Edna's Reviews > Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
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's review
Oct 21, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 2011, young-adult, arc, won, paranormal
Read from September 09 to October 19, 2011

Theseus Cassio Lowood, known to most as Cas, devoted his life to killing ghosts after his father—a ghost hunter himself—was murdered on the job. Cas has spent the last three years preparing for the one day he'd get to avenge his father. A tip leads Cas to a Canadian town for Anna Korlov—all the legends refer to her as Anna Dressed in Blood—a young teenage girl brutally murdered on her way to a school dance. She haunts her old house, and has a track record of ripping apart anyone who dares to set foot inside. He figures she would be the last ghost to test him before he finally confronts his father's killer. Cas's first encounter with Anna at her house results in a local boy's death. What's strange is, for some reason, she allows Cas to walk away alive and with all his limbs. She isn't like any ghost he's ever encountered—extremely powerful, violent and with an awareness of her actions—leaving him entirely enraptured and ultimately torn about killing her.

One could say Cas is the equivalent to Buffy the Vampire Slayer but for ghosts. He's a charismatic, sharp, well-rounded protagonist so I'm positive readers won't have a hard time being drawn into his story. Death is his life, as ironic as that sounds. His occupation doesn't allow for close relationships, what with him having to move constantly to go to where ghosts wreck havoc. To his dismay, during his latest hunt to destroy Anna he actually gains a few friends. It was great to see him rely on others and realize it's not so bad to have people on his side. His interactions with them, in particular with the telepathic witch Thomas, were some of my favorite parts. Readers really get a sense Cas's good guy at heart, no matter that he can be a smartass.

Anna, I'm sorry to say, wasn't a character I was too invested in. I did feel horrible at the circumstances surrounding her death and what had eventually became of her but I didn't get that connection like I did with Cas. Now let me address Cas's attraction to Anna. Honestly, it seemed more of a morbid fascination than true romantic feelings. I didn't see the development especially in such a short timespan. Luckily for me, this wasn't overwhelming the plot and was kept on the backburner.

Now, I come to the spook factor. Much to my disappointment I wasn't creeped out, at least not to the extent I was expecting. There were eerie parts here and there with splashes of gore and violence but nothing that made me want to hide under the covers. Everything regarding witchcraft and voodoo, on the other hand, caught more of my attention. The latter resulted in some very clever reveals which I give Blake many kudos for.

I'm pretty much a needle in a haystack with some of my nitpicking since majority of the readers I've come across have nothing but high praise. Although there were a few things I didn't care for and was letdown by, I actually enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood. I will probably check out the next novel in this series because I do like the idea of ghost slayers and Cas and his Scooby gang are truly a fun group of characters. It also left off on an interesting note that I'm eager to explore. This novel would appeal to many paranormal readers who want a fast-paced supernatural story with a side of romance and comedy.

3.5 stars.

Cross-posted to Wit & Fancy.

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