Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review: Anna Dressed In Blood

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood

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.

So when I sat down to read Anna Dressed in Blood, I was expecting an easy romance with some ghost killing on the side. What I got was an easy romance with some kick-ass ghosts on the side, some voodoo hoodoo, and secrets hidden under the surface of the plot, something I absolutely adore.

On the character side, Cas is an easy, likeable MC, with a decent voice. I was rooting for him from page one, because although he has the task of killing the dead, he does show some sympathy for these spirits (who were often wrongfully killed). What struck me about Cas was his growth over the course of the story-- how he went from certain in his convictions to questioning himself, his knife and his father. Along the same lines, Anna was a wonderfully constructed character. I adored that she could go from a gentle, sympathetic girl one moment to a raging monster the next.

Blake uses a very easy writing style, but as I mentioned, there's much more going on beneath the surface. Tying in the backstory with Cas's dad, the creature who killed him and the knife bound to their blood-tie, Blake brought everything together at the end, proving a great twist that made my stomach clench a few times. That's something to be said for Blake-- though nothing was too grotesquely described, there were still a couple of points where my heart did that little fearful flip-flop. (Especially for Tybalt. Oh, Tybalt!)

And it's set in Canada! Woot! *waves Canadian flag*

All in  all, the book was an easy read, with likeable characters and a very interesting backstory. She only gave the reader enough information to get them through the story, leaving many questions unanswered. I don't want to give too much away, because trust me, the second half of this book totally flips itself onto its head.

If you're a fan of Holly Black's BLACK CAT series, or enjoy watching shows such as Supernatural, or Secret Circle, then I highly suggest picking up ANNA. You won't be disappointed.

Overall rating: 4/5.



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