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12 Apr 2013

K is for Kendare Blake: Girl of Nightmares book review

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 favour.

That Anna.  She's not an easy ghost to forget.  She'll make sure of it herself.  After the events of Anna Dressed in Blood Cas and his mother has settled in the town he moved to in the first book, even with plans of finishing high school there.  With his friends.  I know, *shock horror*, right? This is Cas we're talking about.  Cas Lowood who didn't intend on making any friends at all.

Our Cas has changed a lot from the loner ghost hunting hero.  He's attempting a semi-normal life, still with the odd ghost slaying but generally settling down in a town.  But there's one thing he can't stop thinking about.  Anna Korlov, the dead girl who is supposed to be gone.  Or is she? As she continues to appear poor Cas is left wondering if ghosts can truly come back or if he is losing his mind.  No-one else can see her and he's constantly told that ghosts cannot come back.  But something is going on.  His past continues to haunt him, questions are arising, and now he has to fix it.  For himself and for Anna's spirit.

Anna's murderous ways are long gone but she still haunts the pages in disturbing scenes that terrorise Cas whether he's at school, work or home.  Blake knows how to add the right amount of creepy ghost scenes that doesn't drown the whole novel, keeping the tension and snarky narration perfectly balanced.  My favourite scene has to be the creepy Blink-like ghosts. (Look up Weeping Angels if you're not familiar with Doctor Who)

My new favourite Scooby Gang still work wonders.  Carmel and Thomas get more development as they both chose their paths from the events of Anna.  Of them is torn, struggling in their new double life and makes some tough decisions.  But in the end it's the three of them.  All for one and one for all! 

A nice end to Anna and I'm satisfied for that to be it.  Although I will miss the gang.


  1. So this is just a two-part series? Unusual. The last time I was in a bookstore I considered getting this, since I enjoyed the first ANNA book. My only hesitation was the cover blurb seemed to suggest the series was taking on more of a paranormal romance feel. In other words, the love story was taking front and center position. I was torn because given how well Kendare writes, I could probably deal with Cas wanting to rescue Anna for no other reason than his love for her. But I'm not sure how much of a mopey, love-stricken Cas I could put up with. :)

  2. Ooo, Blink-like ghosts?! I haven't watched much Doctor Who (yet), but I have seen that episode and yikes! Certainly creepy. I've read ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, but I'm not sure if I'll get to this one. I'm not a fan of horror, so I was only so-so on the first one. You are kind of tempting me here, though. Great review, Robin! :)

  3. Interesting. Thanks for sharing. New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.