**Warning! If you haven’t read Anna Dressed in Blood which is the first book in the duology by Kendare Blake, there will be spoilers ahead. You can read my review of the first book instead if you haven’t started the series yet!**
After devouring Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, which is the first book in the duology, I was eager to start Girl of Nightmares because I had to know what was going to happen to Cas, Thomas, Carmel and Anna. I’m really pleased that Kendare Blake chose to tell this story as a duology instead of stretching it out into a trilogy. While I enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood more than Girl of Nightmares, I felt very satisfied with the conclusion. I would love if one particular thing could be addressed in a short story at some point, but overall there is definitive closure.
While the first book focused largely on Anna, the second book dealt more with Cas’s emotions following the aftermath of book one. The pair were the perfect compliment to one another and I loved learning more about the history behind Cas’s world although I truly wished for more of Anna’s perspective because of what a strong willed and non-damsel-in-distress character she is. Anna is a scarier read overall, but Girl of Nightmares certainly has its moments (ie. the Suicide Forest). There seemed to be so much at stake in the second book and having already grown attached to everyone every tension-filled situation weighed heavily on my heart. Almost every decision made in Girl of Nightmares had the potential to be life altering, and absolutely was in some cases.
In the first book, Anna was my clear favorite character but in the second, Thomas earned that place. I was so invested in his relationship with Carmel and his unwavering loyalty toward Cas even when others were dismissing him. Plus, Thomas is the perfect comic relief. For a series that’s so beautifully creepy and terrifying, Thomas still managed to make me laugh out loud at points. My favorite Thomas scene involved his reaction to something he ate during Cas and his quest for information. Cas, Carmel and Thomas each bring something vital to the table and together their trio is a force to be reckoned with. We’re also introduced to a new character whom I would love to read about in a spinoff series. She’s an intelligent teenager who enjoys a good challenge. She’s the kind of character who can disagree with someone fundamentally but still manage to get along with them on other levels.
Final Thoughts: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake provides a very satisfying conclusion for fans of Anna Dressed in Blood. Blake continues the story with her signature imagery which flawlessly blends the beautiful with the horrific. The stakes are high in this installment and the tension runs deep for all the characters involved. If you’re a fan of horror and flowery language you should definitely give this duology a read!
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. (via Goodreads)