Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Anna (#1)
Publisher: Tor Teen
Published: October 17th, 2011
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Synopsis From Goodreads
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. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: 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.
Yet she spares Cas’s life.
Anna Dressed in Blood is creepy! Like we’re talkin’ voodoo creepy! When I say it shouldn’t be read at night, I am speaking with late-night reading experience! But at the same time it has some of the most realistic and relatable characters I have ever seen in a book of it’s genre.
I put off reading Anna Dressed in Blood for a long time because of the creep factor. I believe that some of that paranormal stuff can actually happen, and I tend to not open myself up to that kind of thing through books and movies, but multiple people insisted that I give it a try. I was hooked by the third chapter, and I read the book through in two days. It seems to me that most horror/fantasy books are largely plot driven and don’t allow much room for character development and reader connections, so I’m always super excited when I find a book in one of those genres that is strong in both aspects. If I can’t connect with the characters, even in the most basic of ways, the book will not hold my attention, and I’ll have a hard time even telling someone what it’s about. Anna Dressed in blood has a very strong plot with a very tight structure, but it has possibly the most beautifully written characters that I’ve read in a long time! Cas undergoes a full transformation. In the beginning he’s a loner; his philosophy is get the job done and move on without creating any attachments. By the end of the story he’s come to realize that it’s okay to open up to people, and that sometimes friends are needed to assist with rough times. He gains a close circle of friends that is bound together by all the things they’ve experienced over the course of the plot, and there is also a bit of romance that is SO sweet and amazing. I can’t say anymore about that though, because it would totally spoil the book, and then you guys would probably yell at me in the comments… Kendare Blake must be some kind of word witch herself, because this book is magical in more ways than one! I will be reading Girl of Nightmares, which is the second book in the series, as soon as I can get my hands on a Kindle copy.
That’s pretty much all I can safely say without spoiling the whole thing, so I’ll stop raving now! If you’ve read it or are planning to read it, I’d love to know what you think of my review! You can drop me a line in the comments, or tweet me @Cheyenne_writes. Until next time… Always remember to be bookish, stay writerly, and enjoy your creepy reading!