Saturday, September 22, 2012

Book Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen; First Edition edition (August 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765328666
ISBN-13: 978-0765328663
Series: Anna Dressed in Blood #2
Source: Finished copy provided by publisher
Cover: I think this cover is just as striking as the first novel. It's different from all the other YA covers out there and for that reason alone I would have picked up the book. While I don't think this one is quite as interesting as the first, I think it does look great together and the creepy ghosts reaching out from the lava to grab her legs is super creepy.
First Sentence: I think I killed a girl who looked like this once.

Mini-Review: Every bit as scary good as the first!

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.

If you had any worries that Girl of Nightmares might not be as good as Anna Dressed In Blood, Kendare Blake puts those to rest as easily as Cas dispatches a bad ghostie.Cas and his gang are back for one more scary good time as they try to figure out where Anna went and whether they can really ever let her go. Combining characters you already know you love with some of the big questions in life and some lingering feelings, Girl of Nightmares knocks the proverbial ball out of the ballpark.

One of the main reasons I loved the first novel is because of Cas's sharp tongue, ability to take care of himself and no bullshit attitude. I mention loudly and often that he is my favorite aspects of the Winchester brothers (Supernatural) rolled up into one helluva fun character. I'm glad to see that his spirit wasn't broken by the first novel and he was back for more action and even bigger haunts this time around. The only thing that bothered me a little was Cas's inability to act sometimes in the face of danger because of his preoccupation with Anna or his fear. He didn't falter as much in the first novel so I was surprised with this. I guess it's good that he was affected from the previous events and when the time came down to it, he went above and beyond to right his mistakes. Plus, his sharp tongue had me giggling well into the night.

It would have been nice to have a little more of the Anna we got to know in the first novel in this one. Since she wasn't around, it felt that a lot of the time we were relying on the stuff we loved about her in the first book to get us through this one when she wasn't in it at all. We did get introduced to a new character Jestine who I loved. I wouldn't mind getting an entire novel in her perspective following these events. She's totally the type of character I could get into and I want her to break hold of some of the strings she's on. Thomas was yet again the perfect best friend. He's definitely the type of guy you want hanging around not only because he's smart and a great witch but also because he's so loyal. He stood with Cas even when no one else would. Carmel has some demons to struggle with on her own which causes her to make quite a few mistakes. I loved her when she was there and hated her when she wasn't which is a testament to the author's writing.

Though the plot isn't as straightforward and sometimes feels a little unwound in this one, there are still plenty of scares. Anna showing up around Cas as something completely different than the first novel was wonderfully horrifying and seeing her torture herself in front of Cas was a fresh new horror. There was also this scene in a place called the Suicide Forest (located around England in the book but it is an actual place in Japan) that was beyond creepy. I don't handle things that move when you can't see them well so that was particularly horrifying for me. The ending Hellscape that Cas and Jestine go through is disturbing and strange and haunting. The author does an awesome job of describing it and I find myself going back there often even though I finished the book some time ago.

The ending of this novel doesn't really leave room for another story and I'm not sure there should be one. This ending is so poignant and bittersweet, the perfect ending for a boy meant to send ghosts away thataccidentally falls in love with one. I'm not sure there could have been another way and I'm not sure I would love this book as much if there had been any other ending. There are very few instances where anything is every perfect and this ending was just that. Blake's writing was just as engaging as I remember it and her mastery of description and Cas's voice is truly exemplary. Please Ms. Blake, feel free to rip out my still beating heart again any time you want to if you're going to give me more of this.

Girl of Nightmares is everything it promises to be. It's scary and heartwarming and witty and funny and the perfect read for October. If you're worried you won't like it as much as the first, crack it open and let Cas put those worries to bed. Girl of Nightmares is scary wonderful!


Favorite Lines:
There's a cat-shaped hole where Tybalt used to be, floating in her footsteps.
--Pg. 17 of "Girl of Nightmares" by Kendare Blake
Watching her blink is like watching an alligator cut through thick, brackish water.
--Pg. 50 of "Girl of Nightmares" by Kendare Blake
It's the Monday of the last week of the year, and if I have to sign one more yearbook I'm going to sign it in the owner's blood.
--Pg. 104 of "Girl of Nightmares" by Kendare Blake
This scream is a meat cleaver to the ears...
--Pg. 116 of "Girl of Nightmares" by Kendare Blake
To my left, Carmel is channeling her inner Warrior Princess, using the club to pretty good effect with one arm.
--Pg. 246 of "Girl of Nightmares" by Kendare Blake

1 comment:

  1. I am so excited to read this! I am glad you liked it! :) I can't wait for her next book anti-goddess to come out!


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