Jul 30, 2012

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.

Finally read Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood and it was fabulous! I was first worried that this "blood red" text would irritate my eyes, but the red was actually pretty dark. Which was nice and did give it the nice "bloody" effect! 

The male protagonist was somewhat new to me, only read a few books with that, but it was still fun and entertaining! Cas is a teenage ghost hunter and he is pretty fierce himself. He is determined to kill as many ghosts as possible and then go after the one who murdered his father. Anna Dressed in Blood is just another number for him. Until he actually sees/meets her.

When Cas sees her for the first time, he is surprised when she doesn't kill him. She's been known to kill EVERYONE who has stepped foot into her house. Yet she spares Cas. And Cas wonders why.

With his motley crew, consisting of the Prom Queen, Carmel and the quiet nerdy, yet psychic Thomas, they are determined to put an end to Anna's reign. But there is just something about Anna that causes Cas to hesitate and he never hesitates when it comes to ghosts. Especially murderous ghosts. 

Cas and his new friends do a little digging into Anna's past to find out who she was, what happened to her and why she is on a murderous rampage with people who enter her house. What they discover will change the way Cas sees things when it comes to ghosts.

But that is only the beginning of his ghost issues, there seems to be another sector in town who is painting the town red.

I was truly surprised by how bloody the story was! I know everyone was saying the same thing, but you really can't believe it until you read it for yourself! And since I was reading it while home alone, it made for an even creepier read! Every time the house creaked I got a little jumpy! And I looked at our crawlspace entrance with wary eyes! It was a downright creepy read and I totally LOVED it!

Ghost stories are hard to come by, but I have been reading quite a few lately--Tara Hudson, as one of them--and Anna Dressed in Blood takes the ghost story to a whole new level. It was different because it wasn't a matter of a love story or trying to solve the ghost's murder. It was actually about a ghost murdering people--yet there's a whole other story behind that! Which was just shocking!

The pacing was done very very well! Cas moves to the new town and expects things to go like every other ghost hunt, yet he learns how wrong he is! It results into a thrill ride of a ghost story! Anna does have reasons for the way she is and I can feel confident in saying that you will not see it coming! I didn't! (But of course, I will believe someone if he/she said he/she saw this coming, if he/she tells me how he/she did at least!--yes I had to go the he/she route, I am an English major after all!)

Overall this was a highly enjoyable read! A nice dark, gritty and yes, BLOODY story! You gotta love the darker edge of YA sometimes! And Blake so fits the bill! I cannot wait to read the next book as this ones ends with a bit of cliffhanger--kind of, the ending at least leaves you screaming, WHY! Anna Dressed in Blood was, simply put, THRILLING!

Overall rating 5/5 stars


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed Anna! It's one of the creepiest YA's I've ever read and it was a favorite of mine in 2011.

  2. Sounds great, I enjoy a good book with a male pov. I've been considering this one and you make me want to read it.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  3. I have been seeing this a lot in the blogsphere and I really want to read it now! It sounds really intriguing and the cover is interesting so this is already on my TBR pile :) But great review and I always get excited when a book is from a male's POV. Can't wait to read it myself ;) Thanks for sharing <3
    xoxo, Mariam @Book-A-Holic

  4. I love this book oh so much! I just like to hug it sometimes since I love it so much. I cannot wait to read Girl of NIghtmares and get some more Anna and Cas.

    Great Review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  5. Yay! you know what? I need to read this book since its release! really and I'm glad you enjoyed it, I can't wait to see what I'll think about it as well. thanks!

  6. Oh man, I have seen a couple of reviews for this book, but your review makes me actually want to read it!!
    I love books that make you (the reader) actually scared!
    And red print? CREEPY!
    BUT- I hate cliffhangers -unless the next book is already available, and its not!
    So I wont be looking forward to the ending!

  7. Sounds a bit too bloody for my liking! My younger sister would probably love it though! Think I'll stick to the list I made from books reviewed on The Book Report radio show a week or 2 ago. They showcased a bunch of mysteries/thrillers, amongst them James Patterson's 11th Hour, Gone Girl and a couple of other goodies. If ever you're looking for more material, you should consider visiting their site-bookreportradio(dot)com-nice choice of books and author interviews. The station guide is also on the website.
    Thanks for the honesty of your review!

  8. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I was planning on reading this, but I still haven't gotten my hands on a copy... I really should, huh? But a cliffhanger? *dies* Maybe I'll wait until the second book comes out (soon, right?) and then buy them together...

    Skyway Avenue Reads

  9. I actually just put this one aside today. I just don't love it. :( I wanted to but I can't find anything original or compelling to bring me back to reading it. :( So, I'm moving on. Glad you enjoyed it though. And red text!? That's awesome! I grabbed the Kindle edition when it was on sale.

  10. i'm so glad u enjoyed this book...

    gives me a great feeling that i'd enjoy it too because i'm thinking of getting it this month

    Le' Grande Codex

  11. Wow, I've been reading lots of 5star reviews for this book! This will be my next read, I have it already on my bookshelf!

  12. Glad you loved it too!! This was definitely one of my favorite books I read this year. Sooo different from anything else I have read and so spooky! I can't wait for the second one =D

  13. This books sounds so amazing, i need read it c:

  14. I've heard so many good things about this book yet I still had been avoiding it. Your review definitely convinced me that I need to read this. I honestly didn't think it would be so dark or bloody, I don't know why and I thought it would revolve around a love story. So many misunderstandings on my part but it sounds amazing and I love a good ghost story!

  15. Great review! This sounds like a book perfect for Halloween! :)


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