Nov 2, 2011

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
(Anna, #1)
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen; 316 pages

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

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered 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: track, 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, now stained red and dripping with 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.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

You know how they say “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Yeah, we’re not supposed to but we all do. I judged this book by its cover and I wanted it, badly. I mean, look at it! It’s a creepy cover. It draws you in; wants you to read what’s inside to find out more. And I did just that. ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD was brilliant.

First, its told by our main male characters point of view, Theseus Cassio Lowood. Better known as Cas. Refreshing to read books being told from a guys view. I, for one, am a firm believer in cussing in books. It makes it more real especially when a character is put in a certain position to say it. What teenager (or adult, for that matter) is going to say “sugar” or “fudgebuckets” instead of the ‘bad’ words? Not many. So therefore, using curse words makes it more real. Having the book feel real, draws you in…or at least, that’s what it does to me. But anyway, back to talking about this book! I love Cas, I really really do. I loved him from before we even met Anna. And he’s a ‘ghostbuster’ ;) I mean, come on, what’s NOT to love about a guy who goes around slaying things that are already dead? That’s my future husband’s career, right there…

Cas, who lost his father when he was 7 years old, has taken up where his father left off. Goes from town-to-town killing ghosts who are doing harm to people. Bad ghosts, if you will. He’s good at what he does but really, it’s all practice for when he seeks vengeance against the ghost who killed his father. He and his mother (who is a witch) go from North Carolina to Thunder Bay, Canada. This trip, this mission turns out to be quite different from any he’s ever been on. Right off the bat, he meets Carmel, the school Queen Bee, and aims to use her to get information about Anna Korlov, aka Anna Dressed in Blood. He also meet Thomas, who can read minds. But its Carmel’s jealous ex-boyfriend, Mike, who ends up causing the most issues.

Ghosts creep me out. I’m throwing that out there, they really truly do. This book creeped me out. But in a good way. I was so creeped out (while reading late at night, yeah – smart for someone who is freaked of ghosts) that I couldn’t put it down. You’ve got the different stereotype characters, Mike, Will and Chase – the jocks, Carmel, Katie & Nat – the popular girls, Thomas – the nerd, Cas – the loner but you’ve got some of them coming together to work as one to figure out Anna. The first time we meet Anna, we see how deadly she truly is.

Anna is someone I connected with right away. From the moment she decided not to kill Cas. I knew that something horrible happened to her, something worse than just getting your throat cut. It was only a matter of time until we found out what & when I did - I just wanted to give her a hug. She's badass but she's also such a gentle loving soul. You can see how this mission is going to be so different for Cas, nearly impossible, if you will.

I felt sorry for characters I should’ve never felt sorry for because, in the end, they didn’t deserve my pity. I felt pity for characters I wished would’ve been pushed off a cliff during the party scene. I had myself flip flopping between my feelings for certain characters throughout the books. However, loyalty stuck with Thomas and Cas – that friendship is amazing. Thomas completely grew in to his own person by the end of this book. You would never believe he was the same Thomas we met following Cas around in the beginning!

If you like supernatural books, especially ghost books, this is one you definitely want to get your hands on. I’m sorry I waited to start reading it! This was sitting on my bookshelf for at least two weeks before I finally got around to it. But hey, better late than never, right? Don’t make the same mistake I did. Buy this book and sit your bum down in a comfy chair (or bed) and read.

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