Friday, January 2, 2015

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Publication Date: August 7, 2012 
Publisher: Tom Doherty 
Series: Anna Dressed in Blood #2
Pages: 332
Genre: Horror
Synopsis: 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.

Review:  I reviewed Anna Dressed in Blood in October, and though I enjoyed it, I did have some issues with it.  I am happy to say that I like the sequel better than I did its predecessor.  

First off, a lot of questions I had about the mythology and reasoning in the first book are answered!  You find out more about Cas' father, the athame, and why his bloodline hunts ghosts.  The much needed explanations are quite satisfying.

However, what is not satisfying is the spookiness factor.  Much of the book is spent focused on introspection and relationships. Anna is gone, and her absence is definitely noticeable.  When I found Cas to be egotistical and slightly too confident in the last book, he spends much of this installment moping around, whining about losing Anna instead of actively trying to find her.  And Anna herself was the scariest, most intimidating part of the first book. Without her, the story lacks in the disturbing descriptions department that I enjoyed previously.  But, with that, what horror there is, such as a suicide forest crowded with specters, is full of colorful descriptions and chilling images.   

Anna as a character this book is a damsel in distress, which did disappoint me a little.  She is such a force to be reckoned with that having her be so weak, though suiting the plot, is disheartening. The few glimpses of  creepiness from her derived from her assorted tortures in hell.  

The Order and Gideon are uptight and standoffish.  Though interesting as a concept and what they represent, I dislike them as characters.  I am pleasantly surprised by the other new character, though, Jestine, who is determined and resourceful.  But I am let down by the usual cast of characters.  Though I had no strong feelings toward Carmel in the last book, I thoroughly did not like her in Girl of Nightmares.  Her actions are uncharacteristic and hard too accept.  She is fickle and down right mean at points. Thomas, on the other hand, improves. He shows more character and will than before.    

I enjoyed the locations of this book, as the characters travel to different lands.  It is certainly more fascinating than the same small town that the first book is set in.  I am also pleased with the ending, which is startling and even wraps the story up nicely.  However, it did not sit right with me that Cas makes a pivotal choice for someone else.  In my opinion, it is not his decision to make.  

In its entirety,  Girl of Nightmares surpasses Anna Dressed in Blood, due to the new information and concepts.  It is a decent horror duology,  one of the better ghostly YA series.  I enjoyed it, even with its slights, and it is a quick, fun read.  

3.5 Keys


No comments:

Post a Comment