- Author: Kendare Blake (blog, twitter, website)
- Genre: Young Adult/paranormal romance/horror
- Publication: August 7, 2012, Tor Teen
- Pages: 332
- synopsis from Goodreads
- [book rating=5/5]
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.
This Review Will Contain Spoilers (but not too spoilery)
Girl of Nightmares begins with Cas trying for the first time, after completing a ghost-hunting job, to stay put in Thunder Bay. He tries convincing himself that he is staying because of the new friends he has made, Thomas and Carmel, and that his Mom also seems happy and productive there too. But Cas is staying because he still feels connected to Anna, and he is pretty sure he loves her. When he keeps seeing Anna, clearly in pain, he knows he would sacrifice himself this time to save her.
Kendare Blake has an amazing way of crafting dialogue that is funny, real and makes me think I would fit right in with the ghost gutters! I love horror and I like it even more when it has such sly humor. This is a great sequel, no sophomore slump to be had in this work, and I would assume it is also the end to this storyline (sad). However, I feel as though there is plenty of material for a spin off series that can let Anna rest in peace, but where we get to see Cas & crew continue to gut, scary as hell, killer ghosts ass!
Some of my favorite parts of Nightmares are of course how humor breaks a lot of the deep tension with Cas and his mental deterioration. Learning more of The Order and the mythology behind athame. Jestine, who I adore and think, may also be great fodder for a spin-off. Best part? The scary as hell Suicide Forest scene, that had me afraid to fall asleep after I read it.
The ending? Well I thought it was beautiful, sad and rewarding. Rewarding because I couldn’t imagine how else to really put Cas at ease and able to continue the good fight, but knowing that he couldn’t really bring back Anna (as a ghost) and they what date? So knowing Anna is in the most peaceful place Cas can conjure up for a heaven worthy of a girl that he loved and changed his life forever. This would be a great October read. Horror, humor and achingly beautiful growth.