Sunday, January 1, 2012 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Ghosts, Revenge, Death, Romance, & Magic/Voodoo
Pages: 316
Plot: (From Dust Jacket)

“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, Cass 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 house she used to call home.

But for whatever reason, she spares his life.”

This is another book that I have heard a lot about and it had me with one look at the cover.  Again all the talk about this book was well deserved!  As vividly gruesome, brutally gory, and viciously bloody as it was; it was still a stunning read. 

Kendare Blake wrote a truly spellbinding book that was enthralling and horrific.  I was trapped and very curious about this ghostly world full of hauntings and murders that it kept me reading.  This really is something because ghost stories normally scare the crap out of me!  While some parts did kind of scare me, it didn’t stop me from continuing.  Most people say that it was the blood and gore that bothered them but I think that was what kept me going. 

Cas was an exceptional character as he was cocky, strong, persevering, persuasive, and dedicated.  I found that it was endearing to watch Cas grow friendships with people and create a place for himself.  Even though it wasn’t something he was accustomed to, he finally broke down the walls and let a few people in.  Then there’s Anna a homicidal ghost that Cas took on as his next job.  Anna was another great character but she was hard to trust.  She was brutal and ruthless but she was also sincere and sympathetic.  Even though she took many lives she was still remorseful.

As sinister and brutal as Anna Dressed in Blood may have been, I still rated it an A+.  The story was original and the writing style was gorgeous and the plot left me breathless.  I couldn’t get enough of this book and again I’m left waiting and waiting until the nest installment is released.  If blood and gore makes you queasy then this might not be the book for you but I would strongly recommend this one to everyone else!

My Rating: 20/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5


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