Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)

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Disappointed.
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
I honestly wasn't expecting a book 2.
Book one ended so well, I was caught off guard by book two.
But that didn't stop me from finishing it quickly.
I was expecting more from this book.
It seemed dodgy and seemed to drag by at a slow pace.
When the action did come up, it was a fight scene at the end and it ended to soon.
I feel like a lot was missing from this book.
I mean, I'm glad to know what happened to Anna, yet I'm not because now it just seems worse?

The bond between Anna and Cas was strong and beautiful.
Even a little creepy I suppose...
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Nothing like the debut novel
Overall rating 
 
2.7
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What the hell was that ending? I had to read 170-180 bloody boring pages until there was an improvement with the story only to be stopped again because, surprise, surprise, nothing happened for the next hundred pages. It was all about waiting, sleeping, eating, washing dishes, that sort of things. Basically, the final confrontation with that dreadlock-wearing demon happened in the last 20 pages. And the ending was so abrupt. Stab-stab-kill-kill and poof... the end.

What a disappointment. Wish there is just Anna Dressed in Blood. I will erase this one from my memory. It won't be that hard.
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Not quite as good as the first book
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
I hate to say it, but I’m going to say it: I find the Anna duology to be highly overhyped. I enjoyed Girl of Nightmares in the beginning, but it was a steady downhill ride from about the halfway point. Is this a bad book? Nope, not at all. But is it outstanding, memorable, or in possession of some quality that knocked my socks off? Certainly not.

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.
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Not quite what I was hoping for...but still a good sequel.
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This is going to be a really tough review to write, since I all but flipped out praising Kendare Blake's first book, Anna Dressed in Blood. I was so very excited to see what happened to Anna and Cas after the cliffhanger that Blake left for us in the last book. As soon as I was able to get my hands on a copy of Girl of Nightmares I did! I was eager for more of the stuff of nightmares that drew me in the first time around.

What I found though was a much different book. Anna and Cas are both back. However this time they're so different, and I'll admit that it threw me off a bit. If you'll remember from my review of the first book, I loved Cas' cocky demeanor and lone wolf attitude. What can I say? I'm a sucker for boys like that. The Cas that comes through in this book is a much more lonely and sad boy. Broken, sad, a little like a lonely puppy. Where was my Cas? In the same respect, Anna was there, but also not. I can't explain without spoiling, but I missed her so much.

After a few chapters I finally got used to Cas' new attitude, and was okay with it. Blake does a great job of showing his deep need to find Anna. So I kept reading on, hoping for some scary scenes to keep me up and night and sadly nothing happened. Seriously. There are multiple chapters where nothing exciting happens at all. Now, yes, I understand why. Kendare Blake spends a lot of this book explaining the history behind Cas' athame. She also introduces a new threat in the form of a sinister society with tons of secrets. However without the visceral imagery, the haunting happenings, and the Anna/Cas interaction, I found myself bored. It made for a slow read.

It's actually not surprising to me that I didn't love Girl of Nightmares as much as Blake's first book. I loved Cas as a ghost busting bad-ass. I adored Anna as a vicious yet gorgeous apparition. Everything that I loved about Anna Dressed in Blood was missing here. I applaud the character development, and can't deny that I enjoyed learning about the athame's past. Still, this wasn't my favorite sequel. This is worth a read for closure alone though, especially if you were waiting as eagerly as I was.
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