Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)


Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Anna, #2
Published: August 7th 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Hardcover, 332 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository


To say that I'd been eagerly anticipating Girl of Nightmares would be an understatement of epic proportions. Anna Dressed in Blood is one of my favorite books and I simply HAD to learn Anna's fate as soon as possible. I had unreasonably high expectations, true, but for the most part, Kendare Blake came through.
In the sixth row of the theater, in the third chair in, Anna winks at me. Or maybe she just blinks. I can't tell. She's missing half of her face
A lot of my questions were answered, and a lot of those answers surprised me. The world around Cas and Anna expanded in this second installment. I loved the things we discovered about Cas’s athame, his father’s life, The Order of Biodag Dubh and Cas’s role in it, parts of his life even he was blissfully unaware of until that point. I also adored that Blake was brave enough to take them all to London and Scotland – it was a bold move and one that certainly paid off.

If there’s one thing that bothered me in Girl of Nightmares, it was the same thing that bothered everyone else: not enough Girl of Nightmares! Anna was absent during most of this book, and her absence was acutely felt. What’s worse, Cas became mopey as a result, not even a shadow of his former self. Most of the time I wanted to shake him hard enough to make his teeth rattle, just to wake him up and get him angry, stubborn, whatever! Anything would have been better than whining and self-pity.

Compared to Anna Dressed in Blood, Girl of Nightmares is a quieter book that focuses more on introspection and character relationships. Aside from one particularly eerie scene (yes, I do mean the Suicide Forest), I didn’t find it nearly as frightening. There were fabulous moments, but I kept remembering those bodies stuck in walls in Anna, and everything paled in comparison. Yes, this book had its moments, it was creepy and gruesome at times, but it was never disturbing like Anna Dressed in Blood. Take this for example:
His skin is black as a struck match, cracked and oozing liquid metal heat, like he's covered by a cooling layer of lava. The eyes stand out bright white. I can't make out from this distance if they have corneas. God I hope they have corneas. I hate that creepy weird-eye shit.
Awesome, right? I wanted more of this, and less whining and moping around. Can you really blame me?

Carmel’s uncharacteristic behavior was also hard to accept. It wasn’t what she did that bothered me, it was that it wasn’t like her at all. Combined with Cas’s constant whining, her selfishness nearly drove me insane. Only Thomas remained unchanged, always polite, always reliable.

The ending, however, blew me away. It was better than I’d dared hope. In fact, the entire last part more than made up for a few earlier problems.
Overall, Girl of Nightmares concludes this duology in a more-than-satisfactory way.


22 comments:

  1. I agree! I enjoyed this one as well. I would have liked more Anna, but I still thought this one performed well and I was happy with the ending. Great review!

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  2. WHAT?? Anna isnt there in most of the book?? well,,, that sucks!! I was so excited to pick this one up, but im not so sure anymore :( But because of the ending, you got me excited again! haha! Lovely review Maja!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  3. Aww, I'm sorry that some parts of this book disappointed you, Maja! Since I know how much you enjoyed dark and gruesome part, I understand your complaint about the lack of creepy factors in this book. ;) I'm happy that the ending almost made up for the problems you encountered though! :) Awesome review, hun! <3 :)

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  4. Oh I'm sorry you had some gripes with this book Maja I remember how much you were looking forward to this but at least the ending made up for the somewhat lackluster characters. Another gorgeous review Maja! And I see that you're reading Where the Things Come Back! I can't wait to read that book! I hope you're enjoying it! :)

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  5. Awww, sorry that this book did not meet your expectations. I like the ending too. Cas is my favorite character here. Lovely review, Maja :D

    -Dannielle

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  6. I liked this one a bit more than you did, Maja. I can totally see your point regarding Carmel but for some reason her actions made sense to me, which doesn't mean I wasn't upset by her. "GoN" was more serious of the two but I thought it ended strongly for our Cas and Anna.

