Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Synopsis: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.
My Review: Many of you, who know me and what a scary cat I am, are probably wondering what I was thinking picking up this book. Well I was actually intrigued by a few reviews I read on Goodreads a few months back. There was one thing in particular that I read that really got to me. I don’t remember who the review belonged to and therefore cannot properly quote it but it was along the lines of reading and reading and getting really into it. Then all of a sudden you realize that you are all alone and how scared you are. So this got me thinking, “What book can be so subtle or so addictive that the reader didn’t even realize how scared they were becoming?”
So now that you know what it was that caught my interest and that on most days I am scared of my own shadow I think you can fully appreciate my review.
Just as the mentioned reviewer said is exactly as it happened. It’s creepy- with all the ghost stuff, action packed- Cas the protagonist is a ghost hunter after all, and impossible to put down. Sadly, it doesn’t last long. The first few chapters completely drew me in. Here I am reading, totally into it when all of a sudden I realize how hard my heart is pounding and that I’m in my room, all alone. So after I run into a more populated room I start reading again….
However, the pace of the story slows down. There are probably two more action scenes (that is me being genereous as there is really only one major scene and a hint of action before that), some suspense (nothing major. Seriously, scary cat me was barely impressed). However, there is a great plot twist in there that again lends to the horror theme. Next, I personally disliked most of the characters. The only exceptions were Anna, Cas’ mom, and Morfran. As the reader gets to know Cas better, the more I came to dislike him. I dislike his rationale and how quickly he changes his mind with his convictions.
So next I’ll warn you that you might find *SPOILERS* in what I will say next. It turns out that a romance forms between Cas and Anna. It is was quite nice to see how that came about. How they bonded and got to know each other while Cas was trying to figure out how to kill her. So again the romance was nice I just wish there had been more of an emphasis on it.
To summarize, it isn’t a bad book. Its actually quite good. I just wished it was more consistent. More horror, more romance, more suspense, more action…. More of everything expect the trivial high school bickering, high school nemesis and I honest could have lived with a little less dialogue. Wow! I never thought I’d say something like that. Let me explain, I didn’t always enjoy the dialogue but the reason for my previous statement simply deals with the fact that I wished there was more doing and less talking.