Published: August 30, 2011I love horror books. And I love Halloween. But YOU GUYS, I am such a freaking chicken. It's like I torture myself, because I know scary books will do nothing more than give me nightmares. And okay, things about Anna Dressed in Blood that make me happy? Guy's point of view. That's significant badassness. But then you factor in the murderous ghost and I'm cowering in the corner of my bed, trying to fit my whole body under the lamplight so that the dark can't get me (that's where the murderous ghosts hide, you know.)
Tor Teen, hardcover, 316 pages
GoodReads Summary: 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.
Cas was so awesome. He was a ghost hunter (ghost killer, really) and he had a purpose and was driven and was set in his ways. He was completely fearless, which is more than I can say for... you know, me. The climactic moment when Cas and Anna finally meet was exciting and terrifying. ANNA IS TERRIFYING. Favorite thing about Kendare Blake's writing? ATMOSPHERE. It's like she pulls you into the book and makes you part of it, creaking shutters, cracked siding, dark and murky air inside Anna's deteriorating home.
I knew the love story was going to develop and, honestly? I was okay with it. Because it's fictitious and these things can happen. Plus it's like the epitome of star-crossed lovers. Think Christina Ricci and Casper, except with more murder. I am rooting for Cas and Anna to make their absolutely impossible romance work.
Anna Dressed in Blood concludes with a huge cliffhanger that made me want to scream. I need Girl of Nightmares like I need cats in my life, and I can't wait to see where Kendare Blake takes this story next. I can only imagine the horror and night terrors the subsequent books in this series will cause and I welcome them with open arms (and closed eyes and clenched teeth.)
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