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Anna #2

Girl of Nightmares

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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.

332 pages, Hardcover

First published August 7, 2012

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About the author

Kendare Blake

38 books54.9k followers
So, I write books. The Anna Dressed in Blood duo is horror, The Goddess War trilogy is mythology, and Three Dark Crowns is fantasy, because the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some. Love to read, too. Fiction, philosophy, good books, bad books, because you take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have a stack of books and stuff. I mean, you've got to be adventurous. There's more to life that what you're living, so take a chance and face the wind.

There's more coming soon like ALL THESE BODIES and a new fantasy series, so don't waste another minute on your cryin. We're nowhere near the end.

My likes include animals, food, and nostalgia. I mean, whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV? Used to be everywhere you look, there's a heart, a hand to hold on to.

Anyway, I love to hear from readers so drop me a line here or at my website and we'll talk about friends to know, and ways to grow, and how if you threw a party you would see that the biggest gift would be from me and the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

We can also talk about all the sitcom theme songs in this bio. Sha la la la.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,777 reviews
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,633 reviews34k followers
July 29, 2016
"It's probably going to be blood," Thomas says in a regretful tone that doesn't match the devious excitement in his eyes. "It's almost always about blood."

If your dead, ghostly girlfriend sacrificed herself for you, you'd hope she'd at least finally be at peace, right? But it turns out poor Anna is still a lost, unmoored soul, and Cas Lowood is still haunted by her face everywhere he goes. In this sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood, which was one of my favorite books from 2011, Cas must find out what's happened to the girl he loves, all the while uncovering more long-held secrets from his past.

Sequels are always a tricky business, so I breathed a sigh of relief when I found that it was easy to immerse myself in this world again. I love the dark beauty of Kendare Blake's writing and her macabre humor, and I think most readers who enjoy a bit of levity with their horror will appreciate the way this story is written.

His skin is black as a struck match, cracked and oozing liquid metal heat, like he's covered by a cooling layer of lava. The eyes stand out bright white. I can't make out from this distance if they have corneas. God I hope they have corneas. I hate that creepy weird-eye shit.

There are some fantastically spooky scenes, particularly a jumpy one involving a Mrs. Bates-type of moment, and a tension-filled chapter set in the depths of an eerie Suicide Forest similar to this one. I do wish there were more spooky scenes, however, and that we spent more time with Anna. She is such a crazily vengeful, strong-willed spirit that her absence was keenly felt. What can I say, I love wallowing in ghoulish excess! I think I was a bit spoiled after the last book's non-stop creepfest, but it truly doesn't mean I enjoyed reading this book any less.

The tone in Girl of Nightmares is a little more serious than its predecessor, but we also get more emotional content as well since Cas is struggling with the loss of his girlfriend. I liked that the vividly imagined world we were introduced to in Anna is expanded here and that the story follows a logical progression, although I'm a little sad that it appears we won't be seeing more of these characters. I didn't realize when I started the story that this would be the last book in the series, but this conclusion is exactly what I would have hoped for. It feels...right, and I am very satisfied with the end of Cas and Anna's story.

If you enjoy dark humor with your YA ghost stories, you've probably been salivating after this book as much as I have. But if you haven't met Anna yet, what are you waiting for? She's one ghost you really, really don't want to make angry.

4.5 stars

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.

Here is Kendare's doodle in the ARC she sent me:

Nothing could set the tone for this book better, hah.

Win a copy of Girl of Nightmares!

While I wouldn't give up my doodled copy for all the magical athames in the underworld, we do have an extra autographed ARC to give away to one lucky winner! It features the first design with a bloody red cover, which is slightly different from the final one that matches the colors of the first book a bit more.

Enter to win on our blog!

Profile Image for MischaS_.
785 reviews1,372 followers
July 28, 2020
It took me three years to finish this book!

So please, how would you rate a book you've been reading for three years? I seriously don't know.
The beginning was hell on earth! Someone else had to write it. No way this was a continuation to Anna Dressed in Blood one of my favourite books!
So, it was boring. They were talking for ages. Then we got Jestine and I hoped it would be fun again. But they were talkingThen I finally got some action pops up like the Suicide forest which was brilliant! Then they were talking again! Then they finally went to hell which was great!
And I don't even know how I feel about the ending. Cause it is pretty obvious there was no better way.

And yet another book where I'll pretend that it's standalone. Not even angry about it, as much as I wanted a good continuation, I think that Anna Dressed in Blood is pretty decent standalone story!
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
August 9, 2012
Dear Kendare,

In the words of my awesome co-blogger, Kat:

You saucy, saucy minx.

You knew exactly what you were doing here, didn't you? I'd bitched, moaned, and complained about Anna Dressed in Blood. I gave it 2.5 stars. I asked for more. You read my mind.

And you fucking gave it to me.

If anyone were to ask me why I continue on with series that didn't exactly impress me with book one, I'd have to direct them to Girl of Nightmares.

You get no complaints from me this time, Blake. This was brilliant. This was awesome. This is on a new level of badass. I loved every bit of it.

Stephanie, who is now cheerfully eating her words.

P.S. Thanks for blowing my mind.


*munch, munch*

Do you hear that? That's the sound of me eating my words. Girl of Nightmares truly surprised me. I'll be honest and say I wasn't expecting to love or even like it because originally Anna Dressed in Blood and I didn't get along. While everyone else ran around screaming high praises for it, I was left on the side lines. And I hate being on the sides lines. No matter how much I tried to love Anna Dressed in Blood I couldn't. It had too many open ends and I'm of the belief that even when you are reading a series each book must stand on its own merit. So I was disappointed, but I also wanted to give the second book a try because regardless of my initial reservations, it wasn't a bad book. And after that fun interview we did, I was convinced to try again. So imagine my delight when I started reading Girl of Nightmares and discover how much I was enjoying it. When I finished I felt like I had been on one epic ghost-busting adventure. And it was awesome.

Girl of Nightmares takes place six months after the events in Anna Dressed in Blood with Cas attempting to get on with his life without Anna. Unfortunately, that's not going so well for him since he continues to witness Anna being tortured in his sleep and while he is awake. I'm not going to go off and describe the blurb for you, but I will say Cas gets to the bottom of EVERYTHING in Girl of Nightmares.

Everything that I complained about in Anna Dressed in Blood were addressed in Girl of Nightmares. The plot is solid with no inconsistencies that I could see. In fact, I really loved the plot because there wasn't a dull moment. That partly has something to do with there being a lot of loose ends to cover: the mystery surrounding the athame, where Anna went, Cas' background, ect. Despite there being so many issues needing to be addressed, I never once felt like Blake info dumped or rushed through explanations. It was all very smooth and engaging. I didn't want to put my book down, but well, I have kids, so it was unavoidable. And that made me cranky. Also, this book was creepy! Do yourself a big favor and do NOT read the "Suicide Forest" scene late at night. *shudders*

Don't ask, just obey...

