Series: Anna #2
Published by Tor Teen on August 7, 2012
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
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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.
Girl of Nightmares starts off where Anna Dressed in Blood left off, the ghostly Anna sacrificed herself to save Cas and his friends. Seeing as Cas has fallen in love with his ghostly saviour, Girl of Nightmares is pretty much about Cas saving her in Hell. When you get past the fact that he’s sacrificing everything he has just to save someone who is already dead, it’s actually a pretty enjoyable read.
The first half of the book pretty much starts off with Cas hallucinating about Anna being tortured in Hell. She’s asking for his help and then he begins a journey to actually visit this Hell and release her. Naturally, the second half is where he goes on a journey to save Anna from the depths of hell. There’s a new girl on the block, Jestine, who seems to be a match for Cas and his athame, she’s extremely annoying but intriguing for Cas at the same time.
Anna isn’t in the book so much except near the end, and it was a welcome change for me. I found the first book a little too cheesy on the YA romance, but this one didn’t heavily feature the romance between Cas and his ghostly love. The sequel also fleshes out the history behind Cas and his athame, and a secret (and slightly creepy) Order revolving around the athame.
I haven’t read many convincingly scary YA horror stories out there, but Girl of Nightmares takes the cake with the Suicide Forest. Think about it, what could be more creepy than being haunted by dead bodies in a dark forest?
Overall, Kendare Blake has delivered an excellent sequel. It’s scary, gory, action-packed and a great entry into the urban fantasy genre for young adults. I wish there were more books out there like this, not dominated by cheesy love triangles and instant love.
Rating: 4 out of 5