Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake picks up a few months after Anna Dressed in Blood concluded yet Cas still hasn’t been able to move on from what happened. He is racked with guilt and confused about the emotions that he is feeling regarding Anna. Oh, and there is also the fact that he is being continuously plagued by nightmares and visions of Anna being tormented and/or tortured. Are these all in his imagination? Or are they real? And if they are real what do they mean? Cas will not rest until he finds out.
If you look back on my review of Anna Dressed in Blood, you can see that I really enjoyed it. I thought that Kendare Blake did a wonderful job writing a book that completely took me out of my usual element. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the same way about its sequel, Girl of Nightmares, even as badly as I wanted to. I can happily say that I was able to receive some sort of closure to the characters, in particularly the character of Anna, but otherwise I have to admit that I felt a little let down.
MINORS SPOILERS AHEAD! Read at your own risk!
Or just click this link to read about Anna Dressed in Blood!
Admittedly while the premise of the story sounds very promising, it took me a while to get into it, and even attempt to enjoy it. I think my main problem of Girl of Nightmares was the characterization of Cas, and the way that he was to put it simply was a huge ass to anyone he came into contact with. In the first book, you were able to witness Cas going on this journey where he removed himself from this phase of being a pompous jerk to someone who actually has compassion and human emotion. For the majority of Girl of Nightmares, it felt like he had taken a million steps back as a character. He was back to being even more a jerk than before and was at times very obnoxious. I can understand that he was very upset over what had happened with Anna, and that he was determined to find her again but, at the same time, he didn’t have to be such a brat about it because it definitely was a turn off for me.
Oh, and another turn off? The complete turn around of the character of Carmel. Again similar to Cas, Carmel went on a little bit of journey in the first book. To me it was as if she had outgrown her insecurities and her bitchiness and had accepted the fact that she was interested in someone who wasn’t part of the “cool crowd” and that she had become friends with someone who was a ghost killer. But all of sudden in book number two, all the insecurities and the harsh bitchiness is back again! Granted, I can understand that maybe she realized that she was in a little over her head with this whole ghost killing business but at the same time, there were so many other ways to handle it. It was disappointing to read about because I expected more from her as a character.
There were still some enjoyable things for me within Girl of Nightmares. I still really enjoyed the way it was written. Once again, Kendare Blake did a wonderful job of explaining what was going on in this book. In fact, I think she may have even done a better job this time around. There was a lot of attention being paid to the background story, and to how everything was connected with each other. At times, it was a little bit too much but, it was also nice to have all the information right at my hands. I do wish it was a little bit more gritty though. For the most part, I also enjoyed the way that the character of Anna was written (although I wish there had more scary Anna scenes), and the fact that she (and others) was questioning rather or not she should be rescued. There was so much more on the line for her this time around! I think that might be one of the reasons why Cas irritated me so much. He simply did not understand what was at stake for Anna, and how the results not only affected her but him as well.
Overall, I am happy with the conclusion that I got from Girl of Nightmares. I feel that it did wrap things up and allowed me to have some closure while still expanding and changing some things I would not have necessarily expected. At the same time though, I can’t help but feel that I would have really lost anything if I had decided not to read it. I do however recommend it to those who read and enjoyed Anna Dressed In Blood, and who are interested in finding out how everything is wrapped up.
Disclosure: Borrowed from local library
Other Reviews of Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake:
For Love and Books: “I highly recommend both Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares to just about anyone! Even if you are like me (a wimp who sleeps with the lights on after something scary!) you will lose yourself in this world and be turning pages as quickly as possible to find what comes next!”