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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

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, 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, now stained red and dripping with 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.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

Why didn't I read this book sooner? This story was a terrifying ride through the darkest corners of urban legends. It preys on your nerves, triggering that under the skin itch when your mind knows something isn't right. With each turn of the page my heart beat louder and louder, trying to figure out whether Cas was going to survive his latest mission, killing Anna. The story behind Anna was both sadly devastating and outright creepy! In the beginning, when first meeting her ghost, I was completely terrified. Blake really knew how to put in just the right amount of detail to get your heart pumping. It may have been the fact that I was reading this while home alone, but I was actually scared while reading!

I'm not lying when I say I have a high tolerance for scary stories and movies. I get a rush out of being scared and therefore it isn't easy to spook me. However, Blake is able to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up with Anna's story. There are several terrifying elements throughout, between Cas's initial meeting with Anna to finding out the mystery behind his father's death. The gruesome details behind each scene paints such a horrific and creepy feel that was enough to scare this hardcore horror fan. I cannot give enough praise to the attention to detail that Blake has with her writing style. Every word flows throughout this book and has signficant meaning to the story. Each scene is vital and makes you pay such close attention to the story! It will hook you in!

I loved the relationships throughout this book. The dialouge is so relatable and real, giving a paranormal read the most realistic feel. I can't stand it when I'm reading a book and a character will have a line that you know no normal teenager would ever say. That is definitely not the case in this book. The conversations, despite being about ghosts, were so real. Each of the characters shone in all the situations set forth, even the secondary ones. It was amazing how Blake was able to make me root for everyone, the popular and sometimes bitchy girl Carmel, nerdy Thomas, and even the ever terrifying Anna. Their characters were so individualized and real that despite being in the background of scenes, they really shone through.

I highly recommend this book to all fans of scary stories. This book really delivers a great scare and heartfelt romance entertwined with some crazy ghost hunting. I therefore give this book 5 out of 5 stars and am dying to read its sequel, Girl of Nightmares. I'm seriously hoping for some retribution for Anna and a happy ending for Cas.


  1. I just got this one yeasterday in the mail. From the sound of it, I definitely have to read it! I've never read much scary stories before so I'm wondering how this will turn out for me.

  2. I know this book is apparently a must, but I hadn't given it much thought... Until now, that is. I saw another great review recently, and now your comments bought me the rest of the way if there was any doubt left!

    I've not read much in the way of scary stuff, but it's something I'd like to remedy, since I discovered YA fright a couple months back. So, this one is going straight to the top of my Wishlist! Thanks for the review!

    Ron @ Stories of my life

  3. I never get tired of reading reviews of this book. The part in the basement was really scary and I have a high tolerance too. Thanks!

  4. Great review! I just posted my review for this book on my blog. I'm glad you loved it just as much as I did. I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to reading books like this but I'm glad I gave this one a shot! Can't wait to read the sequel!!!


  5. I loved this one too! Cas was a great protagonist I especially liked that he was male it was refreshing and original. Awesome review!

    Xpresso Reads

  6. What an awesome review! I've seen this on a few blogs but haven't read any reviews until this one. I like that you mentioned you aren't easily scared but this caused your hair to stand on end:)
    Just added it to my TBR pile. Thanks, Kristan!
    -Jenna @ Fans of Fiction