Review by Alyssa
August 2012 by Tor Teen
Amazon + Good Reads
"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."
First and foremost, it's going to be nearly impossible for me to talk about this book without spoiling the first in the duology, Anna Dressed In Blood. If you haven't read that book yet and do not want to be spoiled - please, please, please avoid reading this review. And, in order for me to express my thoughts on Girl of Nightmares there will be minor spoilers for book #2 as well. You have been warned.
To be perfectly honest, I was pretty disappointed by this book and I'm not entirely convinced that it was necessary for Anna to have a full length sequel. Everything that happened in Girl of Nightmares could have been successfully accomplished in a novella.
The best analogy that I can come up with is that Girl of Nightmares read like a male MC version of New Moon. Now I know that the circumstances are a little bit different but hear me out. Cas spends a lot of time in a near comatose state because he's attempting to digest what happened to Anna and where she is currently at... and the only time that he feels connected to her is when he's tracking down ghosts in very dangerous situations. Does this sound like anyone to you? A Miss Isabella Swan, perhaps? I had a really, really hard time getting through New Moon and once I had made the connection between that and Girl of Nightmares, that too became almost insufferable.
And it lasted for the majority of the book.
Thankfully, my opinion was saved by the last quarter of the book. The pacing took off and it was actually a pretty good adventure. I was really intrigued by Blake's concept of Hell (not a spoiler because it's in the synopsis :D) and was pretty creeped out by some of the things that happened. I won't go into details about the ending but seriously, hats off you to, Kendare Blake. I was incredibly happy with how Cas and Anna's relationship played out and I didn't think that I was going to be.
I suppose that's all that I have to say about this book. I really enjoyed Anna Dressed In Blood but didn't think that Girl of Nightmares was necessary. I think that Blake could have set up Cas's state of being in a much shorter amount of time and could have expanded on the "big conflict" more than she did. Over all, I'm glad that I found out what happened between Cas and Anna, and I liked the conclusion... but I could have stood for reading about it in a 100 paged novella rather than a 300+ paged novel.
Did you read Girl of Nightmares? What did you think?