Friday, December 28, 2012

Girl of Nightmares, by Kendare Blake

Kendare Blake comes through with Girl of Nightmares. The characters she brought to life (and death) in Anna Dressed in Blood are back, with an interesting plot line. Set six months after Cas and Anna parted, (not your ordinary teenage parting: the ghost of Anna opened a door to the beyond and dragged a horrific soul-stealing, death-bringing ghost with her), Cas is seeing and hearing Anna everywhere. Unfortunately, it's a tormented Anna; the door she opened apparently went to a hell, where the demon she took with her has the upper hand. What's a ghost-fighting hero to do? He goes to save the girl.

From there, the story just gets better.  Clear writing, humor (and a great smattering of black humor), great characters, a plot line that takes you from North America, to the UK, through the Suicide Woods and an enclave of a secret society, and into hell, itself -- that's a lot to pack between two covers.  And no vampires! Yay!

I hadn't realized when I started this book that this is actually the end of the series. It's kind of refreshing to read a book and its sequel (both really well written), and then not be dragged through a half dozen more books simply because you're sucked in, and not really liking the ride. Though I hate to say goodbye to Cas and company, I'm glad they're not going to slide into sequel hell. I think Ms Blake made a wise decision to stop for a bit (she can always start up again, if she chooses) rather than dilute the end product. Besides, luckily for us, she hasn't stopped writing, just stopped about Cas and Anna et al. I'll pick up other books by her, happily and readily.

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