Wednesday, July 18, 2012

ARC Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication: August 7th, 2012

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.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

I absolutely LOVED this book's predecessor, Anna Dressed In Blood (read my review HERE)!  It was high up on my Top 25 Books of 2011, and I had super-high expectations for Girl of Nightmares.  It was one of my most anticipated books of 2012, not only because of the amazing cover, because I've had a burning desire to know what comes next.  Did it meet my sky-high hopes?  Abso-freaking-lutely!  I will admit that I liked Anna Dressed In Blood a tiny bit better, but don't let that lower your opinion of this book, because it was phenomenal!  Wanna know more?

Girl of Nightmares picks up a couple of months after Anna sacrifices herself in order to drag the demonic Obeahman into hell, saving Cas, Thomas, and Carmel from certain death.  Nobody really knows exactly where they went, they just know that they are gone...  Now, months later, Cas is having dreams and daytime hallucinations of Anna being tortured,and it is driving him mad.  He feels like he has to find a way to help her, so he begins to search, against the advice of everyone he knows, for a way to free her. His search takes him to London, where a secret society, the very one that originally forged his ghost-killing blade, can give him the assistance he needs.  Is he willing to pay the price for their assistance, is the question...

This storyline of this book was just as mind-mending as the first book.  The characters were still awesome, the pace was once again perfect, the scary parts kicked just as much butt, it was just as action-packed, and there was just enough emotional tension to keep me turning the pages.  In respect to the setting, I thought the world-building was even better this time around.  Kendare Blake's descriptions of Hell were terrifying, and even more than those were her description of the "Suicide Forest".  She paints an unnerving picture that I won't soon forget!  Seriously nightmare inducing!  So, why was this book not quite as good for me as the first one?  Not enough Anna, pure and simple!  Anna doesn't really get much play until toward the end, and then she just wasn't the kick-ass Anna I grew to love in the first book.  She was tortured and pathetic for the most part, and although we do see some glimpses of the real Anna, it wasn't enough for me.

I don't believe there will be any more Anna books.  The story wrapped up neatly and in a way that I didn't expect.  Cas is even more of an awesome character because of how he let Anna's story come to a close, and I remain staunch in my opinion that he is one of the most swoon-worthy male characters in YA because of it.  I was satisfied with this closure in a very melancholy way because I will miss these characters, none of whom more than Anna, but I think it ended as perfectly as a story such as this could end.  Bravo, Kendare Blake, for another job well done!!

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  

Grade Level Recommendation:  I put this book right where I put Anna Dressed In Blood, grades 6 and up (ages 11+), for swears and violence.


  1. I finished Anna Dressed in Blood earlier this week an absolutely loved. And now I'm reaalllly looking forward to the sequel. It's so good to hear that it lived up to the first book!

    Thanks for the review.

  2. The ending was great and very bittersweet. It is the last in this series....too bad!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  3. Anna Dressed in Blood was one of my favorite books ever.

    I really missed Anna in this one. The story is always better when she's on the page but it was a great sequel.


Thanks for visiting my blog! I adore comments since they make me feel special and loved, just please don't spam me. I'm not interested in vacation offers, millions of dollars from Nigeria, or anything not book related!

Also, this is an award-free blog. As flattered as I am, I just don't have time. I'm happy if I have time to post all of my reviews on time, and am a momma of three to boot, but I appreciate the thoughts! XO