Saturday, November 3, 2012

Audio Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Title: Girl of Nightmares
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Anna Book #2
Publisher: Tor Teen
Audio Publisher: AudioGo
Audio Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Format: mp3, 10hr 4 min,
Source: received from AudioGo for my honest opinion of it.
Get Your Own: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on.
His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.
Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong... these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.
Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor
-goodreads blurb 
 My Thoughts:
I would like to say thank you to AudioGo for sending me Girl of Nightmares on mp3 for review.

I absolutely loved the audio version of Girl of Nightmares!  I wasn't too keen on the narrator, August Ross, while he read the first book, but he came back in full stride and really changed my opinion of his skills in this one.  As soon as I turned it on, I just leaned back, closed my eyes and found myself swept away with Ross' chilling narration.
Character Development- Cas is this crude, gritty, tough hero that has a soft side hidden deep within himself that he finds surprising when it surfaces out.  He tells people how things are and doesn't really care if it puts him in another light.  He is brutally honest and I love him for it.  Cas really grows throughout this series and learns a lot about himself, his friends, and his ability to love.
Thomas is a darling.  I have to admit, besides the main protagonists, Thomas is one of my favorites.  The voice August Ross gives him is part hippie, part surfer dude.  And it fits his personality.  Thomas is so laid back, hardly getting too worked up over situations.  He always tries to find the silver lining, even when there is darkness everywhere.  The scene where Cas and Thomas go visit Thomas' Finnish aunt is extremely spooky and extremely funny.  I had to gag a little thinking about the cookies Thomas sucked down.  (Not giving anything else away-just read it! :) )
I have always liked Ana.  She is this cursed soul that has been put through so much, never being able to really live, and still has this spunk to her that makes me smile.  She is definitely a good match to Cas' attitude.
We have a lot of the same characters here, including Carmel, and we also meet a lot of new characters.  These new people help Cas reach his goal and help tie everything together in the end.
Plot-  Girl of Nightmares is so, so , so good!  It is a dark story but it does have these snarky comments thrown in, to help lessen the stress, if you will.  I really enjoyed the fact that Blake could write a scene to scare the hell out of me, but even then, still throw in a joke to let me laugh the fright off a little.
He smiles at me like he is Yoda and I'm just a dumbass without the force,"
There is action in this book but Girl of Nightmares is more of an emotionally charged book, showing Cas so broken and sad to seeing him realize the power he has within himself.  Kendare Blake did an exceptional job of painting such imagery that the reader can feel Cas' heartbreak, Ana's pain, Thomas' power, and Carmel's insecurity.
Blake also does a really wonderful job of world building, especially in Girl of Nightmares, when our "ghostbuster" team has to travel to many different places.  The Suicide Forest was the scariest thing I have ever heard (and dummy me, I listened to it at night, with all the lights off, and everyone else asleep).
The pacing was just right. I didn't find myself bored with it at all.  I liked learning more about the athame's past and why it does the things it does.  Yes, it is much more than just a knife.
Blake's interpretation of Hell was so interesting and very scary and breathtaking.  It was a different take, yet based on a lot of classic examples.
"This place exists in the wake of a scream..."

The best part about this novel or series, is that the point of view is from our male protagonist, Cas.  I feel like we don't have enough YA books from a male p.o.v and it is refreshing to get a book that can pull it off this well.  He is gritty, curses when the need arises, sarcastic as hell, and doesn't question his feelings for Ana.  He embraces the love he has for her and it shows with the very depth he is willing to take to save his beloved Ana.
Narration-August Ross has really stepped his game up in narrating Girl of Nightmares.  I wasn't really impressed with his style in the first book, but he has totally turned my opinion around in this second book.  This guy has so many great accents hidden up his sleeves; southern, Scottish, Finnish, English, and of course, Carmel's voice.  Sorry that is the only one I had a tough time with.  Other than that one, Ross sounds like a completely different person.  He is also superb at conveying the intensity of the situation, capturing you with the fullness of his voice.
I had to give Girl of Nightmares five hearts, more if I could!

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