Tuesday, August 6

Book Review:
Girl of Nightmares

Girl of Nightmares 
by Kendare Blake

Girl of Nightmares cover

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.

Personal Fave Punch: “I ate the fucking gingersnaps.”
Movement after reading: Hugging my huge pillow.
Bit on Bits: Less funny but more scary stuff. Heh, “stuff”.


I wanted to say MEH to this one because I didn't get enough Cas-Anna loving. But my horror-loving self won out. What, with all those beautifully crafted creepy scenes? FIVE flippin' hearts. AGAIN. (And yes, I refuse to swear like an adult. )

Since this is a sequel, I highly recommend reading ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD first to appreciate the book better.

GIRL OF NIGHTMARES continues the story months after Anna sacrificed herself to protect the the guy she loved, his mother and friends. Nobody knows where exactly she ended-up but they all think that she's finally at peace. Except for Cas. When Anna starts to seemingly haunt him, he disregards everybody's warning to stop looking for her. He, with help from Thomas and Carmel, desperately searches for a way to reach Anna. As the story progresses, some secrets about his athame are also revealed and some friendships are tested.


The first book easily made it to my “favorites” that I dreaded having to read a sequel. I already pointed out in my review of ADIB that it was fine as a standalone. I hate sequels because they more often than not leave me frustrated and suddenly unsure of its predecessor. HUGE relief that I did not hate this.

While I thought GON less appealing than the first book, I found Kendare Blake's writing more beautiful here. The dead and the places they haunt are much creepier and therefore, to me,more lovable. I especially loved Dutch Ironworks and Suicide Forest. The atmosphere and details are so wonderfully weaved that I had to grip the book harder than usual. Perfect. *grins*
“You know what I hate about flashlights?” Thomas asks, and I watch his beam move around the room, revealing sudden bird faces and shifting wings, then nothing but cobweb-covered boards. “They always make you think about the stuff that you’re not seeing. The stuff that’s still in the dark.”

I did not expect Thomas to be my favorite character. He had his charms in ADIB but this time, I wanted to jump inside the book just so I can meet him. He becomes his more powerful and more adorable self while almost everybody else stays the same. I say almost because there are characters whose choices will make them seem weak and hateful. Plus, there are new people. I can't resist mentioning that I hated how one of them made Cas look wimpy by comparison. I'm happy for girl power and all but I hated a certain character for existing. 

The major issue I found was the lack of Anna being Anna. Yes, her hauntings to Cas are still scary but I wanted her lucid and, you know, sweet, badass and not just gory. Then again it worked for Cas' heartbreak and helplessness. BUT I MISSED ANNA. *sigh Another reason I found this less appealing is how the book introduced a secret society. It created a bunch of gaps in my brain. I didn't want the story to drag but it frustrated me to not feel the weight of their necessity. I understood their significance but Cas could've gone to the voodoo network and I'd be happier with Morfran's wicked friends.

The ending... I couldn't ask for a better ending to Anna's story. Cas ultimately made up for all the times I thought he was wimpy. I admired how he left me smiling without a smidgen of doubt that everything was right in the world again.

Overall, GIRL OF NIGHTMARES is scary, funny and tragic. I'm going to sound like I'm on one-repeat mode but again, Kendare Blake's writing is truly commendable here. I'm planning to read her other novels. If you're just starting to appreciate dark or horror novels, ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and GIRL OF NIGHTMARES will make fans out of you.


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