Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

“A ghost, a curse, and an irresistible broken boy make Anna Dressed in Blood a must have for all horror and fright fans.”

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Title:Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)
Author:Blake, Kendare

From Hicklebee’s: 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.

There are not many things that truly freak me out. I’ve watched/read/ingested so much horror in entertainment form that I can pass a ‘how long will you survive a horror movie’ quiz with at least an 85% score. Still a few things remain that can freak me out. Anything to do with fingernails in horror movies, spiders, and now finally Kendare Blake.

Cas is a great character as is Anna. They have both been through very traumatic things in their lives and their subjective views of the situations they are in are great fodder for the reader. The story isn’t what I would call quick to read, you can submerge into the thrills for hours while reading.

The entire time I was reading I had a movie playing out in my mind. Anna Dressed in Blood is a very visual novel and its been a long time since I read something that gave my brain so much to wonder about while I was going along.

The story is full of creepy ghost myths with a side of contemporary ghost hunter lore thrown in for good measure. It was a monster mash of everything I love about ghost stories updated with the latest myths and legends. I adored the novel and cannot wait for the next book in the Anna series.

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3 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    I was really nervous to read Anna Dressed in Blood, I’m such a wimp when it comes to horror. But it was so beautifully written, the characters so real that I put my fears aside and really enjoyed this one!

    (I could not agree more that I had a movie playing in my head, Kendare Blakes writing was so vivid.)

  2. Gravatar

    I will have to look into this one – I was really intrigued by the premise AND by the (by current trends) unusual set-up that the “paranormal hunter” is male, the unnatural “other” is female. Horror really isn’t my genre but a good book always goes beyond genre :)

  3. Gravatar

    I could definitely get into a visual novel right about now. I’m in the mood for something that feels like a movie (seriously. I was just talking about this yesterday with my Lit students!).

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