Girl of Nightmares

Author: Kendare Blake
Title: Girl of Nightmares
Publisher: TOR Teen
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2866-3
Rating: 5/10

Blurb: 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' 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 even more gruesome ways every time she appears. Cas doesn't 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.

As always, this review may contain spoilers. To view them you need to highlight the blank parts between the brackets [like this].

Everyone who read my review on the first book of the series, "Anna Dressed in Blood", knows that I couldn't quite point my finger on why I liked it so much despite all the flaws. With this book it's the other way around. Once again, expectations on my side were really high because I wanted to see more of Anna because let's face it - she's awesome, even if she's not the crazy psycho b*tch. I think I should do without expectations in the future, because most of the books I read just can't fulfill them at all.

Let's start with Cas - the main character who I grew very fond of in the last book. He's feeling lost and numb in the beginning of the book and I get that with his girlfriend disappearing to Hell in her basement and it really fits in with the mood when he starts having these nightmares and daydreams about Anna. He thinks he's going crazy but he really doesn't care. The only thing he's after in this book is seeing Anna again and taking her with him and that's done convinvingly, too. But overall he just has this I-don't-give-a-damn attitude and it really pisses me off. It robbed the book of any feeling and even his desperation to find Anna lost its meaning. [And why does he pursue Anna all the way to Hell to have her back and then let her go, just like that, without any meaningful monologue or heartbreaking conversation or anything at all??!!].

And then there is Anna Korlov. Awesome Anna. And while she's on Cas mind more often than not, I really think she deserves more attention. I loved the early references to her when she just showed up and peeled the skin off of her body, it was totally random and really scary, and I really liked how Cas and her could talk again, but in the second half of the book I missed her on every page. I would have loved to read something on her point of view, living in Hell should do for some interesting anectodes, but of course Cas is waaaaay more important.

I remember talking about Camel and Thomas as "the other two characters" and how they're not all that mentionable, but this book turns everything around. Camel seriously kicks ass although she has some major problems arranging her two lifes in this book, but she is just awesome, witty and I love the way she gets pissy when she's scared to death. Although her loyalty is questionable throughout the book she sticks with her friends which is one more reason to respect her character.

Thomas found his courage and power at the end of the last book and builds on it througout the story. Everyone who didn't take him serious in the first book should watch out because he is one serious witch. He is a really special character who learns from his mistakes and is always loyal and true to his friends and the mind-reading ability ist just hillarious. I love the parts in this book when he gets into Cas shell by reading his mind and answers to it, this guy is amazing. You really have to love Camel and Thomas in this book.

While the story progressed I totally forgot about the characters left at home - Cas' mother and Mofran, the voodo guy, and I was a bit surprised that they were even mentioned in the second half of the book. It was like Cas left everything back in Thunder Bay and replaces his confidants with characters he isn't shure he can trust at all: Gideon and Jestine. Oooh, Jestine. I hate her very very very much and I'm not sure why, but she seems way to corrupt to me. Cas knows he can't trust her but here we go again with the I-don't-give-a-damn attitude. 

I won't talk much about the whole story with the Order here, because that would just be too much to give away, but it slowed down the plot and just didn't fit with the story in my opinion - it was just way too much show. The slowing down lead to the tension build-up starting once again too late in the story and you were overrun by the final showdown as you were in "Anna Dressed in Blood". Could have been done better. 

The book was gruesome but not scary and it lacked the emotions the first one had. The beginning promised something the second half of the book could not quite match up to and the ending was just unsatisfactory, so please don't kill me for saying that I'm really disappointed.

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