Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Official Summary: “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.
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.”
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake is the hotly anticipated sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood, which I reviewed earlier this summer. This new book picks up about 6 months after the end of the previous book with Cas, Thomas and Carmel adjusting to the earlier events. Cas, in particular, is having a hard time dealing with the fact that Anna sacrificed herself to save them and finds himself uninterested in the other people at his school. As the book opens, he has even begun to see Anna, though he doesn’t know whether these sightings are hallucinations or something more. But even with this sliver of a hope that he might be able to bring Anna back, Cas suddenly finds himself unable to focus on anything else. This single-minded focus leads Cas to learn things about both the knife he uses to dispatch ghosts and his own father that he may not have wanted to know. In this book, both Cas and the reader learn the larger context of Cas’ destiny and discover the mythology of the world that Blake has created.
Girl of Nightmares is a strong follow-up to the first book in the series. Whereas Anna Dressed in Blood introduced Cas, his family and his new friends, this book assumes that the reader knows these basics from the first book and instead focuses on the larger world that Cas lives in and the context in which he and his father have sent ghosts packing. I liked the way that this information gave greater depth and mythology to the world of the series and it really feels as though it will provide fodder for more books featuring these characters. While the first book was enjoyable, I liked the way the sequel connected Cas to something greater thereby expanding the story.
Fans of Anna Dressed in Blood will definitely want to read Girl of Nightmares, but for those who haven’t yet read the first book, I would highly recommend reading that one first. Both are worth a read, especially for fans of ghost stories.
Check it Out: Girl of Nightmares will be released on August 7th. Before then, you can read Anna Dressed in Blood, the first book in the series, or try the first and second chapters of Girl of Nightmares on Tor.
Readalike: If this book sounds appealing, I would definitely recommend starting with the first book in the series, Anna Dressed in Blood. For those who enjoy this book’s dark setting and male protagonist, The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda or Storm Front by Jim Butcher are each the first book in great series that share dark paranormal ambiences and a strong male lead.
Note: Review based on ARC from publisher.