Having loved Anna Dressed in Blood (review), I was really looking forward to starting on the sequel. Although Girl of Nightmares is still an enjoyable read, full of Blake's wonderful writing and humor, I didn't feel it lived up to Anna. At the end of Anna Dressed in Blood, we're left wondering what happened to Anna when she saved Cas and crew from the Obeahman. This sets it up for book two, in which we find out that Cas, Thomas, and Carmel have been searching for Anna, looking for answers.
I feel like some of the strength that Cas possessed in ADiB has dissipated, as he's lost and wandering, searching for clues and answers. He starts to resemble a lost puppy rather than a renowned ghost hunter. While others are ready to move on, let Anna go, Cas is determined to find out what happened to her after she sacrificed everything to save him and his friends. In the process, he nearly gets his friends killed and turns people against him. Although I understood his behavior, I think it took away a little something from him. I could tell it was hard for him, losing the girl he loved, and he struggled with trying to retain himself while grieving for her.
Cas has one goal in mind, and he's going to continue to reach for that goal with, or without, the help of his friends and family. He knows he could die in the process and his friends know that they could as well. There's not as much intensity in this book as there was in ADiB, but there's still plenty of action, which also takes place abroad. We learn lots history - about the athame, Cas and his family, and how everything ties together.
I didn't realize until I finished reading, but apparently there are some mixed feelings about the ending. I thought it was perfect. Although I want there to be more of Cas, Thomas, Carmel, and Anna, the story has to end sometime. And it made perfect sense the way Blake finished it. I also think part of the reason I was sad to come to the end is that I absolutely love Blake's writing. It's engrossing and the scenes just come to life. I feel like I'm friends with these people, and I want to spend more time with them.
Definitely a good follow up to Anna. I look forward to reading more by Kendare Blake. :)