Friday, August 3, 2012
Me on Girl of Nightmares
Author: Kendare Blake
Release Date: August 7, 2012
It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell and disappeared into it, but Cas, a ghost hunter, can't seem to move on. Both his friends constantly remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so Cas could live instead of dwell on the past. He knows they're right, but he can't move past the dead girl he fell in love with. Now, he's seeing her everywhere, awake and in dreams. Or nightmares. But something is wrong. Anna appears tortured, torn apart in new ways every time he sees her. Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna after she ended up in Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve the torture she's being put through.
Girl of Nightmares takes readers right back to the eerie and haunted world that Anna Dressed in Blood first introduced them to. Cas is back with his wariness of the world, his sense of right and wrong, and his lifelong mission to send the ghosts who hurt and harm the living straight to Hell. This time around, he's more tortured emotionally, more distant from his friends and his mother, from his life, and is willing to throw everything away, even his life, to save Anna from the Hell she's in.
For most of the book the horror is more subtle, as compared to the obvious blood and terror of the first book. There's also less Anna, of course, but she's still there because Cas is always thinking about her, thinking about the hell she ended up in, what could be happening to her, if she'll come back. But then she appears, battered and tortured, haunting Cas in a new fashion until he's obsessed with bringing her back.
Even with the decrease in horror for most of the book, the atmosphere was far darker and sinister than expected. It shouldn't have been a surprise, the whole premise of the book is instead of haunting her former home Anna is now trapped in Hell. But everything felt darker. Perhaps it was because Cas is willing to risk anything and everything to save her, to save a ghost that did murder but also helped keep people alive. Cas believes that Anna deserves redemption, and so this book is his journey to find it for her, no matter where it leads or if it kills him.
This book is more of a journey for Cas than the first, both literally and emotionally. So much more traveling, so much more learning and discovering, of stubbornness taking over and not giving up until it, quite literally, kills you. There is still no sugar-coating in this series, it's dark and deadly and spattered with blood, but there's nothing quite like a character foolish enough to willingly want to battle anyone and anything to get his girlfriend out of Hell.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Macmillan through Raincoast Books.)