Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: August 30th 2011
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.
Anna Dressed in Blood was another one of those books I wanted to read just based on the cover. I remember seeing it and thinking "this is going to be a good read." And I wasn't wrong. Kendare Blake wasted no time jumping right into the story. Chapter one you're immediately introduced to Cas Lowood and his lifestyle. He is a ghost hunter who sends whatever ghost he encounters away. Everything to him is just a mission and moving from state to state is just part of the job.
Cas Lowood was a very entertaining character. He made me laugh out loud so many different times. Cas and his mother are very close and mostly count on each other. There aren't really any secrets between them and she supports him in whatever decision he makes. He makes sure to include his mother in things and I really liked that about this book. Maybe that's just the mommy in me.
There were so many great things about this book, but I can only talk about so many. One of the things I LOVED was Kendare's way of writing. She did not hold back when it came to describing the ghost or a fight scene. It was very raw and very believable. I actually got goosebumps at a couple of scenes because it was a little scary. I can easily see Anna Dressed in Blood as a TV series or a movie.
Even though I really enjoyed this book, there were some moments that I did not like. It's not really anything big, but I felt everything in the book was believable and Kendare did an amazing job creating this world and her characters, but what bothered me was that Cas friends were very quick to believe him and just go along with everything he said. There really wasn't anything shocking to them, nor did they really question anything. That was my only issue. And I do think that Carmel should get her own book.
Anna Dressed in Blood was everything and more. It had lots of twist in it, some predicted and some you never saw coming. And there is a lot more to Anna than meets the eye. I am glad I got the chance to read an early copy of Anna and Dressed in Blood and I hope there will be a sequel to it. A definite must buy!
4 out of 5 Stars!