The characters have seen a considerable amount of character development, most notably being both Cas and Carmel. Cas is no longer the cocky little prick who all girls fawn over like he's God's gift to womenkind. In Girl of Nightmares he is a broken character struggling to let go of Anna. He obsesses over it constantly to the point where it interferes with his ability to ghost hunt. This was a Cas I could easily sympathize with and I wanted him to find a way for both Anna and him to be happy. As for Carmel... I can't really say much without giving away huge spoilers, but she was a badass. You will love her.

The best part of Girl of Nightmares was the hilarious dialogue. These characters feel so real to me because Blake has sat down and given them so much personality. Laughing is pretty much a given when reading Girl of Nightmares. You can't get around it. But that's okay because you want the humor when you in the midst of being scared shitless.

The ending was perfect. I can't say anything about it because I refuse to ruin the book for anyone, but I think fans will be very happy and satisfied. Or not. Who's to say? Lol.

But I would like to share with you a piece of wisdom. After finishing Girl of Nightmares I happened to learn one big lesson:

Reading this book in the second floor hallway right above the stairs at night, while my entire household was sleeping soundly, wasn't one of my best ideas. Learn from me.

This ARC was generously given to Kat and I by Kendare Blake. This in no way swayed my views of the book. In fact, I think she was expecting me to dislike it, but she'll just have to settle for my glowing review!

More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.3k followers
May 8, 2012
The following book has been found in an abandoned, run-down house along with a body, a pen, and a worn and tattered copy of Girl of Nightmares.  The walls have many words and phrases written in blood. It's contents provide the only clues to the

events that led to the the death of a person and an increasing string of disturbances in the area.

It reads as such:


This is a journal of my reading expedition.  I have traveled to this remote locale so that I may read Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake in solitude.  Rumour has it that this book is cursed and that whosoever reads it is doomed to have their wits scrambled and to be left insensible.  Nevertheless I bravely proceed and scoff in the face of superstition.  My intention is that others may benefit from the experiences chronicled within my journal and use it as a reference guide in their own reading experiences of Blake's second dip into the Anna Dressed in Blood Universe.

Page 1

I have been intrigued and saddened by the beginning.  Dearest Anna, it seems, will likely not be a major character in this book, alas.  But the writing remains of quality and it seems there are to be some ghost.

Page 48

There have been some instances of exciting ghost happenings, but also a great deal of plot set up and relationship dynamics.  I rather wonder what the hype is but shall persevere for now.

Page 150

It has been a difficult slog.  There has been average levels of awesome recorded and long stretches between badassery.  I have grown weary of the angst and seek to end the experiment.  Perseverance forces me onward and the everlasting hope that I shall one day be reunited with Anna. Her lack of presence in this novel has made it cumbersome and Cas' angst, and the secrecy surrounding him is wearisome.  I am starting to doubt the curse.  Worse yet, I am starting to doubt Blake.  How far I have fallen?  Tonight I shall weep tears of disappointment as I sleep with the lights on.

Page 235

Hark? Is this the same novel?  Surely some great charm has bewitched me.  My instruments do not lie, yet surely there has been a mistake.  When I documented the levels of awesome, I was forced to notarize in my ledger that it was over 9000 and was unable to take further measurements for I had incidentally crushed my scouter in response.  "What? 9000?" I said in shock and awe.  "There's no way that can be right!"

I am not sure what happened next for I blacked out and was awoken the next day by hazy memories.  There are now strange markings on the wall but I know not what they mean.  I fear I have put them there.  Am I becoming a monster?  Can this curse be true and is it tampering with my senses?

Page 291

I understand now.  I was foolish and ignorant before, but I have been shown the way.  There is no human explanation.  Yet I realize now that life has no meaning, but for this book.  It is my only love.  My purpose.  It is the reason I have been born.  There is no curse.  Those who have not read it have been cursed.  It is all so clear to me now.  I have written a song for Blake that brings tears to my eyes as I sing it continuously throughout the night. It has become my only companion through out my enlightenment.  I have written it down so that this knowledge may be passed on through the ages.

Blake Blake Blake Blake, Blake.
BlakeBlake, Blake Blake Blake Blake Blake,
Blake Blake Blake, BlakeBlake.
BlakeBlakeBlake...Blake Blake Blake.

I hope that I am one day able to sing this song to her in person and that SHE WILL BE PLEASED WITH ME!

Page 332



Snargle half-blabber!


This review and more can also be found at my blog, Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
July 24, 2019
the problem is me.

i loved anna dressed in blood. loved it. i thought it was clever and spooky and funny with interesting characters and great action sequences. i thought it was beautiful and sad and striking.

i waited for this sequel with crazed anticipation. and then i saw it at ALA and i thought it was too good to be true and there were only two copies, and it was one of those gray area situations where i wasn't sure if it was for the taking or not, so i froze and i hemmed and hawed and finally caris rolled his eyes at me and used one of his jack skellington arms to grab it for me and hustled me outta there. (thank you, brave one! ♥)

and for all that, i just thought it was okay.

and i know it has to be me for the following reasons:

1) everyone else loves it.

2) blake does what you are supposed to do in a second novel, which is to change the playing field altogether. this is not a rehash of the first book; this is not "more adventures in ghostbusting." this takes the action to the next level. the plot is logical, clever, and expands the mythology, while progressing the action to pave the way for a third book.

3) the characters change. events from the first book have had an impact on cas, carmel, and thomas, and they are damaged from these events. (well, not thomas, really. not directly.but t'other two, yeah.) they have grown as characters in a natural and believable way.

4) it is not boring. it is not trite. it does not negate anything the first book set up and it stands alone just fine, unlike some other "middle books."

so what the hell? why didn't i just fall to pieces with loving it? it is everything a book should be, but for some reason, it didn't claw at my heart the way the first one did. i noted things as a reader, but i didn't note them as a human being. i acknowledged scenes like "the suicide forest," and thought to myself, "ahh, this is nice and spooky" but for some reason i didn't get whumped in my feeling-parts. and the parts that were sad and sweet and brave, i registered as being sad and sweet and brave, but for some reason, i didn't engage with it the way you are supposed to engage with it, emotionally. and i would think that maybe i am a broken person in the feeling-parts, except the book i am reading now is whumping me in all the right ways.

so let's call it temporary insanity. it is a good book, a great follow up, and everything a second book should be.

the problem is me.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,356 followers
August 1, 2012
This is one example of a book I would read for the cover alone. Heck, slap this cover on a 9000 page Spanish history book, and I will read it ALL! Even though I don't know Spanish >.< Luckily, what's inside this cover is just as incredible as the outside and will leave you equally spellbound!

It was clear from the beginning that Anna was not going to be as big a character as in the first novel. I was a bit disappointed at first because Anna is fabulous and crazy, but I can assure you that her absence is filled so formidably that you will not be left with any longing for her. She's not completely absent either, she has her way of making herself present in the story. Cas, though, he's still there in his full glory. He's got a fabulous sense of humor and incredible charm that fill the pages yet again. His loyalty to his friends, the determination behind his wants; it's admirable and makes him a positively strong, enchanting character. He's definitely kept his place as my favorite YA male protagonist.

