Catie's Reviews > Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
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Oct 02, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: horror, read-in-2011, ya
Read from October 02 to 07, 2011

2 ½ stars

Ho hum. I hate it when this happens. You guys are all inside having a party with roasted chestnuts and hot cider and giant booming laughs and I am out here on a frigid winter’s night peering in through the frosty glass. (Oh yes. I am that dramatic.) But melodrama aside, I hate being the one to dislike something that everyone else loves. I’m sure we’ve all been here a time or two and it’s never fun. I'm not sure why I couldn't get into this one, but I am willing to admit that it may be because I've just read a few amazing books in a row and everything else pales in comparison. But, I will try to explain my dissenting opinion about this one as best as I can. So here goes nothin.

This whole book basically just made me wish I was watching an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Even Carmel helpfully brings it up at the end: Cas is Buffy, Thomas is Willow, and Carmel is Xander in a Cordelia suit. “Gideon” I just went ahead and referred to as Giles for the entire book. And obviously, Anna is Angel. However, where BtVS had conflict and depth as Ms. Summers tried in vain to balance her life as a slayer of all things evil with her life as a teenage girl, this book has none.

Cas doesn’t have to worry about money, as his mom has a successful online business that easily travels from place to place. He doesn’t have to worry about his mother, who is largely absent and only seems to appear sporadically to heal Cas and provide herbal cookies. She also seems totally fine with letting him go off every night to battle ghosts. He doesn’t have to worry about his grades, as apparently the school he is enrolled in doesn’t require that he do any work or attend classes. He doesn’t have to worry about fitting in anywhere, because he has an endless supply of natural charm to pave his way.

Cas says that he is a lone-wolf ghost hunter. The main struggle that he deals with is the struggle for real friendship and intimacy, something that he doesn’t have in his life. However, he seems to come by allies and aid quite easily (and conveniently) whenever he needs them in this story. While I did like the interactions between Cas, Thomas, and Carmel, none of them feel three dimensional to me. Thomas is the shy awkward supernatural kid and Carmel is the Queen Bee of the school. Their friendship seems shallow and flat. And the romance is completely dull and instantaneous. (view spoiler)

The relationship feels a smidge healthier than most PNR’s (because they can essentially both kill each other at any time) but not by much. Anna is more complex than the stalkery vampire boyfriends, but she still has that inner core of violence and bloodlust that’s somehow caged by looooooove. Nothing makes my eyes roll more than that, I’m afraid. She can somehow hold it all in for Cas…but everyone else? Dead.

BUT, I did like Anna. She’s the main reason that I kept reading this and didn’t abandon it. I think that her history and motivations are very very interesting. I just wish that the romance part would go away.

This book didn’t make me laugh and it never made me scared. It definitely doesn’t remind me of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. Mainly, I just felt bored.

Perfect Musical Pairing

Slow Runner – Spooky Ghost

This song has a young feel that reminds me a lot of Cas. And it’s all about a spooky best friend...which is the relationship status that I wish could be applied to Anna and Cas.
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Reading Progress

10/05/2011 page 35
11.0% "Having a very hard time getting into this one."
03/30/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-39 of 39) (39 new)

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message 1: by Jo (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jo Your updates for this one are lacking.
*prods*


Catie Anna who?

Sort of forgot that I was reading this...


message 3: by Jo (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jo The power of lesbians.


Catie Yes.

And also...the power of one of the most engrossing, twistiest, downright awesome books I've read this year.


message 5: by Jo (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jo .....mostly lesbians though, right?

;)
I need to buy it, pronto.


Catie :P

Yeah, you do.


Bonnie You make some excellent points though Catie! Besides, it wouldn't be fun if we all loved the same books. :D


Lucy I had a lot of similar problems with the book. Especially with the Giles/Gideon Cas/Buffy nonsense. It's a good, honest review. This book is definitely not five stars, but I think the author can get there some day if she stops holding onto genre cliches like crutches.


Catie Thanks for the support Bonnie :D I agree! (I mean that it wouldn't be as fun if we all loved the same books.) (view spoiler)


Catie I've got to go read your review Lucy. I had skipped it because I was avoiding spoilers.

Oh yes. I agree with everything that you said! I'm not sure that I will be reading the next one though, although I do think that this author shows promise.


message 11: by Lucy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lucy It's a shame she leaned on other paranormals so much. I really felt her leaning on Buffy and a few other books/shows. On her own, the book would've been much better.


karen i like it less when i am the only one to loooove a book that everyone hates, like Ashes. it makes me feel like i am using the wrong fork and everyone is staring.


Annika Great review. I agree with a lot of it but it reminded me more of Supernatural and in the end I couldn't finish it.


Catie Oh yes. I hate that too. Although, at least then you can be like the book's one lonely defender...like a superhero! Yeah.

Thanks, Annika. I have never watched that show(I'm probably too old) but it seems like she took inspiration from a few different places.


message 15: by Jo (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jo Great review, Catie.
It's weird that you wasn't fussed about this book but loved Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.
I think I was the complete opposite.
:-D


Catie I know! I thought that was weird too. I think that what made me love HMC,N so much is the humor. This book is not funny at all to me, whereas the aforementioned is exactly my kind of funny. Also, HMC,N never bandied about the L-word. Hate that when it's not warranted.


