GIRL OF NIGHTMARES
Author: Kendare Blake
Rating: 4 out of 5
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: 7th March 2013
Recommended Reading Age: 16 + (As recommended by the publishers)
Contains No Spoilers
THE GIST: This was a long-awaited sequel to a book, which I reviewed with very high praise on this very site a few months ago. For those not in the know, it picks up after our ghost-hunting, haunted knife-wielding hero banishes a dark force that has plagued his life and murdered his father, but at the same time, sent his ghostly love interest Anna to the ‘other side’. Only this book is about what is on the other side and whether or not that is the place for her…..cue tension music!
[note color=”#e4c3c9″]SYNOPSIS: Cas Lowood is no ordinary ghost hunter – he’s in love with a dead girl.
Her name is Anna Korlov. Anna Dressed in Blood. The girl who sacrificed herself to save his life. Racked with guilt, Cas sets out to do what he does best – hunt a ghost. But this time his aim is not to kill. He must rescue Anna from the depths of Hell.
But Hell is also home to a creature Cas has battled before…
Just your average boy meets girl, girls gets sucked into hell story.
THE LOWDOWN: I was both excited and concerned about starting this book…yes if you have some form of crazy memory, this is exactly how my review of the first book started. It holds true for the sequel, though for different reasons. I was excited because I really enjoyed the first book and concerned because it is rare that sequels can deliver the same level of excitement for me…not impossible, just unusual.
I loved Cas and Anna the first time and I long wondered how Blake would create that same connection with her seen off into the afterlife at the end of the first book. Well, Anna moved on all right, but a series of mysterious visions and nightmares make it clear for Cas that she is not where they both thought she was going and however unconventional their love may be, it is real for him.
This book deals with the fall out from book one and the insistence of Cas too find out what really happened to Anna. It offers the same and sometimes more of the dark imagery which for me, made the first book so refreshing. It was similarly unafraid to tackle the darkness and ideas surrounding hell and worse to depict some truly exciting settings. The use of the same band of ‘merry’ supporters was welcome, it kept it from being a lone knight on a white charger type story, which would not have worked (in my opinion).
This sequel was both exciting and pacey, without feeling like the story had been stretched. I enjoyed the progression of the themes examined in the first book and welcomed a chance to read in Cas and Anna’s voices again.
Blake has delivered another bold YA novel which combines some of my favorite themes without making it too cheesy for dramatic effect.
The only reason I didn’t give this five stars is because it wasn’t quite as exciting as the first. While I really enjoyed it and felt satisfied as a reader, it was less that there was a fault with Girl of Nightmares and more that it was never going to beat the first for me.
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