Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Girl of nightmares by Kendare Blake

Girl of nightmares is the sequel to Anna dressed in blood so there are ***SPOILERS*** in this review if you have not read the first book.  So don't read any further if you like reading things in series order.

It has been six months since Anna dressed in blood sacrificed herself to save Cas, Thomas and Carmel from the Obeahman.  Six months of a somewhat normal life for Cas, he has settled and stayed in one place, a novelty after years of being on the road chasing ghosts.  Thomas and Carmel seem well settled as a couple, even though their relationship isn't clearly defined and Carmel still manages to stay Queen Bee at the school, a social butterfly even though her relationship with Thomas should make her a social pariah.  Things are working, things are settled, so why is Cas seeing Anna in his dreams, and why is he seeing her in the real world?  It is small things at first, a glimpse of a reflection, her face imposed on someone else's, but then it gets more serious and Cas begins to wonder if he is sane.  The truth is worse than insanity though, Anna is trapped in Hell, and every moment is torment and torture - and now that he knows the truth Cas feels compelled to do something.

When his usual sources of information come up short, it seems as though there is nothing that Cas can do to rescue Anna from her fate - but then a mysterious photo arrives from England that suddenly opens a whole new world of possibilities.  Gideon doesn't seem willing or able to help him, but someone knows about Cas and what he can do, and they have given him a glimmer of hope - as does a meeting with a local witch that leaves Cas with more questions than answers.  What is so special about his athame, and why is it so important to other people?  Even though everyone and everything seems to be getting in the way, Cas is determined to reach Anna - but is he prepared to pay the cost?

Girl of nightmares was a suitably scary and gory sequel to Anna dressed in blood, a breakthrough first novel that captured the imagination of readers all over the world.  It was a treat to come across a book that was so original, and that managed to blend together a romance with a horror story - something I would have thought was impossible.  The sequel is just as original, blending together the best elements of the first book with a storyline that both continues the story and grows it - and there is a feeling that there could be another sequel in the works, though maybe not a sequel so much as a book set in the same reality. 

It was somewhat funny to see Cas acting like a typical teenager, rebelling against what he is told pretty much just because he can - but it can't be easy carrying such a great responsibility at such a young age.  This book also provides more background for the mythology of Blake's world, rounding out the reality a little more and providing some tantalising glimpses of what could have been and what might still be.  A thoroughly enjoyable read.

If you like this book then try:
  • Anna dressed in blood by Kendare Blake
  • The unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  • Thyla by Kate Gordon
  • The forest of hands and teeth by Carrie Ryan
  • Daughter of smoke and bone by Laini Taylor
  • Thirteen days to midnight by Patrick Carman
  • Burn bright by Marianne de Pierres
  • Something strange and deadly by Susan Dennard
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • Rot and ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Reviewed by Brilla

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