Thursday, March 8, 2012

Book Review: "Anna Dressed in Blood" by Kendare Blake

The Scoop (Goodreads):

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. . .

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

“Yes. Smashing. You’ll be just like those four chaps in the movie. You know the one, with the oversized marshmallow.”
“I can feel that photo of Anna staring at me from sixty years ago, and I can’t help myself from wanting to protect her, wanting to save her from becoming what she already is.”

“She’s like Bruce Lee, the Hulk and Neo from The Matrix all rolled in to one.”

My Take:

So, our hero, Cas, is a real-life ghost hunter. Crack a Ghostbusters joke at him at your peril. Following in his recently deceased father's footsteps, Cas' goal in life is to help specters go toward to light by any means necessary. Now, these haunters are not your typical walk-through-walls-and-rattle-chains type. These guys can actually kill you, if you are dumb enough to get that close.

Cas ain't afraid of no ghosts!
It was refreshing to read a paranormal YA from a male perspective. I really liked Cas and his voice was unique. He's smart, clever and tough. Having traveled his entire life, Cas is quite the loner, but not without his charms. He is used to having to fit into new situations and quickly make friends. He's not so used to keeping them or forging close bonds with anyone outside of his family.

Poor Cas, such a lone wolf...not for long, friend!
Enter Anna. Cas and his mom move across the country to check out rumors of a violent ghost known as Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas uses his sleuthing skills to try to get to bottom of the Anna mystery and finds friends and love along the way. Anna, herself, is a terrifying yet sympathetic character. She is not a woman to be trifled with and the body count piles up fairly quickly.

I'm going to start calling these Bloody Anna's

I loved this spooky, snarky blood-bath of a book! Anna Dressed in Blood is the first in a series, and I can't wait to follow the adventures of Cas and Co.

Final Verdict:


  1. Ive been taking a break from YA, especially YA paranormal. I think it's interesting that the perspective is male. Glad you enjoyed this one.

  2. Ive been wanting to read this book, great review. I love that its written in a males perspective, very refreshing indeed.


  3. Haha, Steph! I love the pictures you scattered throughout your review. Cas sounds like a character I'll really like. And GAH. I KEEP forgetting about this book. I really just need to see if I can find a copy on sale somewhere because like you, I think I'd love reading this type of book from a guy's pov!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue



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