Review originally posted here
.Why I Read It: Anna Dressed in Blood
was far from being a favourite of mine, but I enjoyed it enough to pick up the ARC of the sequel I had received from a manager at work. This review will have inevitable spoilers for Anna Dressed in Blood
, though none for Girl of Nightmares
Some of the few less-than stellar reviews I saw for Anna Dressed in Blood
came back for second offerings with Girl of Nightmares
and ended up LOVING it. I was really hoping that I would experience this as well, but alas, it was not meant to be. I still liked this book well enough, but I'll never love this series with the same fervor as everyone else.
First off, to be at all invested in the story in this second book, you have to be invested in the doomed romance of Anna and Cas. If you read my review for Anna Dressed in Blood
, you'll already know that I wasn't. I liked both characters just fine on their own, but together? I couldn't see it. With that said, this entire book is about Cas finding out if Anna is okay since sacrificing herself to save the others from the Obeahman, and then subsequently attempting to rescue her from whatever dimension she's been sent to. I was all for saving Anna; I liked Anna! But reading about Cas's near obsessiveness with discovering how to help her didn't illicit much sympathy. Sure, I felt bad because I felt bad for ANNA, but I didn't feel bad for the heartache that Cas was experiencing.
The origins of that knife that Cas carries around everywhere is explained more, but I seriously found the whole Order thingie weird and didn't make much sense to me. For one, Cas has always seemed to be working solo. Yeah, he's got his British father figure helping him out all the time, but he was definitely never under the direction of some higher-ups or anything. Yet, when Cas eventually goes to Britain seeking answers, it's discovered that the Order is in fact hoping to "replace" him. Uh, what? Why would they even need to replace him? Why not just send in his replacement (some girl who's name I can't remember) out in the field and get her killing some ghosts in the UK? Why can there only be one? I know it had something to do with him owning the knife and it being imbued with the blood of his ancestors or something, but I honestly found the explanations so muddled and riddled with holes that I can't make heads or tails of it anymore.
But again, despite having these rather large complaints, I can't say that I didn't enjoy this book at all, because I did. They're fun, they're mindless, and they're a great way to pass the time when you want something a little different. Cas also continued to be a great narrator; despite having made friends and settled down a little, he's still Cas. His awkwardness in certain situations was amusing, but you can tell that he really does care about his friends, even when he doesn't show it in the same ways as other people might.Final Verdict:
Me and this duology are obviously just not a very good match. I like them okay but I doubt I'll be pressing them into the hands of others. While Cas was still a great narrator in this installment, I just wasn't invested enough in the relationship he established with Anna in the previous book to care about this storyline as much I maybe should have. Also, there were some world-building issues and inconsistencies in internal logic that threw me off. They're still fun books, but they ultimately ended up being a mildly fun distraction for me and not much more.