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Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Cas Lowood, ghost hunter, is having a hard time keeping his head in the game. It’s been months since Anna opened a gateway to Hell, dragging herself and the Obeahman away from Cas’s world for good, but he just can’t her out of his head, and frankly, it’s starting to interfere with his work. He keeps seeing Anna everywhere, in his dreams, out of the corner of his eye, and lately, while he’s hunting dangerous ghosts. But the more he sees her, the more he’s convinced that this isn’t just wishful thinking, because every time she appears, she’s being gruesomely tortured. Wherever Anna really is, Cas knows that she doesn’t deserve this terrible punishment. Anna saved him, and now it’s his turn to save her, even if it kills him.

Even though I tend to shy away from horror stories, I absolutely loved Anna Dressed in Blood, which is why I knew I had to get my hands on its sequel, Girl of Nightmares. Though a lot of what I loved about Anna Dressed in Blood, such as Cas’s voice and dark humor, carried over into its sequel, what really drew me into the story of Girl of Nightmares was how Blake took things into a completely new direction. As a result, readers get to learn a lot more about the history of the athame, the people who created it, and how they’re connected to Cas in the present day. Additionally, and more importantly, this also allowed for an entire new slew of threats and dangers to complicate the plot and make it more interesting. My only real complaint about this book was that the ending felt a little too abrupt; too much was happening at once that when things finally concluded, I still felt like I needed to be charging forward. Despite this, Girl of Nightmares is still a thrilling and mostly satisfying read.

Fans of Anna Dressed in Blood will not want to miss its awesome sequel in Girl of Nightmares, nor will readers who also enjoyed The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson and Croak by Gina Damico.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from ALA

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