Book Club: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
We see Anna reaching back towards us in the black, white, and red picture of a rather daunting backdrop. It reflects the story really well.
We get to meet one of the major characters from Anna Dressed in Blood, and a new threat comes to the fore.
Jestine, mainly because she kicked ass, and kept her word.
The Order. Sometimes the hive mind isn’t the way to go.
Months after the final scene in Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas and his friends are struggling to come to terms with how things played out.
Cas makes moves to rectify the problem, and heads to England.
Nothing is quite what it seems.
I don’t know about the others, but I felt no real sense of dread. No heart stopping urgency. Perhaps this could have been rectified by covering Anna’s point of view for a part of the book.
I did like the male, female relationships and I’m glad Cas’s mum wasn’t as pointless as some other YA parental units.
I enjoyed the story, and as a sequel it was entertaining.
“For a professional ghost killer, you sure ask a lot of numb-nut questions.” ~Morfran talking to Cas.
Very Manga cartoon-like imagery of Anna…in hell?
Our main character, Cas and his friends Thomas and Carmel are the major roll players in this series. Cas is a ghost hunter who, with his special knife, is able to send the spirits onto other worlds. He has a strict rule of only hunting those ghosts that are dangerous to humans and can cause harm.
Tie between Anna and Cas; they both do very selfless acts, admirable.
Well there is always the villain to hate, but I didn’t really dislike any of the characters in this story.
Cas is obsessed with where Anna might have gone since the events in the first book. She has been calling to him.
When his school work is done for the year, he convinces Thomas to travel to Ireland, to the group that made the Athame, and ask for their guidance on how to rescue Anna from Hell.
We see a much more determined Cas in this book than the first. When he really sets his heart on something, he’s a force to be reckoned with.
I like the idea that there are these powerful weapons that are made out of a metal not available on earth. I enjoyed the fact that Cas got to do some overseas travelling in this one. It brought a lot of atmosphere to the novel. There are some dangerous moments, a lot of world building; especially with the group and the history behind the weapons they use to banish the spirits. Plus more blood than we saw in the first book with very humorous dialogue and relationships between the characters.
“She crossed over death to call me. I crossed through Hell to find her.”
I’m actually a big fan of the covers in this duology! I think they portray the story inside very well; it’s not too scary or brutal, just a bit creepy like the story.
Overall, I thought the characters were alright. We don’t meet too many new people, just a few random characters who take smaller roles. I don’t think I want to name the only new main character we are introduced to! Why? Because he makes the story what it is, and I don’t think he is mentioned in the first book; meaning, I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you!
She wasn’t my least favourite in the first book, but in Girl of Nightmares she is. Carmel was the sweetest girl in Anna Dressed in Blood but completely changed in this second instalment. I loved her so much, so I was a little disappointed to see this kind of change in her. She spent the whole first book wanting to be a part of everything. In the second book, she leaves the two boys in the dust, without truly explaining why. Obviously, she does later in the story, but after she breaks Thomas’s heart.
This is a hard one! I have a few favorite characters including Cas, Thomas, and the new character introduced in this book who I cannot name…he’s not from Harry Potter if that’s what you’re thinking! But both of these boys are interesting! Cas with his knife and the ghost killing thing and Thomas with his witch powers!
Girl of Nightmares takes place a month or two after Anna Dressed In Blood ends. Anna has gone, Cas can’t help his feelings towards her and misses Anna, and Thomas and Carmel are still working out their entire “relationship”; if you can call it that.
Cas can’t deny the feelings he has for Anna, and has to get her back from the other side. He seems to see her everywhere he looks, and even starts to think that he might be going crazy. He finally tells Thomas and Carmel about this, and asks them to help bring her back. While they might not believe this is possible, both agree to help Cas in any way.
Bringing back Anna turned into something WAY bigger than the three could have imagined. It affected the entire witch and ghost hunting community, and it even stretched across the world! Who knew getting back the girl you love could start an entire war?
Before I started this duology, I was told many times how creepy it was. So when I finally got around to reading Anna Dressed In Blood I was a little disappointed at first. The story wasn’t horrifying or scary. Anna wasn’t as bad as she was made out to be in all of the reviews I’d read, but, nonetheless, I enjoyed the story.
When I started reading Girl of Nightmares, I didn’t read any reviews, and decided to just jump in right after finishing Anna Dressed In Blood. Again, I enjoyed this one as well. The entire story was a crazy roller coaster ride, dragging the group from one place, and one person, to another. I was strapped in and ready for the ride! I do have to say that the ending wasn’t very satisfying, but realistic, which I liked. Obviously, I spent the whole time cheering one the three best friends, and hoped the best for them, but things don’t always end up that way.
If you haven’t picked up these books, I recommend you do. I don’t promise that Anna is absolutely terrifying, but you will experience an entirely new perspective on the paranormal!
The cover was what made me buy Anna Dressed in Blood, the first book in this series. I like the second cover even more. With Anna standing on the precipice of Hell, it’s more dynamic and the colour scheme is amazing.
All of the characters that I loved in Anna Dressed in Blood are back in Girl of Nightmares. They’re still amazing, but what they’ve been through has changed them.
Cas maybe? Or Carmel? Possibly Thomas? I don’t know. I love how the characters interact with each other more than loving each of them on their own. They’re such a good team that I couldn’t imagine how things would work without one of them.
This is even harder. The easy answer would be Colin Burke; not because I hated him, but because he was a bit of a non-entity.
Anna has sacrificed herself to save Cas and his friends. He is trying to come to terms with life without her. He might even manage it, if she wasn’t coming back to haunt him at the most inopportune times.
When Cas becomes convinced that Anna’s soul is not at peace, but being tormented in some hellish alternate plane, he is determined to find her and bring her back. Not everyone thinks that the dead belong in the world of the living, and there are some who would enforce those convictions to the bitter end.
Bitter and sweet? At some point when reading about a romance between one person who’s living and one who’s dead, there is the realisation that however this ends, it’s not going to be rainbows and unicorns.
I loved the direction that Blake took Carmel’s and Thomas’s characters. They don’t stagnate and they’re not just silently there to have Cas’s back whenever he needs it. Thomas’s power has grown considerably since the first book, and he has more confidence in it – though he still manages to be awkward around the cooler kids at school. Carmel refuses to compromise her social life to support Cas and Thomas – she’s as independent as she ever was. She’s also more prone to question the things that Thomas will accept.
I wasn’t dissatisfied with the ending, but Anna came into the book far too late and played too small of a role. I liked Jestine, but I would have traded her for Anna in a fraction of a heart-beat.
There’s smoke, and wind, and screaming, and it’s impossible to tell which side it’s all coming from. I lower my voice. “Anna. What do you want me to do?”
For a second I think she’ll stonewall. She takes quaking, deep breaths and with every exhale bites down on her words. But then she looks at me, straight at me, into my eyes, and I don’t care what she said earlier. She sees me. I know she does.
“Cassio,” she whispers. “Get me out of here.”
Question: Would you give up your way of life to fight against demons who cause danger to human lives?