Along with Cas, comes the laughs. (This was a totally unintentional rhyme, I swear!) It's really one of my favorite aspects of this series: How Blake can easily blend in laugh-out-loud funny dialogue inside such a creepy, dark story is a great feat! It makes it not only scary, but just plain fun and entertaining, too.

“Every time I question him about the feasibility, he smiles at me like he's Yoda and I'm just a dumbass without the Force.”
-Quoted from the uncorrected proof.

Aiding him in his mischief, Carmel and Thomas are worthy of mention as two fantastic supporting characters that have just as much soul in this series as Cas himself. The group dynamic makes them a powerful trio and I was pleasantly surprised by the direction Blake takes them in this sequel.

In Anna Dressed in Blood, the plot was creepy and horrific. In Girl of Nightmares, it is turned up a notch. Although it may be a tad less creepy, I felt much more afraid in this one; it has a more serious, all encompassing tone. The vibe is more sinister and the scary parts are downright terrifying. Let's just say, things get pretty out-of-hand serious. I loved it. I've been a fan of horror my whole life and while I truly enjoyed the first book, I completely fell in love with its sequel!

As for the ending: Perfection! True, immeasurable perfection!

An absolutely thrilling sequel that will render you speechless in awe, Girl of Nightmares is filled with compelling characters and spine-chilling events. Fans of Anna Dressed in Blood will not be disappointed!

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Mario.
Author 1 book193 followers
September 18, 2015
She crossed over death to call me. I crossed through Hell to find her.

This book wasn't quite as good as Anna Dressed in Blood, but still, it was a great read and a great conclusion to this duology.

I've got to say it again, my favorite thing about this series are the characters. I loved every single one of the main characters (even though Cas did sometimes annoy me over his obsession with saving Anna). But I especially loved chemistry between Cas, Carmel and Thomas. They really were great friends and they were always able to make me laugh (especially Carmel and her snarky comments).

But my main problem with this book was the slow middle. It started off great, and then the middle part dragged a little bit. But then the end came, and for me, it saved the book. I absolutely loved the ending, and now that I think about it, if it ended any other way, I wouldn't be this satisfied. I mean, yeah, the ending did make me sad, but still, it was a perfect ending for a series like this one.

If you read the first book, I suggest giving this one a shoot. Like I said, it isn't quite as good as the first one, but it did wrap the story up perfectly.
Profile Image for Katy.
611 reviews332 followers
August 10, 2012
2.5 stars - I absolutely LOVED the first book because I thought Blake did an incredible job writing a morbidly twisted yet hauntingly beautiful masterpiece. But before I read this one, a friend had asked me, "How much would you like Anna without the scary scenes? Just Cas doing stuff with Thomas and Carmel?" Apparently, not so much because this book just didn't do it for me, and except for the totally awesome end in the last four chapters, I spent a lot of time either being pissed off or bored.

In a way, I'm hating that Blake even wrote a sequel. I think it would have been better if she had written it as a stand alone with a few additional chapters that summed up the majority of book 2 and of course the last few chapters that reminded me why I loved book 1 in the first place.

First of all, I just want to say that this book REALLY IRKED me. I knew Cas was an arrogant bastard in the first book, and I didn't like him, but I didn't dislike him either. In this book, Cas was a HUGE ass. In the beginning, he was so depressingly pathetic over the loss of Anna, and he took out his moodiness on other people. And he is SO disrespectful to his mother. I just want to smack him for some of the things that he said to her. Even in the latter parts of the book, he kept his obnoxious attitude. "So, you're Colin Burke. Actually, I've never heard of you." If Cas pissed you off in the first book, he is sure going to make you hate him in this one.

And Carmel? I'm sorry, but I really liked her in the first book because she really impressed me with how well she was handling everything. For me, Carmel had been the Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter and Ron Weasley trio. In this one, I guess the shock finally caught up to her because she became a selfish bitch. And what is up the sacrificial "I love Thomas, but I can't be with him" crap. Honestly, I had expected more from her. But Carmel fans, there is hope for her yet because she did eventually turn around and returned to her old feisty self. But still, it was disappointing because Blake ruined one of the best characters in the book.

I didn't love Anna as much as I did in the first book, but it's understandable because of what's happening to her. And Thomas and Jestine were okay characters but not memorable in this book.

I think this book did a better job of explaining what happened in book 1. I pretty much figured out the story behind Cas' father and his involvement with the Obeahman and how the powers were transfer to the knife. But I had some people ask me, and I think a lot of people were confused by it. I don't think Blake saved the details for the sequel, but rather an oversight in the first book that she was trying to clarify in this book instead.

BUT, I still think Blake failed to explain why Cas and why Anna.

There were a few things I liked about the book - the visit with Aunt Riija, the attempt to explain the Order of the Blah Blah Blah (though all the extra words and scenes surrounding the explanations weren't very exciting, and to me, were just an attempt to extend the sequel so it was long enough to be a book) and the allusion to Prometheus on the Rock.

I kind of wish I had never started the book because I gave up on it so many times. But it kept bugging me that it was in my "probably not finishing" pile, especially since my GR friends had promised a good ending, and my curiosity was getting the best of me. I don't regret reading it, but like I said, I just wish Blake had added a few more chapters to the end of book 1 and be done with it.
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
547 reviews34.7k followers
June 9, 2019
Puh, I don’t even know where to start.
To write this review is kind of hard because I actually liked “The Girl of Nightmares” but at the same time somehow wasn’t really captivated by it.
I don’t even know what it is, maybe I just read too many awesome YA books to be enthralled by a story like that. *lol* Maybe it’s just me. Who knows?

Well anway I just try to write down my thoughts and see which kind of rating I will give. XD

First of all I have to say that I really dug the idea of Anna and Cas meeting again and I think that’s the main reason why I read the book. I just wanted them to have a happily ever after and since I was a huge fan of “Anna dressed in blood” I thought this book actually would be my cup of tea. Well, as you can tell things apparently didn’t turn out the way I would have wanted them to and so I find myself confronted with mixed feelings and a somewhat contradictory opinion.

What I liked about the book:

- The characters! I loved Thomas and Cas! Those two boys just rock and I if I’d be a ghost I definitely would try everything possible to avoid them at all costs.
- The relationship between Carmel and Thomas! It was realistic and even though I wanted to slap Carmel at one point I still understood her motives.
- Cas and his mother! I love how Cas’s mother accepts him the way he is and always tries her best to support her sons decisions. However bad and lethal they may be. *lol*
- Of course I loved the creepy scenes of this book as well! That chapter where Thomas and Cas visit Thoma’s aunt? OMG!!!! And the idea of the “Suicide Forest”? *shivers*
- That Anna actually made an appearance! XD

What I didn’t like about the book:

- The fact that Cas knew he was doing something completely stupid and reckless but still was bent on doing it! XD I admired his stubbornness and determination, I really did, but he was not only endangering himself but also Thomas and I think the old Cas would have never done anything like that.
- Jestine. I didn’t really get warm with her character and in some way I thought she was just some kind of stand-in for Anna.
- The druid order. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for mysterious and secret organisations, in the book it appeared to be sort of clichéd and cheesy though.
- The way the end was handled.
- Certain Ghosts.

