Sunday, December 30, 2012

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

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake

"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."


This book was creepy as.......(and you really thought I was going to curse?)

Anna Dressed in Blood is my first really scary paranormal-type novel that I've ever read. I was always scared to read scary novels because I was concerned they would be too horrifying.  This book was not only really creepy and terrifying, but it completely changed my mind, making me quenched for more of Cas's story.

Earlier in the year people had been raving about Anna Dressed in Blood, but I opted out because it didn't seem like my "kind of book". Boy, was I wrong. The story sucked me in from the first page. Theseus Cassio's sarcastic humor and determination to avenge his father made him an appealing character from the start. I loved how the book was entirely in a male POV, and that he actually was accustomed to the paranormal world of ghosts. This made the book have an edge that isn't seen too often in YA. When Cas refuses to kill Anna, Blake does really well in writing his confusion, and the inner war that he has with himself. 

The whole cast of characters are a true joy to read in the sense that they all have varying personalities that mix really well. I was surprised at the way the romance was written. The overall vagueness of it was fascinating, and it wasn't pushed in your face right from the get-go. It seemed really realistic because most YA books are "love at first sight", but in this novel all the characters have to grapple with their feelings of hesitation, confusion, and awkwardness (these emotions are spread out in all the pairs, so they don't apply to all of them specifically). 

Anna Dressed in Blood is totally action packed and a thrill ride-roller-coaster! The book had my adrenaline pumping and heart thumping the whole time waiting for the next creepy encounter. The way the ghosts/monsters were described was super scary, but they didn't make me stop reading the book. I also loved the fact that Cas had this cool ability to "sense spirit and evil". I thought that brought a really eery vibe to the book. It's an understatement to say that I loved the scenery, ghosts, and overall tone of Anna Dressed in Blood.

Moreover, I really loved the book's characters, plot, and construction. Something that I had a hard time in the beginning with was it was hard to tell of Cas liked Carmel or not, but it wasn't a big deal. The last thing that was a bit annoying was that Cas would get a bit pessimistic sometimes, but I guess it comes with the whole getting-your-dad-nom-nom-nom'd-on-and-your-girlfriend-of-2-hours-getting-sent-to-Hell package deal. I"ll be sure to read the sequel as soon as I can!

4.5 out of 5 stars


P.S. I guess I'll read more books like this in the future because my biases were dead wrong. (Not subtle at all, eh?)

Link to the Goodreads here!

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