By Kendare Blake
3.5 / 5 Stars
A review in 10 words or less: No I'm not going insane, that's my twice dead girlfriend.
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.
Can't believe I missed my chance to meet Kendare Blake at ALA this past summer. I kind of stalked the Tor publisher table hoping to snag one of the Girl of Nightmares advanced reading copies, but no luck. Finally though...finally we were able to purchase a copy for the library and my wait was over.
Only a few months have passed since Anna Dressed In Blood ends. Anna is gone, having saved the Scooby crew from an evil ghost, monster, nightmare bad-y who was feeding off energy when Cas killed with his super knife. Cas isn't dealing well with her loss, and Carmel and Thomas have been tagging along as he travels to nearby areas sending other bad-ys to wherever badies go when they get stabbed with the super knife. And then all of a sudden, she's there, Anna, obviously in pain and only visible to Cas. So he's either totally insane, or something isn't right with the other-world, and he's desperate to find out which.
Two of the best friends ever. Not just anyone would follow you into haunted barns and the depths of hell for a ghost of a girlfriend. Carmel and Thomas are beyond loyal. And they're sassy too. I like sassy.
Anna, again, is crazy scary awesome. Sure, she's dead, and that totally stinks, but she's fearless and wicked with her uber-dead powers.
And Cas. Oh sweet Cas. You never pulled a Harry Potter and tried to leave your friends. I like a guy that realizes he's stronger with his friends than alone. Not to mention his wicked knife which I wanted him to name Mr. Pointy like Buffy. Alas, he did not, but it was still super pointy and super effective.
The Not So Awesome
The story was a little slow. It started off with a lot of action, and then it felt like an eternity before anything else happened. Maybe I just wanted more Anna in the story. She's not there, which makes sense because she's in hell, but she's kind of the point.
And I'm a big proponent for secret societies, but it was almost a little cliche. At least Cas calls the cranky British dudes out on being a cliche secret society.
It ended though. I ended really well. Sure, the door is left open for a new story, but the story of Anna and Cas is finished, and it ended in the only way it should have, with a boy loving a girl.