Sorry that these reviews are up a bit later, had a few wrinkles with my schedule this week and I doubt that I'll be able to get tomorrow's review up on time so I'm going to apologize for that in advance as well. Other than that, I read Anna Dressed in Blood within the past year and thought it was a good book even with I wasn't completely thrilled with the ending, partially since I wasn't sure if the book had a sequel. As it turns out, yes it does and that both helps and hurts it.
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Summary: Sometime has passed since Anna sacrificed herself to help kill the ghost that had attached itself to Cas's ghost killing blade and he has a bad feeling about it. He's plagued by nightmares and apparitions of her undergoing torture in the afterlife and wants to save her but there's still so much he doesn't know that it's time to find the people do who, the shadowing organization who made his knife and made his family into the people who wield it.
The Good: This is an odd detail but, even though it was a bit frustrating when Thomas and Carmel were fighting with each other (since you just know they'll get back together, plus it doesn't feel like long since I read the first book so it feels like the characters haven't even been together that long), I still appreciated the fact that they seemed to have a rather normal teenaged relationship with some ups and downs. Quite honestly those two were my favorite part of this book, I liked how they made Cas open up more and even came along with some of the ghost hunting, as dangerous as it might be, since I always prefer stories where you have several characters interacting and bouncing off of each other rather than just one on their own
The Bad: To get to the heart of the manner, I don't think this story needed to be told over two books. I felt like a lot of the second book just felt like fluff, I wasn't that interested in the order that created Cas's knife, couldn't exactly figure out how Blake was trying to write new character Jestine (I think she was going for a younger/morally ambiguous character, which would be hard to portray but I still wish it was done better), and then when the story finally got to where Anna was I didn't quite follow what was going on. Perhaps I was just tired or in a rush when I read it, I don't remember, but I do remember just feeling confused about what was going on and didn't like how everything ended for Anna. I wish the story had instead just ended in Anna and left it at that, albeit slightly differently so that it had been a real ending not the To Be Continued one it actually has.
For this book I'll give it a 3 out of 5 since even though I disliked it it was written perfectly fine and fans of horror will still enjoy it (is there much YA horror out there? I don't see a lot but I'm not looking for it and I'm not sure if that's why then). I am still a bit interested in Blake's latest book regardless of this one, hopefully that one will be a little more to my tastes.