Monday, October 3, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood
by Kendare Blake
Release: August 30th, 2011
Pages: 316 (hardcover)
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Publisher
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, more at Goodreads.
Whatever you do, don't call Theseus Cassio "Cas" Lowood a ghostbuster. Ever since his father was murdered by a restless ghost, Cas has taken his father's athame and job killing ghosts - for good (which is totally not ghostbusting1). When Cas gets a tip about a ghost locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas and his mother - plus her slightly evil yet useful cat, Tybalt - move to Thunder Bay. With a fresh voice and an extremely amusing personality, Cas makes this book shine. In addition to Anna - eerie, terrifying, and complex Anna - the two of them have a magnetic pull that kept me coming back for more.

I honestly was not expecting Anna Dressed in Blood to live up to the hype, but I knew I was wrong to have doubts after reading the first chapter. Cas is a complex narrator, and the budding relationships in the story drew me in. Fear, mystery, and great characters successfully drive this story. The plot moves from focusing on Anna to an even more intriguing and downright shocking mystery. You won't be able to guess where this story will take you next, despite a few hints. With eerie scenes, authentic characters, tantalizing mysteries and more, Anna Dressed in Blood takes your typical ghost story to the next level.

Highlights: Blake holds back nothing with her writing - she unabashedly writes gory scenes that will stay in your mind for weeks, presses the eerie feel of the story enough to give you the chills, and slips in quite a few surprises along the way2.  

Lowlights: I would have liked a bit more development with the supporting cast of characters, but I imagine that will happen more in the next novel. 

Notes: There's murder, cursing, witchcraft, gore, blood, creepiness, and whatnot. 
1 Who are we kidding, it's totally ghostbusting. But cooler. 
2 Seriously, just go read this book. Give it a chance, because it's awesome. 



  1. I loved this book so much! Glad you did, too. :) I really liked Cas as a narrator, and some of Kendare Blake's scenes were so gory! Awesome review, Lea; thanks!

  2. Want! Excellent writing plus complex characters plus scariness and gore means we have a winner! All those characteristics are also present in The Monstrumologist Series, which I love, so I know I will love this one too!

  3. Great review! I absolutely loved this book, Cas was an awesome narrator. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it as well :)

  4. Glad to hear you loved this as much as I did! It was infused with the right amount of humor and creepiness and, gah, I'm getting shivers NOW just remembering some of the events. Great review!

  5. I'm hearing so many god things about this book.
    great review :)

  6. great review glad to hear it was good how bad is the cursing btw?

  7. YAY!!!! I absolutely loved this book too Lea. I had the same concerns going in since I'd read some fabulous reviews for it, but I got sucked in immediately and devoured the entire book way too quickly. I got to the end and was all depressed that I had no more pages:(

  8. You say it's awesome, I totally believe you and trust you, so yeah going to buy this book! :) Great review. Glad you really loved it.

  9. I definitely have to read this one! It doesn't sound like my usual read, but I think I'll love it!

  10. It seems like every review I've read of Anna is a good one so I guess its another one of those books that I have to read.

  11. LOVED this book. Love-love-loved! I loved the gory scenes and the ghostbusting.

  12. It was such a fun read. I'd love to be a ghost buster! Great job on the review!

  13. YAY! Awesome review, Lea! I loved this book so so much - Kendare is a genius, and I love that she doesn't mellow out the book for the YA audience :)

  14. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Lea! Though I loved the characters, I kind of understand where you're coming from in regards to their development - awesome review!

  15. I'm glad you liked it! I got this a couple of weeks ago and have been trying to find some time to read it.

  16. I just got Anna in the mail last week so I just quickly skimmed your review. I can't wait to read it for myself.

  17. I've seen this book everywhere, but this is the first time I've actually seen a review of it!
    Finally :)

    Great review, seem like the book is worth its hype!

  18. Definitely want to read this one. Wondered if it would live up to it's promise but it sounds from your review like it has.
    Lynn :D