolwork, her perfume-making, and her friendship with Ben, her cute and funny lab partner, who just might be her ticket to getting over Caspian once and for all.
But Abbey can never get over Caspian, and Caspian has no choice but to return to her side, for Caspian is a Shade, and Abbey is his destiny.
They are tied not only to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow, and to the famous legend that binds their fatesa legend whose dark truths they are only beginning to guess....