Review: Anna Dressed in Blood – Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood Kendare Blake

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #1
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: September 2011
Source/Format: Library / Paperback, 316 pages
Opening Sentence: “The grease-slicked hair is a dead giveaway—no pun intended.”
Author Website | Goodreads | 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. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: 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.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

I’ve wanted to read Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake for a very long time. I love ghost stories so much. They usually scare the pants off me, but I love them. The idea of a homicidal ghost seemed like THE BEST thing ever. And October* seemed the perfect time to read it.

Above everything else, I’m a little disappointed because I thought the book was going to be a bit scarier. There were parts that made me cringe, gross things, and a couple creepy scenes, but overall I was in my right mind the entire novel. It’s a bummer because several people told me it was super scary, but oh well. Even if I wasn’t scared I enjoyed the novel just the same.

Anna’s story is what really made me love Anna Dressed in Blood. Anna is such an interesting character to read about. Her story is very heartbreaking and actually one of the heaviest things I’ve read before. (That is: the scene telling her story is.) She’s a very thought out and dynamic character and I totally appreciate her. Really, all the characters are very thought out. It’s easy to see how much work Blake put into her story. It definitely shows for the better.

The story itself turned into something I wasn’t expecting at all. I thought it was going to be a simple ghost story, but a lot of different elements were brought in. From voodoo to Wicca, there’s a lot going on and it was pretty awesome. If you’re looking for something kind of creepy Anna Dressed in Blood is totally your book. I know I’m excited to move onto the next installment and get more of the story.

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

*I’m obviously a little late getting this up.


9 thoughts on “Review: Anna Dressed in Blood – Kendare Blake

  1. I thought it was pretty creepy for a YA book. Most of them don’t come close to be called scary, but the scene where the real enemy shows himself – scary part! Anna was a great character and I found Cas’ voice very believable. Not every author knows how to capture a teenage boy 🙂

  2. So many people have said that this book is scary, but yours is the second review saying that it isn’t really scary at all. I have a hard time being scared by books (as well as crying in books), so maybe this one wont be able to scare me. It still sounds awesome, though, and creepy books are almost as good as scary ones.

  3. I love ghost stories, too, but I just couldn’t get into this one. I read about half of it before putting it down. I did like Anna, but I found Cas kind of annoying.

  4. I love fantasy books that are really detailed when it comes down to the actual mythology of it rather than just being obsessed with the love triangles and pretty vampires. My friend recommended me this book a few days ago and I was a little dismissive about it but I think your review has convinced me to give it a go in the near future!

  5. I have never been a fan of horror story because I am easily scared. But this one makes me want to break free from the said fear. I love the premise and I am interested how the story would play out with Anna as a ghost. What made her brutal and yet, she chose to spare Cas’ life?

    If I decide to buy and read this book, I think I should read it while there are lot of people in the house and it should be in broad daylight. What do you think?

    Thanks for stopping by Thoughts and Pens.

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