Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood, by Kendare Blake. The GoodReads summary:
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.
The best thing about this book was Anna herself. She made a completely kick-A ghost. She was a mass of contradictions—powerful, violent, and out of control but also fascinating, stubborn, and protective. Pretty much I spent most of the book looking forward to the next scene Anna would be in. I just really, really loved her.

Cas was an okay narrator—he never did anything to annoy me or piss me off—but something about the way he was written kept me from really connecting with him. Hence, I felt too removed from the events of the story to get really invested in it. So I mostly didn’t care during all the big climactic moments of the story, which stopped me from really rooting for the characters or getting pulled into action very much.

I also didn’t think the whole thing with the second antagonist (the one besides Anna) was very well developed. Maybe the author’s going to explore that more in the second book, but I was left feeling confused about his motivation and backstory. I knew he was supposed to be creepy and evil, but he wasn’t developed enough to really make an impression on me.

Overall, this book was alright, but I wasn’t super impressed or anything. I wanted a book that would totally engross me, but I found myself feeling disconnected from the story and characters. Anna totally rocked though. Without her I would’ve given this book a 3, but she pushes my rating up to a 3.5.

Rating 3.5 / 5


  1. Finally! Someone else who liked the book but did not think it was the best book ever written. I thought the story was unique, but I had the same problems with Cas as you. I felt no connection to him and kept hoping that he did something to make me care about him. I received an ARC of the second book at ALA, and I enjoyed it less than this one. Cas gets a little better, but the story did not attract me. Great review!

  2. I liked this one; it reminded me of a book version of Buffy or Supernatural. I completely agree with you about the villain, though.

  3. I'm sorry you were disappointed. I totally loved this and am dying for Girl of Nightmares. But youa are totally right about Anna. She is amazing and the best part of the story!

  4. I really liked Anna as a character, too. I didn't give Cas much thought while I was reading, so I guess I liked him good enough. But I can see what you're saying about the other bad guy. I'm guessing he'll be the series bad guy, but he was just sort of weird in this one.


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