The Writer's View - Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

From Goodreads: 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

The Writer's View

I could hardly wait to get my hands on this book after reading Anna Dressed in Blood. Overall, the sequel was a fun read. I really love the 3 main characters: Cas (the ghost hunter), Thomas (the best friend who also happens to be a mind reader and an accomplished witch), and Carmel (popular girl, Thomas' love interest, and all around tough girl / loyal friend). They're all very engaging and I found myself really wanting to find out what would happen to them. I don't generally develope crushes on fictional characters, but I definitely have a crush on Cas. He's funny, brave, loyal, loving, and seriously kicks ass. This book didn't quite have the wow factor that the first one had, but overall it's still a good read.

Tension through ignorance

A main device used to generate tension in this novel was character ignorance (ie., characters keeping secrets / characters constantly in the dark because other characters withhold info, etc.). While this method was effective in making me want to drive an extra mile (I bought this on audio), I also found it a bit annoying. I've never been a big fan of plots that revolve around secrets and the tension that results from those secrets. Especially when there's really not a great jusitification for all the secrets, unless you count the plot device. This is just my personal taste and it's the main reason I didn't *love* this sequel. I see this technique a lot, so it's obviously pretty successful. What do you guys think of this?
Despite my gripe, which is just a reflection of my taste, I would not hesitate to recommend this book. It's a fast-paced YA supernatural adventure with loveable characters.