Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood 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.”

Hardcover : 316 Pages

Series: Anna #1

Publisher: Tor Teen

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You know life is good when you’re in serious Supernatural withdrawal and then you stumble onto such a wonderful book like Anna Dressed in Blood. 

Cas is your average 17 year-old teenager, if you fail to take into consideration the fact that he hunts the dead. Just like his father before him and all of his ancestor before that, he’s a ghost hunter and he’s damn good at his job. Until the job is to kill Anna. That’s when everything changes.

There isn’t a thing I didn’t love about this book. Cas’s character was great, such a guy but in a good way. He’s badass and he’s a little annoying and he’s snarky. Understandable. He’s also a LOT of fun.

Anna is this lovely, innocent, sweet girl, dressed in a white dance dress. Of course, that’s only when she’s not a murderous ghost, black eyes, black veins, dressed in blood, with the power of ten men. I loved the relationship between the two, because it reads real.

Actually, the whole novel reads real to me. It’s not insta-love (just add water!), it’s exactly how I’d imagine a ghost-hunter teen and a cursed ghost – if they were real – would act. And that’s something, if you ask me.

Blake did a great job with this novel. The writing is good, the plot is good and the ending and twists thoroughly unexpected, the characters and their relationships are believable. Apart, of course, from the Trojan Army. The moment those douches are introduced I knew I wouldn’t like them and hey, I was right. Everytime I read about them, I said something like this:

See what I did here? Kept up with the Supernatural, ghost-killer theme. Genius, ya!

It’s not my first supernatural/horror novel, but Blake managed to do something no other author before her did for me: make me scared. That’s how awesome her prose is!

And you know what else she managed to do just fine? She made this book beautiful. Leave aside the dismemberment and the blood and the flesh-eating ghosts and you’re left with a beautiful, bitter-sweet story.

Easily a five-star book. I can only hope the second one is just as good.

Some of my favorite, funniest quotes:

Maybe I should just vocalize everything. Or constantly think in images: kitten playing with ball of yarn, hot-dog vendor on street corner, hot-dog vendor holding kitten.”

Every time I say something they giggle, look at each other for permission to laugh, and look back at me again, waiting for my next zinger. God, living people are irritating.

Not like a stepfather, exactly—more like a godfather, or a sea horse who wants to stuff me into his pouch.


One thought on “Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake « Bookloversity Reviews

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