Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood

Kendare Blake

Bookshelves: Ghosts, Paranormal | Fantasy | Spooky | Young Adult | Favorite book covers

According to the blurb:

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.

My Verdict: 

♥♥ 1/2 

I read this book after hearing a lot of good things about it and frankly I was a bit disappointed. October is the perfect month to read some horrifyingly spooky tales in my opinion and this one wasn't one of them. 

The story just seemed choppy to me, like it wasn't thought out enough. I've never been a fan of ghost stories, but I thought to myself, 'Anna dressed in blood seems interesting because it's about a young ghost who kills and is very powerful and there's a kick ass ghost hunter too'. The name itself appealed to me very much. Of course I wanted to know more about her life and things related to her, how she got so much power, why she was the way she was and why she chose not to kill Cas. Her whole story unraveled in one scene. I'd have liked the mystery to build up a lot more. Also some added spook would have helped.

I had serious issues with Cas, he was such an ass. A boy who's been hunting the undead since 14 can't go about living normally like this guy does. 

And his friends! I thought they all reacted very unnaturally, wanting to tackle ghosts on their own and such. There's hardly any fear in them. They kind of put a big dent in the story, they didn't grieve for their dead friend, we knew nothing of their lives other than their interactions with the ghost hunter. 

The big bad villain in the end kind of seemed more funny in description than scary. But that's my fault probably, I kept imagining him with two big multicolored X's on his eyes that were big buttons. 

I'd leave the cliched ghost human love story alone. I had a hard time understanding why Cas would be attracted to Anna in the first place, I mean what did she have that a normal, living girl didn't? She was not only outdated by about 60 years, she was just a ghost. Sure we felt sorry for her, and I wish she'd have gotten a better life but I seriously think Cas's teenager hormones got the better of him this time. It would have been a different story had he known Anna before she had died, but oh well. 

I've also read that the second book is better than the first one. I'm not sure, I might get back to this story one day.