Review: Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen; First Edition edition (August 30, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765328658
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

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.
My Thoughts:

Anna Dressed in Blood has been on my radar for almost a year and once this book was in my hands I knew I had to find the perfect moment in which to enjoy it. I most happy to report that this book is wicked spooky, sprinkled with moments of laughter and quite a bit of blood. It is not a read for the squeemish at heart, but if you can get past that you are in for quite a treat because this book has it all and it will keep you entertained from beginning to end.

There is no way that I cannot mention the show "Supernatural" when I talk about Anna Dressed in Blood because any fan of the show will note the similarities. That being said you will quickly dismiss the Winchester brothers for Cas Lowood and his inherited quest to banish the murderous ghosts from having us join them. Since his father's gruesome demise Cas has taken over the family business. But Cas is not alone as he travels the county locating these ghosts, his mother is also in tow and she is a talented witch. Upon receiving a tip from a "fan" he finds himself on the hunt for Anna, a ghost that has some serious issues and will kill anyone whom enters her domain. Unfortunately, Cas gets his wish but what he witnesses is unlike anything he has ever encountered before and he quickly realizes that he alone cannot defeat this unstoppable force known as Anna Dressed in Blood. Now, this is where the story gets kicked up a notch and it becomes an adventure filled with twists that will have you hiding for some serious cover. EEEEP!!

I adore a story that can cause me to get so freaked out that I need to read it with the lights on, and Anna Dressed in Blood is just that read. SERIOUS! Kendare Blake has done a fantastic job creating the perfect amount of tension and just the right amount of gore to have you hair stand on end. She also has written some of the most wicked scary characters that make you question those noises that go bump in the night. As for the protagonist, Cas I really enjoyed him and understood the wall that he created to block himself from others. No need to create friendships when you are always on the go and yet it was comforting to see his carefully constructed facade crumble. Having them join forces reminded me of a Scooby Doo/Ghostbuster type of assemblage and it totally worked for me. Another aspect that I liked was the fact that he had his mother with him, and she was totally supportive. For me it gives this story credibility, otherwise I might find it a bit far fetched that a 17 year old can move across the country banishing bad ghosts all on his own and the motherly love she gives keeps Cas balanced.

Anna Dressed in Blood is an amazing read, but I highly recommend it to those who are older, enjoy a darker read and are not easily spooked. You will not be disappointed.

**Image inspiration while reading this book (house located near me)**


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