THIS IS AN ALLISON REVIEW <3
“Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story.”
This is the tagline for Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. Maybe it’s because I don’t really have much experience with ‘boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people’ type of stories but honestly I didn’t find ANYTHING average about it. The prose is exquisitely beautiful and pulled me right in from the beginning and if that wasn’t enough the imagery in this book is to die for. Literally. There were so many scenes where I literally felt like I was being scared to death by the vivid and gruesome imagery that was being presented to me on the page. And you know what? It was awesome!
In Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas Lowood is a seventeen year old who kills the dead with a magic athame just as his father did before him. He travels from town to town with his mother getting different assignments and working to help murderous ghosts cross over by killing them. In his current assignment, he’s faced with the task of killing Anna, a sixteen year old homicidal ghost who was murdered more than 60 years ago. Yet once he comes face to face with Anna he realizes that things are not necessarily as they appear.
Why aren’t things the way that appear? Well first of all there is Anna. Anna is not your typical homicidal ghost at all (if there is such a typical thing as a homicidal ghost). She has a secret – a pretty large secret – which explains why she has never been able to cross over and why she has become the type of person she has become since her death. It also explains why her killer was never caught. Through the lens, you are really able to empathize with Anna. I felt so bad for what had happened to her! It’s truly awful but, it makes for a really good story all at the same time. It also makes her connection with Cas even more heartbreaking.
Cas isn’t directly sure what attracts him or connects him to Anna but, he knows that whatever is happening is causing a real strain on his relationship with his work. Ever since he took over from his father, he has followed the rules to the best of his ability. He gets an assignment, finds the ghost, and kills the ghost. There are never any strings and there are never any reasons for him and his mother not to move along to the next town … at least until this point in his life. Now he actually makes new friends and actually struggles with is assignment to kill Anna. It is interesting to watch Cas’s journey as he is introduced as a pompous ghost-killing jerk and becomes someone with compassion and understanding and who has to make one of the hardest decision of his life.
When Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake wasn’t making my stomach turn, my eyes close, or my hands shake in anticipation, it was making me ask a lot of questions. Some of these questions were answered by the end of the book but, others were not which disappointed me. That is until I realized that there was going to be a sequel to the story which comes out this summer! The sequel is called Girl of Nightmares, and I for one cannot wait to see what Anna, Cas, and the rest of the ‘ghost busters’ crew have in store for us next.
Disclosure: Borrowed from local library. HOLLA!