Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake
Release Date: 30th August 201
Publisher: Tor Teen Books
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 316
Rating: 4.0/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 OTS, 2013 ODY and 2013 BSR

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"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."

It has been quite some time now since I read this book - a couple of weeks in fact. But I still remember what happens, and what I liked...and didn't like so much. So our story centres on Cas, at 16-ish (I can't remember what his actual age is) boy who happens to hunt down murderous ghosts. One day he is told about Anna, who will prove to be the most challenge - not just because she is insanely powerful, but because Cas and Anna develop a connection.

Ok, so going into this book, I was excited to read about the murderous ghosts. This is what first piqued my interest in the novel - everything I had heard and read about the novel told me that this was a YA horror book, and the opening scene had me convinced that I was in for some good killings. And don't get me wrong, there were killings in there. And the story of how Anna became such a murderous monster in the first place was quite intriguing. I wanted to know how Anna died, and storyline was so tragic and interesting. These parts I enjoyed.

And then comes the love aspect. I guess I should have seen it coming. Anna does spare his life, even though she's compelled to kill every person who enters her home. And my novel does say this is a 'boy-meets-girl' story, but I was still surprised when it came up. It just seems so damn ridiculous to me. She's a ghost Cas - she's dead. You can't be with her, she's dead. Did I mention that she's dead. Plus, have you not made it your mission in life to hunt and kill these ghosts because of what happened to your father? You have a pretty good reason to hate all ghosts. You shouldn't have been having nice little conversations with Anna, you should have been fighting her!

I guess I was just expecting more killing and gore. There was enough to keep me satisfied, but I just felt that a romance got in the way and really wasn't needed. Regardless, this was a book I enjoyed - it had interesting (and funny) characters, some solid plot points, and everything went down in an interesting way.


  1. I was so excited when this came out, but never read it. Now I am behind in the series. I am planning to read it in the fall. Sounds like a good October read. Thanks for your review.
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