Friday, February 7, 2014

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

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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


I've been meaning to write this one for a while. I read it back in December and it's been one thing after another... But I do want to get this out there, even if it is a short review. I want to finally feel like I'm catching up!

I haven't read a ghost story in so long, so this was pretty exciting. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this. From what I had seen around the blogosphere, people seemed to like it. So I gave it a shot. And I'm pretty glad I did.

Of course, I saw the romance as soon as I read the summary. She doesn't kill him? Of all people? Gee, I wonder why! But still, it was so great. I loved Cas. He wasn't at all what I expected. I wasn't too fond of the cussing. But I got over it. He seemed pretty real to me. And it is what it is.

One of the best things about ghost stories is the action, violence, and gore (if it's a creepy ghost). And Anna is one creepy ghost. So bodies torn in half, and bodies in the basement, and blood and guts everywhere, well. That was nice. I'm not even being sarcastic. I was cringing, but loving every second. A little morbid? Perhaps. But she's a killer ghost. I'd be disappointed otherwise.

The mystery surrounding Anna is what kept me hooked. I did NOT expect her backstory at all. It made sense in hindsight, but I never would have guessed it beforehand.  It's these little things that make a book so enjoyable.

I'm not really sure I have anything left to say here - the side characters were WAY to the side. Present for the heck of it, not the main focus. Obviously, the main focus is Anna. Which I could deal with. She was pretty interesting.

Now I can't wait to read Girl of Nightmares!

Rating: 4 stars

Recommendation: this is for those who like ghost stories, and don't mind creepy violence


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