Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE
TITLE: Anna Dressed In Blood
AUTHOR: Kendare Blake
Overall: ★★★★★ (4.75)
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.
Buy it HERE on Amazon!
The Critical Points:
This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while now. I’m not really sure why I hadn’t read it before now. I’ve loved the cover since it was given to me but just never felt compelled to read it. I’m so glad that I finally did. A couple weeks ago, I was in the mood for ghost stories, which is why I started reading 20th Century Ghosts. Well, when that one left me feeling less than excited, I decided to pick up Anna Dressed In Blood which promised a ghost dressed in Blood. I was crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t be let down again.
WRITING: Kendare Blake has a very easy, fluid writing style. Anna Dressed in Blood was a fast read that left very few questions unanswered. It is full of adventure, awkward teens, death, and although it’s not a love story, that’s in there too.
STORY: Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story…
Actually, there is nothing average about this story. It’s a fun coming of age Young Adult story of a teenage ghost hunter who finally finds his tribe.
CHARACTERS: Every character, at least the important ones, are fleshed out to the point where you feel like you know them. Blake has a beautiful way of bringing unlikely friends together and making it feel completely natural. You care for Cas, Thomas, and Carmel and when things don’t go their way, it hurts. Sure, there are some untimely deaths (I won’t tell you who or how), but in a ghost hunting story, there has to be… Don’t worry, she kills the right characters.
APPEARANCE: I wish I knew who designed the cover, but unfortunately it isn’t written on the copywrite page. The cover, which shows Anna standing outside of her Victorian home, is actually foreshadowing what happens in the book. It is beautiful, whimsical, and romantic and perfectly portrays the feel of the story that Blake has created.
MY FAVORITE QUOTE:
I had a hard time coming up with a favorite quote from this one. Let me explain, typically, I find my favorite quote(s) while I’m reading. Something will just hit me and I’ll love it and either highlight it or write it down. But, with Anna Dressed In Blood, I was so engrossed in the story that I didn’t think about the fact that I needed to find my favorite quote. I was lost in the world Blake had created. Trust me, that’s a very good thing.
So, I had to go back… thumb through the pages to see if I could find a quote that stood out. Of course, I did.
“Until a few weeks ago, none of this was real.”
It’s a simple little quote, and seemingly means nothing without the context of what was around it. However, I like it because its true for any book of fiction you pick up. None of it is real… yet if it is written well, it feels so real. The characters feel like they have come to life on the pages and it is sad and painful when you have to let them go at the end of the story.
OK, one more favorite quote… just for fun:
“But hey, at least we’ll have this strange story to tell, love and death and blood and daddy-issues. And holy crap, I’m a psychiatrist’s wet dream.”
Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.
NEXT WEEK’S #FRIDAYREADS SELECTION: GIRL OF NIGHTMARES by KENDARE BLAKE The second (and final) book in the Anna Dressed In Blood series.