To sum it up the book was a nice read and a good distraction. It however wasn’t able to sweep me off my feet though. ;-)

- Gin
Profile Image for Mitch.
355 reviews611 followers
August 13, 2012
Well, at least I got closure. I feel like a shoulder devil waving my little pitchfork around saying all sorts of bad things again, sigh, but Girl of Nightmares is almost a complete letdown. I'm not the biggest fan of Anna Dressed in Blood, but Anna still managed to be dark and very disturbing when it needed to, this sequel doesn't even come close. Rather than stepping up her game, filling up this sequel with scenes even more visually haunting and memorably terrifying, Kendare Blake doubles down on exactly the parts of the first book I found lacking, the mythology behind the athame and Cas and Anna's relationship.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but nothing really happens, twenty six or seven of Girl of Nightmare's thirty chapters border on the tedious and dull. Anna had some standout, genuinely creepy scenes, whether it was Cas seeing Anna for the first time, or the corpses in the basement of Anna's Victorian house, or the Obeahman attacking and eating various characters, Girl just doesn't conjure up those terrifying images like Anna did. Really, I can't for the life of me point out anything in this book that got anywhere close to the same reaction from me as those scenes from Anna did. Cas's first kill of the book in an abandoned barn, didn't really feel the suspense. The attack of the corpses in the suicide forest, meh, a bit too late in the game. The final showdown with the Obeahman, really more satisfying on a emotional level than as a terror inducing nightmare. All in all, I'm gonna sleep soundly tonight. I don't know why, but the atmosphere has completely shifted from the first book, it doesn't feel chilling and creepy, just confusing and depressing. Anna was already skating on thin ice as a horror book, it's really more of a darker ghost busting actioner about a boy trying to kill a murdering ghost than a true horror novel, but Girl is just simply not terrifying - at all.

Instead of eerie hauntings, gruesome corpses, and a story about a boy trying to kill a cursed ghost girl who's already killed dozens of people, I get a story about the boy trying to bring the girl back from beyond. It just feels completely different. Cas himself admits there's really no urgency, rather everyone around him just tells him it can't be done - except he'll suddenly get a tip from the same people who just told him it couldn't be done and move along the trail of breadcrumbs to the next clue. There's research, metaphysical debates, really the entire first half of this book can pretty much be summed up as Morfran or Gideon telling Cas, nope you can't bring Anna back, impossible, nothing good can come of it, while Cas himself considers believing them, thinking yep he's crazy, until he sees Anna again and forces Morfran or Gideon to give him another hint. All the secrecy and lying by people who actually know what's going on just to stretch out the story, I can't believe a killer ghost plot has come to this.

Maybe I would've liked this book more if I'd actually cared about the athame from Anna Dresed in Blood instead of just accepted it as a plot device to drive the ghost busting action, but I doubt it. All the new stuff about the Order behind the creation of the athame, why are we wasting time with them when we can be killing more ghosts? Politics can be terrifying, I know, but wrong kind of horror. If I can use a television analogy, Anna already felt more like Supernatural than a horror movie, Girl is like Charmed. Less creepy, more soapy drama, talk about magic and magical organizations, and the odd special effects enhanced demon fighting ghost busting scene. Hey, Cas, Thomas, and Carmel can be Prue, Piper, and Phoebe, new girl Jestine can be Paige! Dammit, that thought might be more terrifying than anything in the book ... although it's oddly appropriate, Carmel has weird emotional problems too leading to an unexplained about face and Jestine's also the perfect yet straight laced new character.

My biggest complaint though's still reserved for Cas and Anna. I don't like Cas. He's cocky, condescending, and now I can add moody to the list of his faults. He's not as bad here as he was in Anna, at least this time around I haven't found that choice quote I can throw into this review to show just how incredibly full of himself he is, but in a book that's all about making me sympathize with him, nope, it's hard nearly impossible for me to care. Once I figured out the focus of this sequel isn't on killing ghosts but is basically the Cas show, a part of me couldn't wait to get out of jackass angst central, now that there's really not much horror to distract me. And as for him and Anna, wow, can I say massive instalove? I still have no idea why he likes Anna, although it's nice this time around he can throw out the good old standby lines about admiration and understanding. But that really doesn't explain much, does it? Also, let me just say Cas uses the word love to describe his relationship with Anna exactly once, and it's not even awkward, because nobody bats an eyelash and it's just dropped. Umm.

I'm disappointed. But I'm going to grudgingly admit I like this book for one reason and one reason only, the closure I got from the last few chapters. The one thing I think Girl of Nightmares does right is wrap up this two book series, not just Anna's story, but also Cas's, his friends', his father's, heck even Will's and Chase's, in a way that I really feel does a lot of justice for these characters. 2.5 stars.
Profile Image for Monica.
Author 4 books272 followers
March 26, 2017
Me gustó tanto el primero que me animé a comprar este, con la idea de que sería igual o incluso mejor, a pesar de las malas criticas decidí correr el riesgo y .... me habría gustado decir que valió la pena pero no fue así. No aportó nada nuevo y en cambio agregó cosas que no tenían razón de ser... la verdad es que habría sido más feliz si no lo hubiera leído, el buen sabor de boca que me dejó Ana vestida de sangre lo arruinó y no me gustó para nada.
Profile Image for Gabby.
192 reviews27 followers
August 31, 2012
OH MY GOD!!! the cover is soooooooo awesome *FAINTS*

oh Anna! why do you have to be so effing deadly and beautiful at the same time. :3
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,920 followers
December 2, 2012
Closer to 3.5 stars.
To say that I'd been eagerly anticipating Girl of Nightmares would be an understatement of epic proportions. Anna Dressed in Blood is one of my favorite books and I simply HAD to learn Anna's fate as soon as possible. I had unreasonably high expectations, true, but for the most part, Kendare Blake came through.
In the sixth row of the theater, in the third chair in, Anna winks at me. Or maybe she just blinks. I can't tell. She's missing half of her face

A lot of my questions were answered, and a lot of those answers surprised me. The world around Cas and Anna expanded in this second installment. I loved the things we discovered about Cas’s athame, his father’s life, The Order of Biodag Dubh and Cas’s role in it, parts of his life even he was blissfully unaware of until that point. I also adored that Blake was brave enough to take them all to London and Scotland – it was a bold move and one that certainly paid off.

If there’s one thing that bothered me in Girl of Nightmares, it was the same thing that bothered everyone else: not enough Girl of Nightmares! Anna was absent during most of this book, and her absence was acutely felt. What’s worse, Cas became mopey as a result, not even a shadow of his former self. Most of the time I wanted to shake him hard enough to make his teeth rattle, just to wake him up and get him angry, stubborn, whatever! Anything would have been better than whining and self-pity.

