Girl of Nightmares
by Kendare Blake
Young Adult / Horror
This is the last of my spooky reads; it’s a little late because I had to get it through the statewide lending system instead of my county’s library, so it took a little longer to get to me. It’s the sequel to Anna Dressed In Blood, which I reviewed last week.
It is impossible to begin to discuss this book without a MAJOR SPOILER for the first book, so if you haven’t read Anna Dressed In Blood, and don’t want to be massively spoiled, STOP READING.
****SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST BOOK AHEAD****
(and minor spoilers for this one)
I normally hate to spoil earlier books in series, but you can’t talk about this book without knowing that Anna dies – again – sort of – at the end of the first book. In an act of self-sacrifice, she opens a door to hell and dives in. THIS book is about Cas mourning her and deciding to bring her back.
In the course of his quest to get Anna back, we learn about the origins of Cas’s dagger, what really happened to his father, and the mysterious cult behind it all. Like most cultists, they’re dicks.
There’s a lot in this book that could have been expanded on; some things were glossed over for ease of plot, I’m sure, but certain things at the end felt very anti-climactic. More time – ANY time – should have been spent with Cas’s father’s ghost, for instance. There was a lot of build up to it and then – nada. Basically I don’t like the ending of this book at ALL. It was good for most of it – and then I feel like it just fell apart and didn’t deliver on what it had been promising for the entire book.
These are the only two books I’ve read by Kendare Blake, but I have to wonder – does she make a habit of ripping her readers’ hearts out at the ends of her books? Or just this series? Because wow. Both of these books ended in very unexpected ways.
I guess, if you liked the first book, this is probably worthwhile for the history of the dagger alone, but be prepared for a disappointing ending. It’s strong right up until the last couple of chapters, it’s really too bad.
From the cover of Girl of Nightmares:
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, pining for her. 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.