As with Anna Dressed in Blood, I found that Kendare Blake’s plot construction was sloppy at best. Once again, this novel tried to balance the mystery surrounding Cas’s ghost-killing knife with his relationship with Anna. And once again, that balance was not found. For an entire section in the middle there was absolutely no mention of Anna at all, because instead Cas and his gang were running around England trying to do something with some Order of Ghostkillers or whatever. It seems a little silly to have a book (or series) named after a person if that person is hardly a major player in that book.
Girl of Nightmares was also not scary at all. I don’t understand what I was supposed to find so terrifying about this novel. The paranormal elements were very well done, and Blake’s descriptions were vivid. But this isn’t really a “horror” novel, in my opinion.
So anyway. The beginning of this novel was actually really good, and it was set up to be better than Anna Dressed in Blood. The main focus had to do with Cas getting Anna out of hell, with the help of his sidekicks Carmel and Thomas. I enjoyed the voodoo people he met with and the rituals he performed. But then, after the first ten chapters, things got really melodramatic, and I was annoyed. Blake took things was over the top. From there, Cas ran off to London to meet with his godfather, and Anna was all but forgotten. Of course, she came back at the end, but the sickly sweet ending felt like a cop-out to me. Not that this book could have ended differently, but the treatment of said ending was a little lame.
In my opinion, Girl of Nightmares is a great example of great potential gone south. Don’t get me wrong: this is a decent book already, but in some respects, it kind of resembled a train wreck. Maybe it’s because I’m not an easily scared kind of person, but it feels to me like Blake was relying on the “horror” factor of her novel to mask the clunkiness of her plot.
So altogether, I liked this book on a large scale, but didn’t care for it in many respects. Good but not great, is my verdict.