Compared to Anna Dressed in Blood, Girl of Nightmares is a quieter book that focuses more on introspection and character relationships. Aside from one particularly eerie scene (yes, I do mean the Suicide Forest), I didn’t find it nearly as frightening. There were fabulous moments, but I kept remembering those bodies stuck in walls in Anna, and everything paled in comparison. Yes, this book had its moments, it was creepy and gruesome at times, but it was never disturbing like Anna Dressed in Blood. Take this for example:

His skin is black as a struck match, cracked and oozing liquid metal heat, like he's covered by a cooling layer of lava. The eyes stand out bright white. I can't make out from this distance if they have corneas. God I hope they have corneas. I hate that creepy weird-eye shit.

Awesome, right? I wanted more of this, and less whining and moping around. Can you really blame me?

Carmel’s uncharacteristic behavior was also hard to accept. It wasn’t what she did that bothered me, it was that it wasn’t like her at all. Combined with Cas’s constant whining, her selfishness nearly drove me insane. Only Thomas remained unchanged, always polite, always reliable.

The ending, however, blew me away. It was better than I’d dared hope. In fact, the entire last part more than made up for a few earlier problems.
Overall, Girl of Nightmares concludes this duology in a more-than-satisfactory way.

Profile Image for Werner.
Author 3 books598 followers
September 24, 2021
Warning: while this review contains no spoilers for the book I'm reviewing, it inevitably involves some spoilers for the book to which it's a sequel, Anna Dressed in Blood (which I reviewed here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... . The situation in this book directly grows out of the events of the first one; and though the author provides some brief references to those in the opening chapters here, if you have not read the series opener, you would get only the very bare basics of what happened there. IMO, she expected that her readers will read the books in order, and I would strongly recommend doing so. Your whole understanding of the premise here, your engagement with the story, and your understanding of who most of the major characters are as people and your emotional connection to them will be seriously impaired if you don't!

With this novel, Blake concludes the Anna duology. Much of what I wrote about the first book will apply to this one as well; the two are much of a piece in terms of style and literary vision. As in the first book, our protagonist and present-tense narrator is high school junior Cas Lowood, the latest member of his family line to wield a magically-powered athame capable of sending those ghosts which are homicidal (not all ghosts are) out of this world into the afterlife. And again, our title character is Finnish-descended Anna Korlov (ca. 1942-1958), brutally murdered by her own mother, a black-magic witch, who cursed the girl with a spell that forced her to haunt the house in which she died and to savagely slaughter anyone hapless enough to subsequently enter it. Near the end of the first book, Anna deliberately cast herself through a portal into Hell (conceived in terms more owing to North American European-derived folk religion than to anything biblical), dragging along with her an utterly malevolent and murderous spirit of enormous power and menace, the “Obeahman,”and thereby saved the lives of Cas and others –but not before she and Cas had forged a genuine emotional connection.

The previous novel took place in the fall of Cas' junior year in high school. When the second one opens, we're now in the late spring of junior year, when the school year is rapidly winding down to its close. All during the interval, a grieving Cas has been searching for some way to communicate with Anna and at least obtain some sort of closure. He's been aided in this quest by his mom, a white witch; by his London-based British mentor (and the mentor of his late father before him) Gideon Palmer; and by his high-school classmate, psychically-gifted Thomas Sabin and Thomas' grandfather Morfran, a pair who are endowed with pretty formidable magic talents of their own. So far, they've drawn a blank. But now, Cas is beginning to find his dreams turned nightmarish with visions of Anna and, increasingly, experiencing very vivid waking visions of her as well. Are these genuine communications from Beyond, or is he simply beginning to lose his mind and hallucinate? (Well, for an answer, you'll just have to read the book! :-) )

Our initial setting is the main setting of most of the first book, the real-life rather large Canadian city of Thunder Bay, Ontario. We also have a couple of ghost-hunting side trips to Minnesota, and then shift to the British Isles for roughly the last half of the book. Again, Blake gives us three-dimensional people in her important characters (both the returning ones and one newly introduced here), who have realistically complex feelings and motivations and nuanced attitudes and interactions, but whom at the same time we can understand and like. Folklore from the Vodoun tradition isn't as prominent in this book, but the author continues to make good use of Finnish lore, particularly the role of Sami drums in shamanism (Sámi drum - Wikipedia ). Again, this is a very gripping read, with a high suspense factor, several surprise developments (which never violate the logic of the plot, unlike the “surprises”thrown in by some genre writers!), often a real sense of life-and-death danger in places, a high-stakes central conflict, and scenes of ghostly menace which conjure a genuine, powerful sense of creepiness. The emotional intensity of the story, for me, was quite high. While Blake's picture of the afterlife is not conceived in Christian terms, I didn't find it incompatible with Biblical faith. (There's very little in the Bible about the intermediate state between this life and the last resurrection.)

As with the first book, I'd call this an adult novel which happens to have mostly teen characters. I don't unreservedly recommend it for teen readers because, like the first book, it has a lot of bad language, including profanity and obscenity, the great majority of it gratuitous. (That cost it a star.) But, also like the first book, it has no sexual content, and the violence, though it's there, isn't more graphic than necessary. If you've read the first book, I'd characterize this sequel as a must-read.
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews907 followers
October 16, 2019
There’s something different about listening to a book. It’s a lot more descriptive and also a lot more long. You’re not looking at the words, you’re hearing them and it makes for a more imaginative read. I find it quite exciting too actually because the narrator’s voice hints at all the sarcasm found in the dialogue. It gives the characters a lot more depth and to hear all their conversations out loud even makes them seem more real. I love audiobooks! Definitely a way to go if your eyes are tired. I even grabbed my book for a more in depth read a-long.

Cas has a lot of sarcasm to boot and I always find it hilarious when his thoughts are true to form. He’s snippy, witty, aggressive, and downright loyal. His love for his friends, his mother, Anna is so palatable, you can feel it leap from the pages. I admired his determination to never give up on his love. It only fueled him further. I pretty much love this trio of Cas, Thomas and Carmel..and yes I’m going to compare them to the best trio in the world, Harry, Ron and Hermione. Yes I said it. Their friendship reminds me so much of those three which is pretty much why I love them just as much. Except the Girl of Nightmares cast is are ghost busting evil spirits. (Well if you can call them that.)

What was missing from this book was Anna’s craziness, her spark, and her vengeful ways. That is what I missed in the beginning and the middle. She’s found at the end, oh yes, it was truly a great ending. I loved how Kendare whipped up that ending. Also the Suicide Forest was just downright creeptastic. And I’m sure this happened to a lot of other people who’ve read it, the ending pretty much killed me. It was perfect, but I was also completely sad. I want more. More of the ghost busting business. More of Cas, and most of all of Anna. She needs a spin-off series. Anyone with me?
Profile Image for shady boots.
500 reviews2,041 followers
May 2, 2015
This review is also available over at my blog.