Crowinator I agree -- I didn't buy the romance at all either. And the Buffy comparison is apt; I mean, hello, Will Rosenberg? I compared this book to HOC,N in my mind, too; it's similar in a lot of ways but not funny.

I liked this a lot, though, especially the scary, gory action scenes. It is a lot like the old Supernatural in that respect (not the later Supernatural, which I finally gave up on).


Catie You're the second person to compare it to Supernatural! I might have to finally watch that show...at least the beginning anyway. Glad you liked it, Crowinator.


message 19: by Jo (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jo I've never watched Supernatural either, Catie!
We should watch it together, trans-Atlantic style.

Because our PR viewing went so well.... :-p


Catie Haha..woo! I wonder if it's on Netflix.


Aly (Fantasy4eva) we both pretty much have similar thoughts on this book. I thought it was a little silly how he started claiming to be in love too. And Thomas, he was just a jerk. I don't even understand why he considered him a friend, when he obviously couldn't rely on him. And Carmel is just an opportunist. I do think Anna made this book, but I guess it was better than I thought it would be. And overall, pretty entertaining.


Catie Good to know I'm not alone Aly!


Miss Clark I liked your comments on the romantic aspects of both couples and why it just was not working. Nice review.


Catie Thanks!


Trudi I just finished this and am left feeling out of the party too. Perhaps my expectations were too high, it might have been the wrong time to pick it up, but my bet is for all the reasons you so succinctly and perfectly describe above.


Catie I'm always a bit nervous to write a negative review for something that everyone's loved, but finding others with the same opinion makes it really worth it! Thanks Trudi, and I'm glad we few dissenters have each other. :)


Megs ♥ Great review, Catie. I totally agree. The romance was so stupid in a book like this. I actually liked this book a lot in the beginning and as it went on I started getting bored also.


Catie Yeah, I just couldn't buy into the romance either. I really enjoyed your review as well Meg!


Michelle This makes me sad. I have really been looking forward to this book, and the more I see of your reviews for books we have both read, the more I come to trust your opinion on books. (Can I just say thank you AGAIN for introducing me to Stacia Kane? I think it will be a love to last a lifetime!) And I just finished HMC,N, and the humor is what won me over despite the problems on that one as well.


message 30: by Darnell (new)

Darnell J. Wasn't actually interested in the book, but I enjoyed the review regardless. Especially enjoyed the BTVS reference.


Catie Oh gosh, I LOVE it when I can convince anyone to try out The Downside Ghosts series. Thanks for the lovely compliment, Michelle. I think you should still try this one out. A lot of my friends on here really liked it. And if you don't? Well...come on back and we'll discuss. Actually, come on back anyway. I kind of like it when people disagree with me. :)

Thanks Darnell! I miss Buffy.


Michelle Catie wrote: "Oh gosh, I LOVE it when I can convince anyone to try out The Downside Ghosts series. Thanks for the lovely compliment, Michelle. I think you should still try this one out. A lot of my friends on..."

I'll still read it (it's hard to stop wanting a book when it's been on the TBR list that long!), I am just a little worried now. It was one of those I was saving for when I needed a book I knew I would like. :) (view spoiler)


Catie I haven't read it yet! I've been desperately holding back, but come May (that's the deadline I'm giving myself, plus I enlisted Regina from Badass Book Reviews to help me keep to it) I am diving right in.

I'm scared. Does she kill Terrible? DON'T TELL ME.


Michelle Catie wrote: "I haven't read it yet! I've been desperately holding back, but come May (that's the deadline I'm giving myself, plus I enlisted Regina from Badass Book Reviews to help me keep to it) I am diving r..."

Make sure you have time to finish before you start. I got my approval email at like 9:00pm and told myself I could read a couple of chapters before bed...at 2:00am my husband came into the living room to ask me if I could keep it down in there if I wasn't coming to bed. Yeah, ONE SITTING. And it is the best yet. I NEED the next book like Chess needs a Cept. (Okay, not that much at all, but still.)


Catie I will! I am so glad to hear that it's amazing. Sacrificial Magic was so good...it was hard to imagine anything topping that. I'm so excited!


Tracy This did remind me a lot of Supernatural, although I could see a lot of BtVS in this too. I did enjoy this book more than you did but not as much as I love those tv shows!!


message 37: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 19, 2013 02:10PM) (new)

Great review, two things you said hit the 'exactly' button right on the spot. If that makes any sense.
" I'm not sure why I couldn't get into this one, but I am willing to admit that it may be because I've just read a few amazing books in a row and everything else pales in comparison."

And "BUT, I did like Anna. She’s the main reason that I kept reading this and didn’t abandon it."

Finally a review that I agree with...xD


Catie Thanks Dania! I've heard the sequel is better...are you going to try it out?


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Hmm, I didn't know there was one...I'm going to go check it out...


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