Anna Dressed in Blood was one of my favorite books that I've read in the past year (you can read my review here). I loved the story, I loved the characters, and I loved how scary it was. So, you can imagine that I was pretty excited when Girl of Nightmares came out. Especially since I only had to wait a couple of months!
Girl of Nightmares was not at all what I was expecting after finishing Anna Dressed in Blood. I figured Cas would be fighting his way through all these ghosts trying to find and save Anna, and that Carmel and Thomas would be right there with him. I figured he'd grown stronger, more cautious, and that he was more mature than he had been in Anna.
That's definitely not what I got, but I still loved it. Cas still hasn't accepted that Anna is gone, and although he's stilling killing bad ghosts, it doesn't seem like it's as much he was before Anna. And then when he starts seeing Anna everywhere, he decides that he must save her in one way or another. I was kind of hoping his journey to saving her would be more epic, but I think it was epic in a different way. He grows more as a person, and he comes to realize that sometimes you don't always get what you want.
While I thought that Anna Dressed in Blood did a great job of creating a world that seemed very realistic, yet was somehow different, I think that Blake does an awesome job of expanding that world and adding elements to it that make it have so much more depth. The Suicide Forest, the idea of "Hell," and all of the other new places make Cas' world very rich... and also very scary. Especially the Suicide Forest. That place was almost as scary as Anna's Victorian.
Most of the book is a lead-up into Cas going to save Anna, but I think that it's all necessary. I never felt like the plot dragged, and I think that the build-up made the last few chapters that much better. It's really interesting to be in Cas' head and see how he feels about things and how he judges other people, and I thought that spending the majority of the book getting to know Cas' depression was really intriguing.
All in all, this was an excellent sequel/conclusion to the Anna series. It's actually refreshing to find a good duology that doesn't leave too many questions unanswered by the end. Plus, there's less time for the plot to drag as it sometimes does in a trilogy. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has read Anna Dressed in Blood. And, if you haven't but are a fan of horror books or books about ghosts, you should go read Anna Dressed in Blood and then go pick this book up! I would give this book a 5/5!