Girl of Nightmares Kendare Blake Book Review

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.

Girl of Nightmares Cover

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:

Lady with Books: “It lacked the grit I saw in the first book and left me feeling unsatisfied.”

Bunbury in the Stacks: “I was very happy with the ending that Kendare Blake wrote for Cas, Anna, Thomas, Carmel, and all the rest…”

The Book Smugglers: “I enjoyed this sequel very much but interestingly enough, I thought it was a different animal to its predecessor.”

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!”

The following two tabs change content below.
Allison is 27 years old. She is always looking for new books, good music, quality/epic adventures, and a normal sleep schedule. She currently works with the elderly.


  1. GoN definitely had a different feel to it than Anna. I see your point about Carmel, although I liked the texture that their conflict added to the story. I thought the ending was very sweet and it was kind of nice to read a two book series when it seems that everything is in threes these days….

  2. Aw, I’m sad it wasn’t as good. I loved Anna but haven’t gotten to the second book yet. I’ll probably still read it at some point but good to have some idea what to expect. Thanks for the review! 😀

  3. Although horror isn’t my usual genre, I did enjoy ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, mainly because of Cas and the other characters. But I’ve been hesitant about whether or not to finish the series. I am curious about what happens next, but not happy to hear that it seems like the characters backtracked on some of their growth from the first book. That is is a huge pet peeve of mine – when authors feel like they have to reverse character growth to continue the story. But I’ve heard generally good things about this one, and may pick it up one day.

  4. Awww boo. I’m sad to hear that this book wasn’t as enjoyable for you April. I’ve only read Girl Dressed in Blood and have waited far too long to read the sequel (which I even have btw). I want that closure, but I can already tell Cas is going to annoy me like crazy.

  5. Aww, that’s too bad that it wasn’t as good as the first book. Glad there’s closure, but that’s disappointing that some of the characters become a bit frustrating and annoying.

    Thanks for the honest review, Allison! 🙂

  6. I really enjoyed GIRL OF NIGHTMARES, but I see where you are coming from. I didn’t notice Cas being that big of a jerk — but there were some other things that bothered me. Like that female-version of Cas (I know her name starts with a J, but it’s been a while since I read it so I can’t remember her name…), she really bugged me. I think she was supposed to, but still I didn’t get her whole relationship with Cas and why he was so nice/easy going with her when he was being a jerk to most everyone else. I was also disappointed in Carmel’s 180 back to the way things were. On the one hand, I got where she was coming from (wanting to not have that type of life) and yet on the other… it didn’t make much sense. If she was willing to do what she did, then why would she suddenly decide the opposite and jump on a plane to fly to London?

    The ending was what really made me love the book, though. It was hard. It was sad and yet it was the perfect way to end it.

  7. AWw! I’m sorry it wasn’t as enjoyable as Anna Dressed in Blood – I still want to write that one! – but at least it was a good conclusion over all.

  8. It’s always a little disappointing when a sequel is not as good as the previous book! I’ve put this series off because I’m a wuss, but maybe I need to get over it and read them anyway!

  9. Yes! This was worth reading, and I’m happy to have the other half of the story, but I too was a bit disappointed. There was just something that wasn’t there. And Carmel’s turnaround just pissed me off–why was it necessary? I don’t understand, it still baffles me. *shrug*

    Still really excited for Antigoddes!

  10. I loved Anna Dressed in Blood, but I still haven’t finished reading Girl of Nightmares. It’s missing something from Anna Dressed in Blood so I haven’t been able to stay focused when reading it. Usually when I’m looking forward to a sequal as much as this one, I read it before handing it off to my students. Once I discovered that I wasn’t too interested in the story, I brought it into class and found some of my students feel the same. It’s a bummer, but I know I’ll eventually finish it because I want to know what happens to Cas and Anna.