Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

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TITLE: Girl of Nightmares
AUTHOR: Kendare Blake

Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4.)


Girl of Nightmares, the acclaimed sequel to Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood.
It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live―not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

Buy it HERE on Amazon! 

The Critical Points:
This is the second and final book in the Anna Dressed In Blood series. Last week I talked about Anna Dressed In Blood, and if you saw that review you know I loved that it.

WRITING: Blake’s writing style is very fluid and easy to read. This was a quick read, I think it took me three days to finish. With that said, I did feel like Blake struggled a little with getting through this story, or maybe figuring out where it was supposed to go. It didn’t feel as well planned as the first book did.

STORY: This is a continuation of the story found in Anna Dressed in Blood, and picks up shortly after that book ended. Although I really enjoyed the first book, I have to say I felt a bit let down by this one.

CHARACTERS: Cas, who I loved in the previous book, came across more as a whiney kid in this one. He was always complaining when he didn’t get his way, or focusing on the negative instead of showing the strength and confidence he had in the first book. I also didn’t really care for the new character we meet… the mysterious Jestine who for whatever reason has to save the day. No, I won’t give any spoilers, but I will say this, I don’t like it when authors feel the need to save the female lead with a pop-up male character, well, I don’t like it when a pop-up female character has to jump in and save the male either.

APPEARANCE: Like the cover of Anna Dressed In Blood, this one is also very beautiful, and whimsical. Yet, surrounded by fire is evokes more fear than the previous cover did. The hit of romance is gone and the truth behind the veil of death is revealed. The cover for Girl of Nightmares perfectly portrays the feel I believe Blake was going for when she wrote this story.

“Every time I question him about the feasibility, he smiles at me like he’s Yoda and I’m just a dumbass without the Force.”

“Everyone seems to know more than I do, and being on the shallow end of the information pool is starting to piss me off.”

“It’s true what they say about answers only leading to more questions. There will always be more to find out, more to learn, more to do.”

“…I kiss her, one time, and try to tell her in that single gesture everything that she’ll forget as soon as she turns away. I tell her I love her. I tell her I’ll miss her. And then I let her go.”

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Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

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TITLE: Anna Dressed In Blood
AUTHOR: Kendare Blake

Writing: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4.75)


Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

Buy it HERE on Amazon!

The Critical Points:
This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while now. I’m not really sure why I hadn’t read it before now. I’ve loved the cover since it was given to me but just never felt compelled to read it. I’m so glad that I finally did. A couple weeks ago, I was in the mood for ghost stories, which is why I started reading 20th Century Ghosts. Well, when that one left me feeling less than excited, I decided to pick up Anna Dressed In Blood which promised a ghost dressed in Blood. I was crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t be let down again.

WRITING: Kendare Blake has a very easy, fluid writing style. Anna Dressed in Blood was a fast read that left very few questions unanswered. It is full of adventure, awkward teens, death, and although it’s not a love story, that’s in there too.

STORY: Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story…
Actually, there is nothing average about this story. It’s a fun coming of age Young Adult story of a teenage ghost hunter who finally finds his tribe.

CHARACTERS: Every character, at least the important ones, are fleshed out to the point where you feel like you know them. Blake has a beautiful way of bringing unlikely friends together and making it feel completely natural. You care for Cas, Thomas, and Carmel and when things don’t go their way, it hurts. Sure, there are some untimely deaths (I won’t tell you who or how), but in a ghost hunting story, there has to be… Don’t worry, she kills the right characters.

APPEARANCE: I wish I knew who designed the cover, but unfortunately it isn’t written on the copywrite page. The cover, which shows Anna standing outside of her Victorian home, is actually foreshadowing what happens in the book. It is beautiful, whimsical, and romantic and perfectly portrays the feel of the story that Blake has created.

I had a hard time coming up with a favorite quote from this one. Let me explain, typically, I find my favorite quote(s) while I’m reading. Something will just hit me and I’ll love it and either highlight it or write it down. But, with Anna Dressed In Blood, I was so engrossed in the story that I didn’t think about the fact that I needed to find my favorite quote. I was lost in the world Blake had created. Trust me, that’s a very good thing.

So, I had to go back… thumb through the pages to see if I could find a quote that stood out. Of course, I did.

“Until a few weeks ago, none of this was real.”

It’s a simple little quote, and seemingly means nothing without the context of what was around it. However, I like it because its true for any book of fiction you pick up. None of it is real… yet if it is written well, it feels so real. The characters feel like they have come to life on the pages and it is sad and painful when you have to let them go at the end of the story.

OK, one more favorite quote… just for fun:

“But hey, at least we’ll have this strange story to tell, love and death and blood and daddy-issues. And holy crap, I’m a psychiatrist’s wet dream.”

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

NEXT WEEK’S #FRIDAYREADS SELECTION: GIRL OF NIGHTMARES by KENDARE BLAKE The second (and final) book in the Anna Dressed In Blood series.