God, that cover is so fucking badass. I love how Anna's like "Come with me . . . " I would, in a heartbeat. I would also bring my copy of the first book and make her sign it.

I adored Anna Dressed in Blood. I loved everything about that book and ever since I finished it I've been waiting and waiting to get this sequel, and the wait was excruciating. But oh God, did it feel good to finally be able to buy it. I was expecting an amazing book after I've seen all of the 5 star reviews pour in. Even Stephanie Sinclair─who gave the first book 2 or so stars─gave this one 5 stars as well.

This book was awesome, I will say that. But do I think that this book is better than the first one?

Well . . . not quite.

The book takes place months after Anna's sacrificing herself to save Cas and his friends from the Obeahman. Cas starts to see Anna everywhere, but always in various states of torture. He starts to think that maybe Anna is in trouble, and needs his help. Cas has to find a way to save Anna and take her back from Hell.

It was nice to see the characters again at the beginning. I was glad to be back with Cas, Thomas and Carmel. I loved seeing Cas' sweeter side, and I sympathized with his pain of Anna's sacrifice. We also get to see a little romance brewing between Thomas and Carmel, which I thought was very fluffy! :D

And then, of course, Anna. We don't nearly get to see enough of her. :c And that kind of made me sad. But every time she appeared, I started fangirling. I kind of wish Kendare Blake would make some bonus chapters from Anna's POV, because I really wanna see inside her head. And come on, how awesome would that be?

Along the way we also meet new characters, like Jestine, who seems to be related to Gideon in some way, and I guess she's considered the spunky, tough girl, but she also has a purpose, which you will find out eventually.

Besides the characters, there were also a lot of scary scenes I enjoyed, especially the scenes where Cas sees Anna all the time. There was one in particular where Anna is missing half of her face. Also the suicide forest scene . . . argh, I so loved that one.

The ending was bittersweet, but I can't deny that it was the perfect way to end a series. Overall I loved this book, but for some reason I didn't really get sucked into it as much as when I was reading the first one. D: It's not the book, really, it's me.
Profile Image for layla is a picky reader.
290 reviews151 followers
August 15, 2012
My rating: 3.5/5 stars
First line: “I think I killed a girl who looked like this once.”
Favourite quote:“She crossed over death to call me. I crossed through Hell to find her.”
Song of choice: DNA(Blood Pressure) by The Kills

Let me introduce you to my perfect vision of Anna Korlov.

(c) AF on DeviantArt
*sigh* So pretty *gazes fondly*

Girl of Nightmares picks up six months after the ending of Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas can’t get over Anna’s crossing away and he’s still haunted by her sacrifice, so he’s an emotional mess. Carmel keeps trying to set him up with various girls from the school but none of them compare to Anna, the ghost he fell in love with. Things get weird when Cas starts seeing Anna everywhere and what he sees is a tortured soul. He knows that Anna is suffering and he’ll do anything to help her. Even go to Hell.

This was a difficult book to rate. There were some parts that were a three, some that were a five and then some that were a four. I ended up with three stars. I liked the book but I could feel that something was missing. Maybe it was Anna, maybe it was the terror filled scenes. The writing was lighter in this book, the imminent danger feeling was not emphasised enough. After Anna Dressed in Blood I had high expectations that this book will scare the heck out of me. It did not. The highlight of my terror was the Suicide Forrest scene. But that’s pretty much all.

In this book, Cas doesn’t get to kill many ghosts. There is, however, lots of talk about the athame and a mysterious group called The Order of the Black Dagger (J.R. Ward anyone?). I’m sorry to say but it kinda borred me. Add up Anna’s absence, Carmel’s screw-ups, Cas’s melancholy and you get a three star book.
I understand that Cas needed to go through all this journey to overcome his past, after all he is the hero of the series, not Anna. It makes me sad to part ways with him because I honestly enjoyed Cas’s snark and his no-bullshit attitude. Maybe in the future, we’ll get a book with him all grown up. The chances of that actually happening are very low but a girl can dream, can’t she?

One thing I liked about this book was the addition of a girl called Jestine. She acts as Gideon’s niece and she’s part of the Order. I think she was meant to be Cas’s female counterpart in the novel. She was fun, sarcastic, easy going and overall, a firecracker. I would’ve loved the chance to find out more about her history, she seemed to be the type to hide many things. She has her own agenda, she doesn’t let people’s opinions bother her. She’s direct and she’s a cynical. Me likes.
If/When Cas gets over Anna, I would like him to try a relationship with Jestine. She’s the type of girl that would keep him on his toes. And beat his ass.

I don’t know what to say about the ending. It is the ending of the series, of Cas, of everything. I think it was bittersweet, though. I guess the helpless romantic in me would’ve wanted that these two to remain together, no matter the cost. The thing is, in ghost stories that never happens. Except in Kresley Cole’s Dark Needs at Night's Edge. Romeo and Julliet are nothing compared to Cas and Anna. You hear me? Nothing. This beautiful tragedy is far more haunting. I understand why Cas had to let her go, forcing her to remain with him as a ghost until he died would’ve been inhuman and selfish. But I guess that’s what love is about; a half selfish, the other half unselfish. I just don’t have to like it. My mind keeps finding ways so that everyone gets to be happy. Cas going back in time, Anna getting a new body, Anna being reincarnated, Cas becoming Casper.

*sigh* What’s done is done. These two books made me a fan of Kendare Blake’s and I can’t wait for her next story.

Profile Image for Sabrina.
93 reviews9 followers
August 18, 2012



This book ugh I'm so upset I can't even begin to describe it. I originally expected this book to be just as awesome as the first book, but as per usual, it wasn't. It dragged on, boring. The writing of course was amazing because I love the way Kendare Blake writes. But unlike the first book, it had no spark. Carmel was annoying, Thomas was just "there" and Cas? He was puke-worthy.

Cas I feel like the one person who didn't like this book. Cas was boring the only funny part he had this time was when he stood up for Thomas at school. He talks about/sees Anna all the time, she has taken up his entire life. Why? They don't even seem like they're in love. In my first review, I said exactly the same thing. The two characters have no buildup with each other and this is insta-love on a whole new level. He hears her name and it's INSTA-LOVE.
“Anything,” she shrugs. “What’s made her so special? What made you so special to her, that she’d send herself into oblivion for you?” “I don’t know,” I say. Why did I say that? I do know. I knew it the moment I heard Anna’s name, and the first time she spoke.
I understand seeing her story would maybe make you like her, but love? No. I feel love needs to be stronger than that, that's what I hope for. Than out of the blue in the first book they're making out and hugging and they barely know anything about each other. ANYWAY! I found the plot for this book weak, but cute. Cas so determined to bring Anna back to him willing to even go to the other side to do it.
All in all, I like Cas but I didn't like him as much as I did in the first one. I found him and Anna cheesy and unrealistic, but cute and what Cas did was very romantic.

