Book Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Tor Books 2012 332 pages
Hook: I think I killed a girl who looked like this once.
Spoiler Alert for Anna if you haven’t read.
This is the sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood, of course and Theseus Cassio Lowood is back as the ghost hunter with the athame who only sends ghosts that do harm to others. He, Cas, is on a date thanks to Carmel, but all he can think about is how Cait reminds him of Emily Danagger, a dead girl he killed four years ago. It was when he was younger and more easily rattled before a ghost named Anna Korlov saved his life. He’s a pariah at school as others think he killed Mike (Anna did due to curse) and Will and Chase (a ghost who murdered his dad did) last year.
The date goes bad and he and Carmel end up leaving and meeting up with Thomas, whose become his best friend over the year he’s been in Thunder Bay. Both accompany him on a hunt in Grand Morais, Minnesota. The ghost almost kills Carmel. For the first time, he didn’t worry about where the ghost went when it died (the athame has been cleansed of the Obeahman).
While the athame is being purified, he worries that Carmel and Thomas shouldn’t be around him anymore. It can get them killed. Also worries that he heard Anna’s laugh in the ghost he killed. Carmel calls Cas on his hesitation to wield the athame. He tells them he can’t give up on Anna until he knows she’s at peace. He says he wants to cool things for a while.
One of his mom’s clarity candles breaks at his feet and later at the mall he sees a mannequin step off the platform wearing Anna’s dress. Carmel and Thomas say he was shouting. Some of her crowd is around and looks shell-shocked. He’ll be the gossip of the school tomorrow. More and more episodes happen with Anna until Cas realizes she’s with the Obeahman in a hell where he’s torturing her. He searches for a way to free her.
This book was every bit as promising as the first one. There’s action, heart-break, love, and redemption. The trio of Cas, Carmel, and Thomas is at times tragic and endearing to watch. I really like that the grown-ups aren’t out of the picture in this either. Not that they tell the story or take over anywhere, it’s just nice to see that they’re not the sometimes uncaring individuals in some books out there. They feel real. Cas and company feel real. I wholeheartedly recommend this book!! Can’t wait to see what Kendare Blake has planned for us with Anti-Goddess, I’m unsure if this next one is a Cas book or not. We’ll see, I suppose.