Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

I love a book that can give me that creepy feeling, where you don’t want to turn the page but you have to because you need to know what comes next. Girl of Nightmares is that kind of book.

Girl of Nightmares follows Cas as he tries to come to terms with losing Anna, and finding a way to see if she’s at peace after she sacrificed herself to save him. It’s a little more emotional than Anna Dressed in Blood, but it also has those light moments to keep it from dragging. There are enough side stories to keep the secondary characters involved and real, and yet it’s easy to see the main storyline.

Anna isn’t in this book much, but that’s okay. She doesn’t need to be in order for her to have an impact. Her absence in Cas’ life is felt by having her absent in the book. She only really shows up near the end, and while I’m sad there’s not going to be another book to their story, the ending is perfect for them. It was exactly what I wish for in any ending of a story. It felt right and gave me that happy feeling while still making me sigh because there’s nothing more.

Once again, Blake’s writing style helps make this novel amazing. She doesn’t skimp on anything. You get the full effect of everything creepy and morbid in this novel. If something happens, she doesn’t make the book prettier and gloss over it. If a ghost is gross, you read that. If a place is creepy beyond belief, she makes you believe it. It is fantastic.

Girl of Nightmares is an amazing sequel to a wonderful book. It’s a fitting conclusion to the story of Anna and Cas. Even though I wish there could be more, Blake managed to end the series on a perfect note.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood has been on my to read list for a while now. I put it off for the sole reason that I knew I’d love it and didn’t want to have long to wait before reading the second book.

Blake jumps right into the story and wastes no time in introducing Cas’ life to us. He hunts the ghosts that terrorize people and spends most of his life in moving boxes. His life is all about move, hunt, kill, repeat. Then, for the first time ever, a ghost presents a challenge like he’s never known and his system is thrown a little off balance.

I loved Cas. He was a real guy, and I applaud Blake for being able to write a guy that doesn’t sound like a girl in disguise. The relationship with his mother isn’t strained like a lot of parent/child relationships in Young Adult books today, and I really liked that. Cas and his mother don’t have many secrets and it was nice seeing a book hero rely on his parent when he needed just a little help.

Blake’s writing made this book stand out. She didn’t gloss over anything in an attempt to make it less frightening or disturbing. She tells it like it is when it comes to the ghosts. If they have skin hanging, she tells you. If their head isn’t on quite right, she tells you. She lets the gore speak for itself and that adds a level of tension to the story that made it amazing.

The one thing that held this book back from being five stars was how easily Cas’ new friends believed anything he told them. I wish there had been a little bit more convincing when it came to his friends. After one incident, they all take Cas’ word, and I would have liked just a little bit more conflict there.

Anna Dressed in Blood is a terrifically written ghost story that will have you holding your breath and checking over your shoulder for phantom eyes as you read. It’s got a little something for everyone and I can’t wait to read what happens in Girl of Nightmares.