Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #1
Publication: August 30, 2011 by Tor Teen
Source: Bought from FullyBooked
Pages: 316 pages
Genre: Paranormal, Horror, Romance
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...
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.
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I bought this last August and since I have procrastinated so much that affected my reading schedule, it took months before I got my hands on this novel. And I tell you, I suppress any feelings of regret for not reading it sooner.
Cas is a skilled ghost killer. He kills all ghosts who bring harm to people using his athame knife. After killing a hitchhiker, he gets off to Canada with his witch mother to kill his next job: Anna Dressed in Blood. She was murdered sixty years ago and dismembers everybody who stays at her house. But she spares Cas' life and Cas can't bring himself to kill Anna.
I was supposed to read this last November, in time for Halloween. I cancelled it because I get easily scared. At first I thought it is something so scary that I wouldn't be able to turn off the lights at night but it is actually more gore than spooky. The cover and the title might be a giveaway but there's more to it. And I really really loved how it took me by surprise.
First thing, I would really like to commend the red font. Whoever thought of it is simply brilliant. It just soothes the eye and makes a huge statement for the novel! Also, I really loved that there's another genius novel out there with a male protagonist as a narrator. Cas is just the perfect character to tell the story because it is easier to get the whole picture. The description of whatever he sees or feel is very crisp and you would be able to imagine everything in an instant. He's so brave that at some point I start to get scared for him. He usually doesn't make plans which is mostly disturbing, but it made the story much interesting. His ability to trust his instinct is one thing I adore about him but Thomas is my favorite. His side-kick role helped Cas' in more ways than I have expected. He is simple yet very intelligent and I can't help but look forward to seeing his relationship with Carmel progressed in to the romance department. Anna on the other hand is a little bit confusing. Her past is horrible and whenever I remember it, I get goosebumps. She knows she's dead but I just don't understand her ways. I haven't been able to truly grasp the part where she falls in love with someone alive.
I've been eluding horror lit for the longest time but Anna Dressed in Blood totally converted me. I liked how simple Kendare Blake have written the novel and managed to preserve a very intense plot. It is dark and intense yet very romantic that would make you crazy over Girl of Nightmares!
"You make me want things I can't have."
"She's my purpose and we're going to save each other. We're going to save everyone. And then I'm going to convince her that she's supposed to stay here. With me."