Friday, November 16, 2012

Jen's Thoughts: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Published: August 30, 2011
Tor Teen, hardcover, 316 pages
Source: purchased
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.
I 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.)

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.)

Other Bloggers' Thoughts


  1. Oh, I have the audiobook of this one and it's taking me FOREVER to get through it. Mostly because I'm such a chicken!

  2. That's the thing about horror, you know. It has to have atmosphere. Once an author nails that, man, you've got a killer story (pun totally intended there). I'm really excited to read this book because the concept sounds super unique and totally creeptastic. I live for that kind of stuff!

  3. I'm a scaredy cat BUT I don't mind reading scary books! I just read them in the nice, safe light of day. This one sounds really good, and I've loved the cover since I first saw it last year! (Yes, I knew about this book way before but just have not read it. Boo.)

  4. "Think Casper but with more murder." That made me laugh out loud!

    I loved Anna Dressed in Blood so much too! But I am completely in love with all things scary! Scary movie, scary books, haunted houses... The scarier the better!

    Great review! I still haven't read Girl of Nightmares either. I need to get my hands on it so bad!

  5. I absolutely love ghost stories, but for some reason I had a really hard time getting into Anna Dressed in Blood. In fact, I never ever finished the book. I think my problem was Cas's voice. Sometimes he thought not so nice things about the guy that was helping him in Thunder Bay. And also, I though Cas thought things I couldn't ever picture a guy thinking.

    But I keep seeing great reviews for this one, so I think I should give it another try. Maybe I was just not in the right mood.

    Although, I hate that there is a cliffhanger at the end. Grr.

  6. Great review! I loved this book and can't wait until I get to read Girl of Nightmares. I didn't know what to expect going into it because I'm not a huge horror book fan. I did enjoy this one though I did read it in the daytime. I guess I'm a chicken too! haha :) I liked that it was from a male point of view. It made it seem different right off the bat. I don't know how I feel about the developing romance but I am excited to see how it turns out.

  7. Word. Murderous ghosts totally always hide in the dark. ALSO. Don't forget that snakes hide on the floor, so hop from the bed to the bathroom as quickly as possible hahahaha.

    ALSO? I have this on my kindle, I need to read it like yesterday.

  8. I was really excited to find out recently that this series is finished with just two books. (I had heard there were cliffhangers, so I wanted the series to be finished.) I'll probably read them both at some point soon. But I'm kind of scared so I'll probably read it during the daytime, because that's how I roll - like a big raging dork.

  9. I absolutely agree about 1. Cass's awesomeness and 2. Anna's terrifying-ness (is that a word?) Great review!