Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake {Amanda’s Review}

Posted 22 October, 2012 by Amanda / 28 Comments

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake {Amanda’s Review}Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #2
Genres: Horror & Ghost Stories, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 332
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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.

A necessary conclusion to the story.

Thoughts on Girl of Nightmares

Random factoid: I’m pretty sure Kendare said that this book was originally supposed to be titled Girl from Hell but that didn’t fly because of the word hell. The signing I went to was a year ago, but I’m pretty sure that’s what she said. (And if it’s not, sorry for making things up.) Though I think this was a necessary conclusion to Cas and Anna’s story, I didn’t quite love it like I loved the first book. But never fear! I still liked this.

This is the end of Cas and Anna’s story, so you know that THINGS are going to HAPPEN. And they did. This is kind of one of those stories where you wonder how it could possibly end without ripping your heart out completely. And no, I won’t tell you anything about the ending (only that I think someone gets a better ending than someone else), so you’ll just have to read the book yourself. I actually kind of like that the ending both tied things up and left things open. But enough with the ending.

Cas goes through a lot more angst in this book. Whereas in the first book, Cas was fighting for his life (which is an important thing to do, I admit, and is nothing to sneeze at or make light of), in this book, he struggles with losing Anna and how to move on–or not move on, as the case may be. In that sense, going into this book expecting to get the same feelings and type of actions from the first book may lead to some disappointment. Cas’s fight here was internal. And when it wasn’t internal, it was justifying his feelings to others. Most of you know my feelings toward angst, but Cas’s never bothered me. I think his angst was justified, even when it seemed like he was stupid for continuing his quest and risking his life for a dead girl.

Girl of Nightmares expands our knowledge of Cas’s world a bit, and gives us some answers [that are often more confusing than not] about the athame and its purpose. We also meet new characters and acquaint ourselves with old ones. The new characters (or rather, one in particular) give us a particularly new insight into what Cas does as a ghost hunter and why he may not be as alone in the world as he thinks. But even then, we get a look at how Cas’s ghost hunting code of ethics (for lack of a better term) are in place for a reason.

If you read and loved Anna Dressed in Blood, Girl of Nightmares is a must-read, even only for the conclusion of Cas and Anna’s story. They needed it. You need it.


Filed under: ESR: 7, Horror, Review: Amanda, YA, ,


28 Responses to “Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake {Amanda’s Review}”

  1. I haven’t read this one yet mostly because of what you said–the first one was better. I don’t want to be disappointed by Cas. Sucks that he fell for a ghost but he *had* to know that wouldn’t turn out well! I mean, come on. No need to be all angsty about it. Go kick some more ghostly ass and move on with your life!

    I haven’t even READ Anna (I heard there was bunny murder and I’m scared), but I’m dying to know how this ended. And the you go and post this *waves hands around* THIS and and and… *runs off to watch Supernatural.

    Sammy and Dean will fix it all, won’t you boys?

      • *HIGH 5*
        Seriously, it’s a fantastic show.
        And that first scene of the first episode first series, with mummy dearest writhing in flames on the ceiling? It still scares the SHIT out of me.

        Also the episode with the kiddy Doppelgangers. I can’t think about it when I’m home alone at night or I have to turn all the lights off, and create a pillow-fort on my bed O__O

          • *shudders* just THINKING about it gives me the heebie-jeebies… but it’s one of the strongest pilots I’ve ever seen, and the most memorable, and I’ve only ever seen it once.

            It does a really good job at establishing the Sam/Dean dynamic and… seriously. SO good. I’ve been having a hankering to go back though and watch them all :D

  3. I really missed the presence of Anna in this one, she was the highlight of the first book for me and I felt a little empty without her. That being said, I still enjoyed this one overall because of course, I needed to know how their story ended, and Cas is such an enjoyable protagonist:) I wonder if we’ll get anything more from this world at some point? A spinoff?

      • I’m unhappy to hear that Anna’s presence is nil. She was obviously the highlight of the first book! However, I’m still interested to see how it all ends.

    • My camera doesn’t connect with my computer anymore, so I use my phone… it’s not necessarily a great substitute, but I like showing off my pretty bookcase. :)

      I’m glad we got this book, but… I don’t know. It was very different from the first book.

  4. I’ve got this one in my library bag, but just didn’t have time to get to it. I’m hoping to have it read and reviewed by Halloween! Love Cas and well, Anna , sort of freaks me out in the only way she can. Still curious to know their ending.

  5. “This is kind of one of those stories where you wonder how it could possibly end without ripping your heart out completely.”

    Erm, I’m pretty sure the ending DID rip my heart out completely. But in a good way.

    Very nicely reviewed :)