Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: Young Adult, Horror
Number of Pages (Hardcover): 320
Date Published: October 17th of 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen
Synopsis (via GoodReads page here):
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.
Rate: 4 of 5
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I strike again with another genre I am not particularly fond of. And now I feel like I didn’t waste the time I invested on it since it proved to be very good! (Not really something that I would have given a 5 of 5, but it’s really good!) I mean, horror, mystery, etc. is not really up my alley but hey I gotta shake some things up once in a while.
I was afraid the story would be all too paranormal romance. On some point, I hated that part of the story. On the other hand, I cannot say that that aspect of the story didn’t work well with the general demographic of the book, because it did. It really did. I hate to admit it but, damn, paranormal romance worked well for this one. (I feel like I’m using the word romance too much right now and in the wrong sense…but what am I to say? Paranormal love? Psssh.) My single AF spirit didn’t like the irony of Cas, the main character, having a thing for a ghost which he kills by profession. Oh the irony. But I guess that’s love. *retches* But, kidding aside, the romance element really did work for this one.
As much as this romance thing worked for the story, I felt like the characters were underdeveloped all throughout the story. I put a little burden in this while I was reading it because I knew that this was a series so I was hoping that the author would maybe expound on the characters on this one in the next book. By the way, it’s a duology so the next book is also the final one.
And also, I gotta mention here that even though this is a fairly short read with just 300 or so pages, I read this quite longer. And the reason is…I was scared to read this in the evening while I’m alone in my bedroom. That’s how scary it was for me. When I was reading it, I feel weird. Like, I’m reading something I shouldn’t. I don’t know. The vivid descriptions of ghosts, their faces, the way they look, the way they hover, the way their guts are out, the way they grin, the way– okay I know you get it already. I was a scaredy cat to read this in the evening so I ended up reading this just every morning before I do my thesis work thus the longer hours. I gotta say, I enjoyed the book much longer though so I guess I won on some aspect about that. Haha.
All the while I was reading this, I was thinking, “This should really be made into a movie.” I mean, this is something I would watch. Okay no, I wouldn’t. I don’t watch horror movies. But I think this would really translate well into a movie. And upon tinkering around GoodReads, I found out this IS being filmed as of the moment!!! So excited about that. Who knows? Maybe I’ll watch it this time since I already know what’s gonna happen hahaha. But then again, what if the movie is so bad compared to the book? Okay, I’m overthinking. I’m gonna cross that bridge when I get there.
Overall, I felt like I read two books because there really was so much happening. One thing rolls to another. But I do have some qualms like I really want MORE background on Anna’s death. I still have so many questions. Nevertheless, I loved it still. I was kind of awestruck as to how many the twists in the story are.
Currently, I am now going to start the next book of the series because I’ve learned my lesson on other series I’ve started and never ended. (I’m totally referring to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I really gotta finish that series. I promise, I’d get into it soon. SOOOOOON.)
P.S. I was a quarter into the book when I realized that the protagonist is a boy. Boy, I really gotta read more books with male point-of-views.
P.P.S. YES, I DID ASSUME IT’S GENDER. SHUT UP.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
*Cover photo and Synopsis via GoodReads; Gif via Giphy