Last year, 'round Halloween time, Anna Dressed in Blood, by Kendare Blake, seemed to pop up on must-read lists all over the blogosphere. I was underemployed at the time, so I had plenty of time on my hands, and even though I enter into a reading relationship with YA hesitantly, I LOVED IT.
I was super excited to find out there's a second (and final) book in this duology, and I picked up Girl of Nightmares for the BookTube-a-Thon, since I figured it would be a really involving book and a breakneck-fast read. I was so right! So so, right! Go me!
Blurb from Goodreads:
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. 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, 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.
So, yeah, I cut out the spoilery parts in the blurb above. No spoilers here. Don't wanna spoil this goodness.
Anyway, if you read my review (or any review) of Anna Dressed in Blood, you'll find that the first book was quite gory and splatter-yucky and full of the killings. While it was firmly grounded in the horror genre, this book seems more like an adventure quest. I saw this same sentiment in another online review, though I can't remember which review it was, but I heartily agree. That's not to say there isn't some gory horror in this book, too, but it's much less than the first novel. The main focus of this book is the quest for Anna, and I found it just as fun, fast-paced, and satisfying as the first book.
What really impressed me about Anna Dressed in Blood, and what I continued to appreciate in this closing volume, was the main cast of characters. It's nice to have the story told from a male perspective, and Cas is a wonderfully conflicted character. He's not a superhero, though he does have some kickass skills with an athame (dagger). I also enjoyed getting to know more about his sidekicks, Carmel (high school popular girl princess) and Thomas (grandson of a voodoo master and mind reader).
There's also a nice mythology introduced in this novel. Cas is the keeper of that ghost-killin' dagger I mention a few seconds ago, and knowing how it was forged, by whom, and why added a lot of meaningful meat to this novel.
This is a fun one. Git it!
Kendare Blake also has a new novel coming out in September called Antigoddess. It's the first in a series, but I'm not sure how long the series will be. I quite liked that the Anna books ended after two installments. Not everything needs to be drawn out.
Pub. Date: August 2012
Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associations
Source: A buddy shared her copy.