Book Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Hardcover: 332 Pages

Series: Anna #2

Publisher: Tor Teen

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna#1) review

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It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on.
His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.
Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.
Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

Girl of Nightmares was a great follow-up, unlike many other sequels. It was consistent with the series greatness.

We got to see more of the characters we already knew, with the exception of Anna, and met a couple of new ones too.

Cas can’t move on and forget about Anna, especially since he starts seeing her everywhere and hearing her voice and laughter, getting glimpses of the hell she’s in. What he takes to be hallucinations at first, he realizes to be true and the trio decides to break Anna out.

I really liked what Blake did with the characters, they felt even more real than in Anna Dressed in Blood. You can see how the events that took place in the first book changed them, made them grow up.

Cas didn’t lose any of his badass-ery, but it was a bit muffled for the first part of the book. He was less snarky and more accepting of help. I loved his character, even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the teenage angst happening in the first 100 pages or so. He threaded a thin line, for me, between being annoying for keeping his friends in the dark about what he’s seeing a tad too long and being amazingly awesome for everything else he did.

Thomas is the one who changed the least, staying loyal to a fault to Cas and hopelessly enamored with Carmel. He does mature throughout the book.

I won’t say anything about Carmel, because I don’t want to give anything away, but safe to say she kicks serious ass.  As for Justine? She was a constant annoyance, ugh.

Girl of Nightmares will take you by surprise. It’s more relationship based in the first half and picks up during the second half. It’s scarier and creepier than the first novel was. The Suicide Forest scene was so well done and eerie, an example of great writing from Blake. In between poignant and blood-chilling scenes, there were genuinely funny ones too, delivered in Blake’s polished writing.

“Thomas has this annoying habit of going in hot, flashing his beam of light every which way at a million miles an hour, like he’s expecting to bust a ghost mid-haunt or something. But ghosts are shy. Or if not shy, at least cautious. Never in my life have I opened a door and found myself staring directly into a dead face. I have, however, stepped inside and instantly known I was being watched. Which is what happens now.”
 
“Thomas smiles, maybe a bit nervously. “We’re not lost. At least, not yet. They might’ve changed some of the roads around since the last time.”
“Who the hell are ‘they’? Road construction squirrels? It doesn’t even look like these things have been driven on in the last ten years.””
 
“All this faux flattery. It’s not enough to make me forget he’s a dick. Admittedly, though, he’s sort of a charismatic dick.”

All questions you might have had after reading Anna Dressed in Blood are answered in this book and more. We find out more about the athame, more about the mythology, Cas’s history and other characters too. It was near damn perfect plot-wise.

I have to say, I didn’t expect this to be the last book. I was more than ready to stick with Blake for at least two more installments and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t pout after I finished reading. I also had mixed feelings about the ending, but after careful consideration I can say it was perfect and made me love the book even more.

I liked Cas more, if that’s possible, because of it; it was realistic, in my opinion and the best possible ending ever.

Great writing, loveable, funny characters and a captivating plot. You should definitely read it, what are you waiting for?

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

  1. I’m about halfway through this book, and I like it so far, but not as well as the first book. Glad to hear it picks up speed in the second half. It is surprising that there are only two books, but I kinda like it. Very cool that this book does answer lingering questions from Anna. Nice review!

    • It’s definitely more action packed during the second half and more emotional too, but without the teen angst. 🙂
      I wouldn’t have said no to more books, Cas is one of my favorite male main characters.

      Thank you!

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