What's really frustrating to me is that I think this author and even this story had so much potential. In this book, like in [b:Anna Dressed in Blood|9378297|Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)|Kendare Blake|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1317793801s/9378297.jpg|14261925], Blake has a few moments of shining prose and some truly creepy scenes, such as the entire bit with Aunt Riika, and the Suicide Forest scene which was particularly creepy
. But all in all, both books read to me like some kind of AU lovechild of Buffy and Supernatural. If this series had just been Cas and friends cruising around hunting ghosts while trying to find his dad's killer, I think that would have been much more enjoyable and I might have been more forgiving of the fanfic feel. (As I mentioned in my review for book 1, the cover blurbs from Cassandra Clare should have been a dead giveaway.) But the plot elements that Blake introduces aren't nearly as fun, and the book bogs down whenever we get away from the ghost-hunting action.
Girl of Nightmares picks up a few months after the end of the first novel to continue the adventures of Theseus Cassio in the land of unusual names (seriously, the randomness of names in this book make me chuckle), but there's honestly not much new here. Similar to book one, the first half of book two is also pretty slow, and consists mainly of Cas whining about how he needs to rescue Anna, and everyone around him telling him no.
The second half of the book gets a bit better. We learn a little bit more about the history of the athame that Cas uses, as well as Giles -er- Gideon and his occult past. A new character, Jestine, shows up in the second half who is basically a more fun female Cas, who introduces herself by jumping him and Thomas and pretty much mopping the floor with him. I kind of liked her.
Most of the book consists of Cas being whiny, selfish, and pretty unlikeable. His friends Thomas and Carmel haven't changed much, and remain the more likeable characters. The latter has some especially fierce moments in the second half of the book that made me cheer despite a predictable subplot in which she decides she's done with the dangerous ghost-hunting gig and breaks up with Thomas kind of brutally, only to show up later on, saying she was wrong and reuniting with him
I am still not a fan of the romance between Cas and Anna, but I didn't find it as grating this time around, I think because, although it's the driving motivation of Cas in the book, Anna as a character was absent for most of the story. I was pleasantly surprised at the ending, where Anna finally rests in peace and remains dead. She doesn't suddenly come back to life so she could be with Cas, her One Twu Luv, like I was dreading.
All in all, I found this duo fairly forgettable. I will likely wait for trusted reviews before picking up anything else from this author, although I really do hope she grows into her potential.