Thursday, 13 February 2014

Review - Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)

 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.

Amazon UK

The sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood doesn’t disappoint! It picks up several months after the events of the first book, where we find Cas still hasn’t got over what happened to Anna – mainly because he’s literally being haunted by her spirit. At first, his friends Carmel and Thomas think he’s cracking up, but when it’s revealed that the athame blade with which he sends violent spirits to the afterlife is inextricably linked to her spirit, he becomes determined to save her from the horrific Hell she’s now imprisoned in.

This was just as good as the first book! Cas’s narrative voice is as humorous as ever, which nevertheless doesn’t detract from the creepy element of ghost-killing. The supporting cast, particularly Carmel and Thomas, are equally well-developed, and I like how Kendare Blake explores their bond more fully in this second novel, since Cas has never put down roots or formed attachments before now, being constantly on the move. The emotional depth makes this a horror story which is more than just about the scares – although there are plenty of spooky moments and nail-biting scenes. We get to learn more about the athame blade and the background behind it, as well as visiting some new (and extremely sinister) locations!

This sequel is a fantastic conclusion to the Anna duology, and builds on the first book whilst tying up all the loose ends. There's not enough good YA horror out there at the moment, in my opinion, and this has the bonus of not being TOO creepy, but still a fantastically spine-chilling read!

Rating: ****

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