Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
Synopsis/Summary (could be spoilery to people who haven't read the first book): 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.
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The book started about half to almost one year after the events of Anna Dressed In Blood, Cas was still moaning over Anna, refusing to let her go. Then he started seeing Anna everywhere, but not the good kind, he was seeing her being tortured, killed and could do nothing to stop it, because Anna wasn't really there. I was a little hesitant going into the book because of the aforementioned reasons, and for the first 30 pages or so it really did seem like nothing would be going on. There were only vague expressions about "things are going to happen", "I feel that something big is going to happen", something like that. Then Anna appeared, and things really started going on.
There are several things I like about the plot. For one, I like that the plot actually relates to the previous book, instead of just making up a bunch of events and throwing Anna into it. In this book we dived into the aftermaths of clearing the curse/link/connection of the athame with the Obeahman, while further expanding the paranormal world of the series.
Secondly, I like that the plot has a really good climax. my heart wasn't actually beating fast while reading that, but I felt the urge to read, to keep going, even though the chapter had already ended, I just went on with the next chapter without pausing.
Thirdly, love the butter sweet ending. I guess there would never be a happy ending for Cas and Anna, but I am glad about the way it ended.
I have something to say about the writing too. This book was written from Cas' POV, first person. We got the somewhat scattered thoughts of Cas all the time. Sometimes I am a little annoyed by it, it seemed like he would miss out some detail when things happened, then suddenly sprang it back at your face a few paragraphs later. But I also love his humor, he never fails to crack me up, even if he wasn't trying. The writing doesn't really omit a scary feel to it, but then again, I feel that that was never the atmosphere Blake wanted. I think she was trying to craft a tragic love story with two very stubborn and hard-ass characters, so the feel should be grim, but the slight humor was a wonderful touch too. :)
I think every book I've read that involves magic or paranormal powers is somehow always linked to Voodoo and Wicca and stuff. So there was no surprise there that this book also have Voodoo and some other way of magic in it. There were rituals and other stuff, so I could see that Blake did her research.
Oh, I can't tell you how much I love all the characters in this series! Cas, Thomas, Carmel and Anna are such charming characters!
I have developed a very deep case of love towards Thomas in this book. His setting was actually quite the basic side-kick type, faithful to the protagonist, possess some powers that are great asset to protagonist, etc. But I could really see his growth in this book. In book one, he was just the scrawny, annoying friend of Cas, but in this book I could see him being more brave, and of course, I could really see his loyalty to his friend when he stood by him through every crazy attempts to help Anna. He has definitely snatched a place in my heart. I might actually like him even more than Cas. But Cas was funnier ;P
Some goes for Carmel, she was more fierce this time. A little shaken-up at the first half of the book, but she really came through later on, and was there when Cas needed her. I think she and Thomas make such a cute couple. They basically come from two different worlds, Thomas as the nerd/freak and Carmel as the queen bee, but they compliment each other so well. I love them!
There is a new character introduced in this book, and that's Jestine. Jestine is another feisty female character created by Blake's awesomeness. I have some reserves about her, despite her actually being genuine and frank with Cas and the others. Maybe it's because there might be something going on between her and Cas? I don't know, I just couldn't really like her like I adore the other characters, but maybe she will grow on me, if we get another installment *hint, hint*.
I am giving this book 5 stars! The climax was so good that I couldn't take my eyes off the book! Kendare Blake did her magic again on this book and brought us an unforgettable and tragic love story with ghosts and kick-ass female characters! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, okay, maybe not kids under 13, but I am sure everyone 13 and up would enjoy this book! There's no steamy romance scenes, so younger YA readers could enjoy it too and even though this book has a ghost, it's not necessarily scary, a little bloody at times, but it's not the hide-under-your-bed kind of scary, so you should be able to enjoy this book! And need I remind you, it's almost Halloween! A ghost story is just what you need to get in the festive mood! So, go on, go to the nearest bookstore and buy the 2 books, you won't regret it ;)
|Rating: 5 stars!|
This book actually talks about the afterlife, so what do you think exists in the afterlife? Do you think there really are Heaven and Hell? If there is, how is it determined that you would enter Heaven or Hell? Judgment? Or by a lucky draw? ;) Tell me in the comments below, I <3 reading comments and chatting with you guys!