Review Detail

Gripping New Take on an Age Old Story
(Updated: December 04, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The Romanov story is a memorable moment in history that has been told time and time again in pop culture. The story of the mass murder of the tsar line is often told, and more than once has it incorporated the idea that perhaps Anastasia, the youngest of the tsar’s daughters, was never killed. This story has been told so much that the most unique of all of these only came about when an animated bat was involved. That is until Joy Preble’s “Dreaming Anastasia” came along.

While “Dreaming” does incorporate the idea that Anastasia may have survived the Romanov killings, this time it has some plot elements not yet seen in the tale. In Preble’s version, Anastasia has been kept hostage by the witch Baba Yaga in a sort of suspended world in which she does not age. It is up to Anne, a girl who lives in our present day world, to save her from Baba Yaga’s timeless witch hut and allow her to begin living her life anew in the 2000s. In my opinion, Anne is the best part of this new take on Anastasia. While Anastasia’s story is compelling, we have heard some version of her story before. Anne’s life is completely new, and the connections Preble makes between Anne’s life and Anastasia’s are gripping and refreshing to read. Preble’s writing shows that using the bones of a cultural legend doesn’t have to become a repeat of what everyone else has written (or drawn). All it takes is a little imagination to invigorate the story with some enticing new energy.
Good Points
Refreshingly new take on the Romanov story.
Entertaining new characters that have interesting connections to Anastasia's life.
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