Thomas/Carmel Practically both of these characters weren't even characters in this book. You hardly never saw them away from each other. They barely talked. In the beginning, Carmel decides that she doesn't want to do this anymore. She publicly embarrasses Thomas, breaks his heart. Than when he goes to England, she randomly shows up and gets back together with him with no backstory to that all? No reason why she changed her mind? she just shows up and acts like she gives a fuck again? ANNOYING.
get out Pictures, Images and Photos
Than they get back together and you don't even know why. At all. The next time you see them they're PDA it up. I understand that they are mainly side characters but I think the author should have at least included why.
Another thing that bothered me was... Carmel/Thomas were not characters. They had no depth, no story, barely even had conversations. The only "some-what" moment you see Thomas is when he's all sulky. I preferred him in the first book, before Carmel and him were joined to the hip.

Plot/Writing The writing with Kendare Blake is always good. Smooth, easy to understand, simple. But, this book bored me. I couldn't wait until I got to the end. I also found the only redeeming quality in this book to be the end. It was sad, heartbreaking, beautifully captured. But the rest of the book bored me to tears. The plot was also very cheesy, I was hoping it'd be more hunting new monsters and a new plot. Not an entire plot centered all on Anna. Don't get me wrong, she was an all right character. I just do not think she should have been the main plot, perhaps a sideplot? I'm not quite sure.
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,908 reviews853 followers
July 4, 2012

In Girl of Nightmares we pick up several months after Anna sacrificed herself to save Cas, Thomas and Carmel, by taking the Obeahman to Hell. Since then, Cas has been going through the motions of life and school. He follows up on ghost tips with Carmel and Thomas tagging along. The three of them now form a sort of ghost-busting team. However, Cas can't get Anna out of his head. Everyone has done research and they've consulted the spiritual community but they can't nail down what happened to Anna. Suddenly, Cas starts hearing and seeing Anna all over the place: in the face of another student, through the laugh of another ghost, or just in the middle of his bedroom. If this is really Anna, it's not good because she doesn't appear to have gone to a peaceful place at all. Everyone says it's impossible, that she can't come back, so Cas doesn't know if it's his mind playing tricks on him. Cas sets out to find out if Anna really needs help, it's the least he can do for her now.

Overall I enjoyed the conclusion to this story but, in my opinion, it didn't live up to Anna Dressed In Blood. That being said, I still liked it. The creepy and spooky factor that was in Anna, was in this one too. Some of the ghost hunting scenes are spine tingling scary. While we still get our snarky wise-cracking Cas, I feel his personality was a little dampened by his depression over Anna, which I guess is understandable considering his situation. I loved the bits of Thomas and Carmel. These two opposites have a sweet romance that I found to be a highlight in this story. I also liked the new character Jestine, she was tough and bad-ass. The type of girl I love to read about. I think I would've enjoyed this even more if she was more of a prominent character earlier on. We're not even introduced to her until half-way through the story, which is a shame because I saw great potential with her and Cas.

One of the reasons I usually shy away from ghost/human romance stories is because, really, how can it end well? So while I felt the ending was fitting, it left me with bittersweet feelings.

You can read this review and more on
The Readers Den.
February 17, 2013
I had high expectations for this book based on the first. The bar was set so high that I was inevitably let down. I did not like this book much. The creepy crawly is still there; Kendare Blake does creepy like few other authors can, it's just a lot more toned down this time around. I didn't find myself gagging upon reading a description, which is good or bad, depending on one's tastes.

Cal is getting over the loss of his ghostly love, and seeing her when he shouldn't. Of course, all his friends thinks he's nuts. He is completely broken, going through his day like a zombie, much to the worry of Carmel and Thomas. Carmel and Thomas, now there is the two bright points in this book. Their relationship evolves, they grow into characters with their own thoughts and behavior, and they struggle. Man, I loved the two of them in this book.

Cas was just boring and annoying, I missed the old cocky son of a bitch attitude he has in Anna Dressed in Blood. In this book, I just wanted to slap him and tell him to wake the f*** up. Remember how Bella was when Edward left her? God, that was a terrible book, but that was exactly how I felt Cas was acting.

There's little action besides moping and whining for most of the novel. New characters are introduced, the majority of whom I hate. Even with its faults, I'd still rather read this book than 90% of the YA supernatural fiction out there.
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
Shelved as 'dnf-did-not-finish'
November 13, 2017
HERE WE ARE. The things that bothered me so much in the first book were front and center in this book and I couldn’t finish it. I was intrigued by the synopsis and wanted to find out what happened but I got to a point that I couldn’t finish.
Like I said in my review of Anna, this won’t happen for everyone, but there were just things in this book that, as a Christian, made me not want to continue on.
From what I’ve seen in reviews this book isn’t as good as the first so I’m just gonna google a summary and find out what happens there. 😂
Profile Image for JoAnna.
156 reviews34 followers
February 6, 2017
What a cute.... extra creepy series! My only complaint was the ending. It felt very rushed and abrupt. I think another 100 pages would have fit in nicely! Oh and..... I recommend reading these books at night time before bed, to get those extra creepy brownie points:D
November 27, 2015

In honour of my favourite holiday of all, Halloween, I am dedicating the month of October to all those things that go bump, bang, boom in the night (and day).

This book is spillover from last year’s impossibly long Spooktober to-read list. Why did it fall by the wayside you may like to know…. (you probably don’t, but I’m telling you anyways.)

I have an issue with loving one book by an author and then feeling less loving towards the rest of their works. And I LOVED Anna Dressed in Blood! That book was phenomenal. So little old me got scared, guys, because this is the sequel to a book I love, and I am not much of a sequels girl. I mean, I probably have twenty currently unfinished being read series just sitting there, giving me doe eyes, on my shelf. And the reason is that something always seems to go wrong for me in the follow through of a series.

Girl of Nightmares was VERY good, however I did not love it.

The real estate between a four star and a five star is SIGNIFICANT for me. So while I would recommend this book as being extremely well executed it’s like having a decent restaurant stew compared to my gramma’s stew (which was LEGEND in my household), it doesn’t really compete with the first.

I liked that we saw major character development and some hiccups and fissures in existing relationships. The gore elements, once again, were incredibly well done. The fact that Blake essentially altered the landscape between these two books is impressive. More backstory was added, which I love!!! This definitely isn’t stagnation of the first book trying to bleed into a second one. This is a SOLID book, worthy of praise of its own merit. I think this is just a case of my having way too high expectations.

There’s pure silence on the drive from the school to my house. I can’t think of a single thing to say and I feel useless. My lack of experience at friendship is showing. Thomas looks as brittle as a brown leaf. Someone else would know something, some anecdote or story. Someone else would know what to do besides sit in the passenger seat and be uncomfortable.

Cas is terribly endearing. He’s flawed and complete feeling in his voice, that has not changed in this sequel.

I have one little point I really want to make though, and it’s probably just a me thing: The title, Girl of Nightmares doesn’t feel appropriate. Anna, my favourite character from the first book, has next to no page time in this book; ‘The Boy with the Athame’ would have been much less misleading for me.
Profile Image for Becky.
1,384 reviews1,650 followers
January 2, 2013
Ugh. This will be a rant... Just warning you ahead of time.

