Thursday, December 1, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake
Publisher:  Tor Teen
Publish Date:  August 30, 2011
ISBN:  978-0765328656 
Pages:  320

I'm going to change it up a little bit and give you a summary from Goodreads: 

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. 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: 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.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

Cas' mom is a white witch and his dad was a ghost hunter/killer.   His dad was killed by a ghost and Cas took over the family business.  He gets leads from people all over the country and when he gets a story about Anna Dressed in Blood he's intrigued.  It comes from someone he trusts and talks to, so he's ready to pack up and go. Cas never makes friends wherever he goes to live because he knows he isn't staying and he doesn't want anyone to get hurt.

The story goes that Anna was killed in 1958 on her way to a school dance and now she's tied to the house she lived in.  Apparently she was wearing a white dress that was stained with her blood when she was found...thus the name.  It's said that 27 people have entered the house and none have left.  Cas takes that as a challenge.
On the first day of school he befriends the Queen Bee of the class, Carmel.  He knows that's the best way to get the scoop on things.  Carmel seems like a snobby girl, but she turns out to be quite nice and helpful.  He also runs into Thomas shortly after arriving in town.  Thomas is psychic and a total nerd.  He's also in love with Carmel and lives with his grandpa who's big into the occult.

It really takes an excellent author to make you fear someone and then feel sorry for them in the next chapter.  Ms. Blake is that kind of author.  She uses vivid imagery, it was easy to picture her world.  She really made me feel like I was part of the whole story, it was wonderful.  I feel like this is something that YA has been looking for - honest to goodness horror.  Excellent.  

There was a teeny bit of romance in the book, but it was more of the unspoken, yearning romance than the hand holding, kissyface romance.  I liked it!  

I'm pleased that this is going to be a series, I'm interested to see what happens next and if Cas moves or stays on and just travels around to hunt ghosts.



  1. I loved this book! The super subtle romance was a nice addition to the creepiness of everything else. Also, I liked Carmel way more than I originally suspected that I would. :)

    Great review!

  2. Great review. I'm going to have to read this book soon! It sounds really interesting.