Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Release: August 30, 2011
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
I'm not usually a paranormal reader, but Anna Dressed in Blood received rave reviews. People kept saying how creepy and awesome it was, but I have to admit that I was disappointed.
Anna Dressed in Blood is the story of Cas. He makes a living of killing ghosts and sending them back to...wherever they belong. He doesn't really care about what happens to the ghosts, so long as the living are kept safe. It's a job that once belonged to his father, and ever since he died at the hands of a ghot, Cas inherited this strange vocation.
It's a pretty unordinary life: move to a new town, find the ghost, kill the ghost, and move on to the next target. I had issues with any mother allowing her son to live this kind of life. Even a mother as strange as Cas's. Nevertheless, it's his job, and he's never had trouble killing ghosts before...
Until he meets Anna.
Anna Korlov died decades ago, but her spirit still lives int he house, killing any and every living soul that steps in. car enlists the help of a few friends from school to find information on Anna's past and her recent activities. And when Cas and Anna meet face to face, she proves to be a ruthless killing machine. Somehow, though, she spares Cas. And, in the days the follow, Cas is consumed with thoughts of Anna.
Which leads me to my two biggest issues with Anna Dressed in Blood...
What makes Cas so SPECIAL that Anna spares his life? And how I am supposed to believe that Cas is "in love" with Anna? There was no chemistry or spark. Luckily, Anna Dressed in blood is not about the romance. It's about the mystery, the suspense, and a ghost with a tormented past.
Also, I must admit that Kendare's writing was funny and morbid at times. I kind of...liked it. It helped to keep me engaged in a story that I might have otherwise given up on. The ending was also confusing, but I am hoping the Sequel (Girl of Nightmares) will resolve all my unanswered questions. We'll see.
RATING: 3 SLICES