Grade: High A
After months spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget the boy she fell in love with--the boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is dead--Abbey 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, her just might be her ticket to getting over Caspian once and for ll.
But Abbey can never get over Caspian, and Csapian has no choice but to return to her side, for Caspian is a Shade, and Abbey is his destiny. They are tied to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow and the famous legend that binds their fates--a legend whose dark truths they are only beginning to guess...
Character Development: 7/10
Overall Enjoyment: 8/10
Total Score: 59/70
Obtained: Free finished copy provided by author.
Age Appropriate? PG-13
Cursing: Some, but not much.
Alcohol, Drugs, etc: Some references to drugs I believe, some adult drinking and drunkenness.
Sexual Content: Some short conversations, no real scenes
Disturbing Images/Violence: Some violence and some death; some references to abusive relationships.
I didn't really know what to expect from this book. Its prequel, The Hollow, was good enough to make me want to read this installment. I remember it as being exciting, fast-paced, and involved. The Haunted certainly lived up to these standards, and there isn't much to criticize.
Note: Read The Hollow before starting. The Hollow had an incredibly complex plot that I am sorry to say has mostly fled my memory in the year since I've read it, and The Haunted, of course, builds off of that. While it didn't necessarily detract from the overall experience, I was slightly distracted and confused at some points. This may also be a product of the relative slow-ness of this installment; The Haunted had fewer plot-twists, fewer action scenes, and a lot more emotional and intellectual stuff. I didn't mind this; in face, I kind of preferred it. But it made these 500 pages seem a lot longer than the last.
As far as characterization goes, I think that Verday has created a very teenagery character in Ben, and I was delighted to get to know him better in this book. Abbey continued to be a pretty strong heroine, though with less of her grief that was present in the last book, I think her emotions weren't quite as interesting. My only real problem lies with Caspian. While he as a character is wonderfully crafted and I loved all the exposition on him in this volume, his relationship with Abbey seemed...different, somehow. Less authentic. As they fell more and more in love and struggled against the ever-frustrating problem of being unable to touch each other, I felt less sympathy or happiness at their togetherness. From Abbey's perspective, he became more of that typical paranormal-romance kind of guy (i.e. the tortured-and-screwed-up-with-no-real-purpose-except-to-worship-his-lover kind).
Other than that, the book was great, a wonderful balance of the average, the mysterious, and the fantastical that complemented its prequel very nicely. If you enjoyed The Hollow, The Haunted is definitely worth a shot.
The Hollow review
Note: Also, you should visit Abbey's Hollow (part of Jessica Verday's site) and check out the perfume samples available for purchase that go hand-in-hand with the story. How awesome!