Thursday, 17 January 2013
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #2
Type: Young Adult Paranormal
It has been months since Anna Korlov opened a doorway to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it to save Cas Lowood's life. Despite being reminded by his friends of her sacrifice, Cas can't let Anna go and soon he is seing Anna everywhere. But this isn't the powerful Anna he remembers, this Anna is broken and tortured and Cas is desperate to find out what happened to her. His quest reveals secrets hidden in his past and leads him on a dangerous quest to save Anna from a fate far worse than death.
This is the final book of the Anna duology (after Anna Dressed in Blood) and honestly it was a little different to what I expected. I loved Anna Dressed in Blood and found it to be deliciously creepy and addictive, but something was missing for me in Girl of Nightmares.
I think part of it is Cas's desperate self-destructive quest to figure out what happened to Anna. As much as he loves her, he is completely unable to let her go and he quickly places himself at risk along with Thomas and Carmel, which is incredibly unfair to them. There is less ghost hunting and the action quickly moves away from Cas's mother and Morfran who were two stand out characters for me last time.
But enough about what I didn't like, here's what I did. The echoes of the events of the previous book are present in this showing that even ghost related things have real world ramifications. There are some creepy scenes but these are more towards the end of the book, particularly when Cas and his friends journey through the "suicide forest" which was disturbing to say the least. Once the action moves to the UK the action is compelling and I was glued to the page throughout.
The beginning is action packed and throws you straight back into Cas's life, while showing how Thomas and Carmel are still standing by his side. There were a few unexplored plot lines in Anna Dressed in Blood and this picks them all up and ties them together, deepening the world and managing to pull a bunch of surprises out of seemingly nowhere. This goes right back to the origins of the blade and how Cas's father became a ghost hunter revealing a whole new side to their world.
The ending was action packed and chock full of tension, going back and tying in tiny hints from both books to create a shockingly powerful conclusion. It's pretty much impossible to discuss the ending without spoilers so I will just say that the ending is unconventional but works perfectly within the world Kendare Blake created.
One last thing - if you haven't read Anna Dressed in Blood, don't read this! It is very closely tied to the first book and you'll have missed a huge amount.
All in all this was a good read and a great conclusion to the series.