Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake. ★★★
Girl of Nightmares is a YA paranormal horror novel that’s not quite as good as its predecessor, Anna Dressed in Blood, but does the necessary job of tying up loose plot threads. You absolutely need to have read Anna Dressed in Blood before picking up Girl of Nightmares.
Girl of Nightmares starts six months after the end of Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas is worried about what became of Anna and what her sacrifice meant when he suddenly starts seeing her all over the place. He becomes determined to get her out of whatever hell she’s trapped in, no matter the cost to himself.
Girl of Nightmares does wrap everything up well. The last few chapters were worthwhile, and there were some good scenes closer to the end. Unfortunately, nothing’s exciting until about two thirds of the way through. The subplot with Carmel in that time felt unnecessary and damaging for her character, especially since it had no lasting consequences and everyone seemed to have forgotten about it by the end.
One of the things I really loved about Anna Dressed in Blood was Anna herself. By the nature of the story line, she wasn’t in Girl of Nightmares nearly as much, and I think it suffered from the lack. Girl of Nightmares also didn’t have the same creepy thriller vibe going on, which ties in a lot with the slowness of the first two thirds.
Girl of Nightmares did go a lot more into the mythology of the world and how everything worked. However, the greater explanation didn’t make up for the lack of action or the haunting atmosphere that permeated the first book.
If you read Anna Dressed in Blood, you’ll still probably want to read Girl of Nightmares to get closure on the story lines. If you haven’t read either of them, I would suggest it despite my problems with this second installment, given the fun I had with the first book.