Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

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
Format: E-book
ISBN: 9780765328663
Source: A buddy shared her copy.







17 comments:

  1. I tend to write off YA books that have a lot of hype as I don't have much luck with them, but I think I will have to try this series. Perhaps at Halloween time.

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    1. I do, too. This set kept popping up on recommended lists last Halloween so I jumped into the first book then. I had my doubts, but it was just different enough that I really dug it.

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  2. I read these two books back to back, and I think that dampened my enjoyment of this one a little bit - it didn't quite compare to the first for me. Still, both were very enjoyable! The narrator sounded a lot like one of my very best friends, which made the books even more awesome. :D

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    1. I can see how it might. They're quite different in the horror vs quest format, but reading any books by the same author back to back dulls my enjoyment. I found this out recently by reading two Shirley Jackson books in close proximity.

      And that's awesome! I liked Cas a lot. Fun character, very realistic.

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  3. I cannot wait for Antigoddess. Cannot. Wait.

    So glad you liked this one. So creeeeepy!

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    1. Me neither!!!! And it was super creepy.

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  4. I'm with Heather! Super excited for Antigoddess after loving Girl of Nightmares.

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    1. Yay! We need to have an Antigoddess party. lol

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  5. I have the first book in the series so I should really get to it. Both books sound good!

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    1. They definitely are a lot of fun. I hope you like them!

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  6. I've wanted to read this series but haven't gotten around to it. I obviously need to fix that. (And gah, don't you hate it when blurbs are spoilery? Lame.)

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    1. You definitely do! It's awesome good fun. And yes, spoilery blurbs are the worst!

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  7. I love these books! I also really love her writing and imagery, I'm a really visual reader and her writing made it easy to create pictures in my head, which I loved. I really liked all the characters, too.

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    1. Same here! Her writing is very vivid, and I was able to "see" the whole thing in my head like a movie. That was often a really SCARY trait in the first book. Gore! lol

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  8. I skimmed through your review because I do have the first one and am thinking of reading it for Carl's R.I.P. challenge. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

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    1. Yay! I hope you love the first one (and second!) as much as I did.

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  9. Yikes, "quite gory and splatter-yucky and full of the killings" does not sound like my thing but I already bought the first book. So, I guess I'll save it for a time when I'm able to cope with horror. Iliana has a good thought - it would definitely be great for the RIP (which I always try to do unofficially because I suck at challenges).

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