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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

I have never read a book that scared me so much, that kept me awake all night until I've read Anna Dressed In Blood. My imagination, you have met your worst nightmare.

Title: Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake
Pages: 316
Release Date: August 30th 2011
Published by: TorTeen
Source: Publisher (Thank you, Alexis!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

A lot of things in this novel did not seat well with my stomach and my mind. I felt like I was going to have nightmares of my own just from reading. It was THAT good and gory. The visuals some of the scenes invoked from my mind was just too powerful. It's hard to vanish the thought of reading about spilled guts and innards and a basement full of corpses from my tormented mind.

Anna is not your ordinary, run of the mill ghost. Sure she kills people like everyone else but she kills everyone that unfortunately comes across her house. She's powerful and she has been killing for 50 years. She's the source of scary ghost stories and urban legends in Thunder Bay. Theseus Cassio Lowood kills those who wouldn't stay dead, a responsibility and legacy left by his murdered father, and Anna happens to be his next assignment. In a party gone wrong, Cas found himself attacked and stuck in Anna's house. Someone was killed, but it's not Cas. Anna spared his life, but why?

I had to sleep with the light on after I finished reading Anna Dressed In Blood. It's one of those books that terrifies you but the potential nightmares can't stop you from reading it. Barely a hundred pages into it, Anna has managed to successfully fascinate and terrify me.

Cas is not an ordinary boy. He's like a member of the Ghostbusters gone solo. He travels with a witch for a mother and a cat who doesn't like him. A tip brought him to Thunder Bay, and the moment he's read of Anna and the mystery surrounding her death, Cas knows he's in for one of the toughest assignments he has ever faced in his job as a ghost slayer. He moves a lot, and so friendship and love is out of the window, until of course, he arrived in Thunder Bay. All of a sudden he's becoming friends with a psychic and the most popular girl in high school. And he's falling in love with a girl whose murder still remains a mystery 50 years later.

Anna and Cas are an unlikely pair, and at times I can't believe how they became attracted to each other, but I learned that in Thunder Bay, you have to expect the unexpected. A ghost and a ghost slayer? Highly unlikely. However, I love that Anna's story is tied to Cas in a way that no one could have guessed. I love how at one moment they were trying to kill each other and later are trying to figure out the feelings they invoke in each other. I think Cas wasn't meant to become the loner that he is, and that it's a big loss that the one person who is perfect for him is not even alive. Anna was scary and adorable when she's not out to kill. There was so much she could have done when she was alive.

Anna Dressed In Blood is not just about a ghost slayer. It's a mystery thriller that will keep readers thinking and guessing to the end. The plot moves along smoothly and the storyline of the main characters were developed solidly. As Anna's story unravels, the secrets surrounding her death surfaces and alongside the characters, readers won't be able to help but piece the story themselves.

Kendare Blake threw all caution to the wind and crafted a book with gore, action, magic and love, mixed all together into one engrossing novel, and named it Anna Dressed In Blood. Nothing about this book is normal, but that uniqueness just adds to the charisma of this smashing debut novel. Completely engrossing, with heart stopping, shuddering scenes and otherworldly charm, Kendare Blake successfully made fear attractive by writing this book.

Fantastically scary and hauntingly beautiful, Anna Dressed In Blood is a spine chilling novel that will keep you awake long after you have finished reading!

Content (plot, story flow, character):
Who am I kidding? This book deserves more than 5 butterflies! Maybe a whole platoon!

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:
That's exactly how I pictured Anna. Okay, I'm a bit scared now...

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Waaah! Anna and Cas is <3. Love the review. This is such an interesting read and I can't wait for the sequel.

    1. The sequel comes out soon so watch out for it!

  2. Is there a copy available in NBS? I want this badly :3

    1. Not sure, but Fully Booked have both paperback and hardback copies :)

  3. I loved Anna Dressed in Blood. I recently finished the second book of the series, Girl of Nightmares, and I loved that as well. Kendare Blake has a wonderful way of surprising us with things we've never imagined. Great review!

  4. Great review! I've been curious about this book for along time. I didn't know it was creepy, though. I'll have to check it out now!

  5. Despite the fact that I gave this book a rather poor review (for reasons I listed in my review) I agree 100% with what you say about how scary it was... the author did such a beautiful job making things really spooky!

  6. I love watching scary things but reading one is different. I'm really intrigued by the book and I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the review!

  7. This book seriously gave me the creep. I had a hard time sleeping after I finished reading this book. Scary images kept on popping on my mind. -___-"

  8. expect the unexpected......good and gory OMG this is sitting in my tbr pile....totally needs to be topped up the notch...

    amazing review

    Le' Grande Codex


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