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  7. Brilliant review, Maja! Ooh, I remember really liking that part in Anna with the bodies in the wall. That totally gave me the creeps. Glad to see you still enjoyed the overall, Maja. I've read the first book and I did like it quite a bit but I'm not really sure if I'm going to read the final book. :)

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  8. These books are in my tbr pile, I am surprised Anna is missing, but glad some questions were answered. I am encouraged that despite some disappointments you enjoyed book two. Now if I could only find time to read them.

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  9. My thoughts exactly Maja! I really enjoyed the answers we got in this book, but Anna's absence detracted from the story for me in a huge way. She added so much tension in the first book, and I missed the beautiful contradiction she represented. Still, I think Kendare tells a good story and I'll be excited to see what she writes next! Fabulous review, I couldn't agree more!

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  10. Awesome review! I still have to read this one! Really should get to it so I can conclude on one series! Been hearing a lot about the lack of Anna in this one, but still must read it for myself since I've had the copy for months!

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  11. I don't blame you for wanting less moping and whining. I think I would feel the same way, especially after how much I loved Cas in the first book. I'm also a little disappointed that there isn't as much Anna in this book, but I still look forward to eventually giving this a shot. I'm glad you thought it was a good conclusion to the duology overall. :) Lovely review, Maja!

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  12. I still have to read this dualogy and I've been rather torn about it, but I think it's worth it. It sounds amazing and although you were a little disappointed, I'm glad the ending still blew you away and the series as a whole managed to be satisfactory. Wonderful review, dear! :)

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  13. I've been so excited to read this one but was disappointed to hear there was little Anna and that Cas is really mopey. Also a bit sad to hear that it isn't as disturbing. Still excited to see how it all ends and glad the ending makes it all worth while!

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  14. Glad this one mostly met with your expectations, Maja! I wasn't wowed by Anna Dressed in Blood, but I am looking forward to reading this eventually. Shame, though, that Anna wasn't a bigger part of the novel—I feel like the lack of Anna was a problem in the first novel as well.

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  15. I agree about this one being a quieter book! It was a different change of pace but I liked it despite the lack of Anna. I'm glad you enjoyed this for the most part. :D

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  16. We had the same reactions on this installment, Maja. Oh well. Wonderful review. :)

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  17. I loved Anna Dressed in Blood sooo much, but I haven't gotten a chance to read book two. I hate this one doesn't quite measure up to Anna. Nice quote and lovely review as always, Maja! <3

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  18. Right? I feel like this could be MY review for this book as I agree with you 100%. Not enough Anna, or creepiness in general, though it did have its moments. And wtf, Carmel? I guess she made up for it, but I'm not sure why it needed to be there at all when it didn't seem to have an overarching affect on the story.

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  19. I heard from many reviewers that for the most part Anna is absent, so that's why I haven't read the book yet. She was the reason I enjoyed the first book, so I'm a little sad to hear that she's not here much. Plus, I wasn't really a fan of Cas in the beginning, but to hear that he becomes whiny? Well, I'm definitely lowering my expectations for this book. But, I'm glad that the book ended well! Great review as always, Maja! :)

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  20. Anna set the bar very high and this one didn't meet my expectations either. I agree about missing Anna and mopey Cass was disappointing. I liked the ending and the journey through Hell and the nightmare forest. I also was glad there was more Mofran and I loved that scene where they visited Thomas' aunt.

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  21. I agree that we didn't see enough Anna in Girl of Nightmares! I missed her moments with Cass but I liked the surprises along the way when I read this book ;) The nightmare forest scene was really scary! The ending surprised me but I think it suits the book well.

    Awesome review, Maja ♥ Glad you enjoyed it!

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  22. Anna's name in the title, Anna on the cover, Anna mentioned in the premise... But when it comes to the plot and story, Anna doesn't make an appearance ? Funny, that. I'm one of the rare few readers who haven't picked up this book yet, but I'll remember that when I do I'll lower my expectations for this one so I'm not hugely disappointed. :( I'm glad you liked for the most part though, Maja! Brilliant review. :)

    P.S. I can hardly wait for your opinion of The Mad Scientist's Daughter, it sounds great!

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