Early Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

, by Kt Clapsadl

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Anna Dressed in Blood #2

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.

Even though months have passed since Anna through herself into hell to save Cas, he can't seem to move on with his life. He's barely functioning, only going through the motions, and his friends are getting worried. Their concern gets even worse as Cas starts to see Anna everywhere, with each vision showing her more and more gruesome and tortured. Torn between thinking he has finally lost it and wanting to believe Anna is actually reaching out, Cas and his friends set out to find out the truth. But the answers they find only lead to more questions and reveal a shocking truth about Cas's past that will forever change everything. 

I really loved the added depth to Cas's character in Girl of Nightmares. There is so much more emotion in him this time around now that he has lost Anna, becoming quite tortured. His sanity seems to crumble a little more each time he sees her be torn apart right in front of his eyes. And yet, his determination never once falters despite the amazing amount of obstacles in his way. Despite his desperate need to find her and all the things weighing him down, he never once loses his true self. We still get plenty of his smart-ass cracks bringing a levity that should not be possible considering the terrifying circumstances. I really admire Kendare's ability to blend in these lighter moments in between the horror, making it a little easier for me to breath while reading.

The horror was every bit as prevalent in Girl of Nightmares as the first installment. Perhaps it has just been a while since I read Anna Dressed in Blood, but I almost feel like the creepiness was ten times worse this time around. Each scene where Anna would appear in front of Cas only got worse and worse with the terror and gore making me shudder. In fact, my emotional attachment was so much higher this time around now that it only made the horror even worse. I will say that the suicide forest scene should never be read alone in the dead quiet of night, like I did. If any sound had of happened in my house at that moment, I highly doubt I would have recovered. So all you horror fans out there, don't worry, Kendare more than brings the creepy this time around.

Anna Dressed in Blood was an incredibly amazing book that would be a very hard act to follow. Not only does Girl of Nightmares more than live up to its predecessor, but it may just very well surpass it due to the way it ended. While the ending of Girl of Nightmares was bittersweet, it was absolutely astoundingly perfect. It is one of the rare moments where a book has me feeling completely fulfilled without actually giving me the outcome I was hoping for. In fact, I realize now that what I wanted would have never rewarded me with the sigh of contentment I experienced. Seriously, this may just be my very favorite ending ever, and trust me that is saying something. I cannot possibly recommend these books any higher. So, when Girl of Nightmares is released, run, do not walk to your nearest bookstore and snatch this title up. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. 

(Received a copy from the publisher)



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Previous Books:
  1. Anna Dressed in Blood

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