Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake

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Rating – 2 stars

The thing with sequels, which I have come to discover sadly, is they tend to not live up to their predecessors.

Having read Blake’ previous title in this series Anna Dressed in Blood, which I had liked immensely was the reason I went for this one. To read on and know the fates of Cas & Anna, after their encounter with the demon Obeahman. To know how Cas is dealing with the fact that he was attacked by the demon that killed his father & losing the girl (technically a ghost) he loves and Anna’ fate after she dragged the demon with her to wherever they both ended up.

The beginning isn’t all that great to be honest, Yes I am glad Cas is trying to pretend at least he is moving on but is still moping around, pining for Anna. All those close to him, his mom, Gideon, Morfran , his best friends – Carmel & Thomas, see through his pretense but don’t let him sulk much. They don’t act all cheery but they refuse to let him be bogged down too.  Which is good, only it isn’t since in his mind & heart Cas still wants to be with Anna or at least that’s what he thinks is the reason he keeps her seeing everywhere. 

However this isn’t your average teenager who is reeling in the aftermath of losing his first love, Cas is afterall a ghostbuster,though he hates to be called that. So his normal visions of Anna include watching her throw herself down a building, watch half of her face disappear & watch her walk into a furnace to make a pretzel out of herself. And he considers this just a byproduct of his overactive imagination and the stress of his job.

Only it’s not his imagination, not his mind playing tricks on him when he happens to have these visions. What happens is that Anna who is stuck in some sorta hell with the demon Obeahman, is being tortured daily to please the sadistic dead bastard and whatever he chooses is the punishment fit for her today, happens to be the vision that comes across Cas. Being bonded with his Athame, Anna somehow becomes visible to Cas while she cannot see or hear him until Thomas intervenes and Cas learns the truth of Anna’ fate.

With at least half the book being about trying to find a way to free Anna from Obeahman & his hell, Cas & company are busy. However this does not interfere with their social lives as we have a minor dose of teen angst when Carmel dumps Thomas to try to get a shot at a normal life only to come back raging when Thomas & Cas are in London trying to get Gideon’ help.

From thereon is a predictable tale of a secret order, old customs & family, a rebel and a new champion/wielder of weapon in this case.  Cas & company go through some trials, practice some voodoo, have childish antics and finally win over the dreaded Obeahman, freeing Anna and another 28 souls trapped within him on whom he fed.

Also Cas frees his dad, who was still a captive of the demon but doesn’t catch a glimpse of his departing soul which should be a bummer but thankfully isn’t. I am not really a fan of reunion melodramas. 

Cas comes back from hell, and lives to save another day while Anna finally is at peace. 

The book had a happy ending only I wasn’t happy with what I read.

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