Seriously, I'm pretty annoyed right now. I just finished Girl of Nightmares, and I'm really wondering why Kendare Blake went the New Moon direction with the story rather than the rather more interesting and meaningful and purposeful "Let's save my Dad" direction. Because she could have, easily, and it would have been a better story for it.

I mean, this duology had the potential to be amazing. Book one was almost there, but the stupid romance instant connection THAT I STILL DON'T GET AND WAS COMPLETELY POINTLESS (other than making me want to throatpunch the main character every 3 or 4 pages), and it sapped the awesome right out.

Book two started with that awesome-deficient romance-y, mopey, ghost-longing shell of a story, and then proceeded to stab it repeatedly with the plot line from New Moon. Which, I mean, is less a stab than a kind of wet and pathetic flopping, but you catch my drift, right?

At one point, I was calling the main character Casbella. Because that's pretty much how I thought of Cas in this book. He was no longer the witty, sarcastic teen from book one... now he's a mopey little bitch who can't explain why he loves or is drawn to Anna but he JUST IS! GAH! CAN'T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?! *foot stomp*

Nevermind the fact that she's dead. Nevermind the fact that they spent less than 9 months "together". Nevermind that they have nothing in common except an unwillingness to change their clothes. They are in lurrrrrrve. So Cas needs to save her from the awful meaniepoopoohead that oh yeah... alsohappenedtokillCas'sfather... if we want to be specific. But he's PICKING on ANNA! *stomps foot*

I can't even begin to generate enough angst to impersonate Cas. Because there isn't enough in my body... or even my neighborhood. And there's a school two blocks away.

*deep breath*

OK. Before, I said that this could have been a better story if Blake had gone in a different direction with it. Lemme 'splain why I feel that way. First, some points:
1) the Obeahman murdered Cas's dad when Cas was 7, and since then, Cas has been researching and training to fight and kill the creature that killed his dad.
2) Anna, the dead luuuuuuuuurve of Cas's life, dragged the Obeahman out of the world at the end of book 1.
3) Anna then started to appear to Cas (shades of Edward in New Moon), because apparently cutting her with the athame one time linked her to it, and he decided to save her.
4) The "saving" involved Cas and Thomas and Carmel meeting the Order of the Black Dagger, who let Cas cross over to try to save her... where he does so, and ohyeahhisdadistheretoo.

Yes. His father, the murdered guy who helped bring Cas into being and who saved people from murderous spirits is relegated to a damn AFTERTHOUGHT!

WHY was saving his DAD not the plot, since we KNOW he is linked to the athame since it's been a bloodline weapon since page ONE. Why go in the "I have no meaning in my life without her" route? SHE IS DEAD ALREADY, and cursed or not, had killed dozens of people, and again, their "relationship" was only a period of months. There was no meaning there. Not like there is in a parent/child relationship. So shunting the "I do this to avenge my father" purpose to a fucking afterthought in favor of 200+ pages of whiny teen brooding is just... It's SO AGGRAVATING.

Just... whatever. I'm done here.

[image error]
589 reviews1,029 followers
October 13, 2013
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

4.5 stars

Now this is, ladies and gentlemen is what YA humorous horror is all about. This was the one, and only sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood. And I don't think it could have been more flawless.

Ever since the savage ghost Anna disappeared into Hell, Cas- a ghost hunter thought he would be able to move on, forget the girl that caught his heart. Yet as each day passes, it's never getting easier. It's like Anna is still there, haunting Cas. And she is. But why? In Girl of Nightmares, we are reintroduced to our amazing cast, along with a few more characters. However, unlike Anna Dressed in Blood- where Anna was the main spotlight, Cas is the one here. He's haunted, lost and in despair. He still cannot live one day without Anna on his mind. And with her seeming to be haunting him, reaching for his help, the situations don't get better. However! we still have plenty of his sarcastic humour, he isn't full on in sadness and regret. I have always been a fan of his snark in his inner dialogue. A highly likeable male protagonist.

We do get more friendship building between Cas, Carmel and Thomas. (Maybe even a romance between Carmel and Thomas! Eep) Carmel became fairly distant in this book, we start to discover early on she's hiding something. And seems rather uncomfortable at the same time. As for Thomas, he's our sweet nerdy guy with a lot of bravery than you'd expect. This trio of friendshipiness has to be one of my favourite friendships ever. All have some level of badassery. Alas, the main un-perfection in Girl of Nightmares was Anna. We barely encounter her real self until sometime later which did make me begin to think the pace could have been a little faster. Not to state that it was incredibly lagging and boring- HELL NO but I would have appreciated more of Anna and if the pace got through most of the book, and stretched the last bit a little more, I would have been more satisfied.

Kendare Blake's writing does not get enough praises. I love it. I love it. I love it! The quick switches between gloom and snark, horror and sweet is absolutely amazing and I have a writing envy. All the descriptions and scenes were topped perfectly with a sprinkle of gruesomeness.

And the ending was completely satisfying. I really did hope deep down that this was the way it ended and it did and I was just doing a little happy dance inside. I cannot recommend this series enough! If you want some light horror with a dose of humorous and kick-ass characters AND some witty writing, the Anna series should be the first series to look for.
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
538 reviews659 followers
April 21, 2017
*3.5/5 where-the-hell-are-half-stars-when-one-needs-them-this-badly stars*

“Every time I question him about the feasibility, he smiles at me like he's Yoda and I'm just a dumbass without the Force.”

This book wrecked me! It wasn't as great as the first book - the first half dragged a bit, there simply wasn't enough ghost hunting as in the first one - and while the ending is meaningful and perfect way to end this duology, I'm not sure it's entirely for me. Don't get me wrong, it had me emotional all over the place and I did love it, but it's bittersweet adventure for sure. Also side note: where the hell was Anna for like 99% of this book? There was not enough of her! I was sad that she wasn't a major character here.

“I don't care what your name is," she hisses. "And I don't care who you are. If you don't get him some help, I will burn your fucking place down." Go Carmel.”

The very last part - mostly the last few chapters - was such a kick-ass, gruesome adventure and I loved it to pieces. This book wasn't perfect, yet it really affected me in many ways. Even though I rated it one star less, it's still highly recommended read for those who enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood.

“Cassio,” she whispers. “Get me out of here.”
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,605 reviews2,309 followers
November 17, 2020
Girl of Nightmares
(Anna #2)
by Kendare Blake
I really liked book one but this one is very different from the first. Book one was more of a haunted house type book. This sure has the great supernatural flair, good characters, and Anna. Instead of Anna being the big and bad ghost most of the book, the Opium man is the main bad ghost right away. (Once the gang figures out Anna is afraid of something). This takes the reader to multiple places around the world and out of this world! Good paranormal young adult book. The Audible version has poor narration. Best to just read it! Borrowed both from library.
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