Review: Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Black

Anna Dressed in BloodTitle: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Anna Dressed in Blood # 1
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: Public library
Pub. Year: 2011
Purchase: Amazon/ B & N/

Blurb from Amazon:

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.

What I will remember: The tragedy of a life cut too short.

OMG, Anna Dressed in Blood blew my mind away. It was such a fantastic read that I was nearly late to class because I did not, did not want to stop reading. I have no idea on how to do a review on a book that I’m still super giddy about.

Let’s talk about Anna. What a fantastic ghost. Very tragic as well. Blake did an excellent job in describing Anna, her clothing, and the physical changes that Anna goes through which turned Anna into a very concrete character. There was a depth to Anna that is rare in a ghost. She knew what she had done, accepted it, was remorseful and was very much alive in her character.  Her origin story is just emotionally gripping; it’s a cringe-worthy moment. You want to turn away but at the same time, you can’t. Amazing storytelling by Blake.

Cassius Lowood is the male narrator of this book. It’s was odd and new to read a book from a male perspective. I usually read from the female mind. With that mind, Cassius was less focused on the romantic aspect of what was going with Anna. He was aware that he was treating Anna differently but at the same time, he didn’t want to acknowledge why until much later in the book. A female protagonist would have immediately acknowledge the connection and be dominate by the connection. It was interesting to have Cas as the lead character. He was a decent guy who reminded me of Dean Winchester of Supernatural. Dean is more of a badass than Sam, in my book, but I like both of them.

The plot was entertaining and the minor characters were interesting. Cas is driven to do his job by a sense of loyalty to his father and in his quest to avenge his father’s death. The creature that killed his father is terrifying in appearance and in power. Thomas as a male witch was a lovable nerd with a crush on the Queen Bee, Carmel, who proved she was more than a pretty face.

I know I only talked about the two main character, Anna and Cas, but it really was a fantastic read. The writing was exceptional and pulls the reader in. I can’t wait for the second book.


5 BB- Total Keeper

6th book in the 150+ Challenge
Also qualifies for: 1st in A Series, Cupcake Challenge
Where are you reading?-Ontario, Canada

Posted on January 19, 2012, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I love the title and the cover of this book. The review really peaked my interest. I first thought of Sabriel by Garth Nix. Sabriel, the main character, also inherits the position of Abhorson, who is responsible for “killing” the already dead. Thanks, I will definitely check out Anna Dressed in Blood.

    • Totally check it out when you have time. It is really is fantastic. I don’t know Sabriel by Garth Nix but I will look it up. Cas and Sabriel do have a common profession so it will interesting to see how they compare.

  2. As soon as I saw the cover I was intrigued by this book. I’m glad to read a great review on it. Consider it added to my to-read list. Thanks!

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