Monday, 8 October 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1) '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.'

First of all, I absolutely LOVED this book. I devoured it with 24 hours, both the fast paced plot and humourous writing making it an easy yet captivating read.


Characters - Cas is quite full of himself, quite a cocky character throughout the novel. At times he did irritate me a little, but overall, I really enjoyed reading about him. I also liked Carmel and Thomas, who both turned out to be different to what my first impression of them was. And of course, Anna. I really loved reading about Anna, and felt for her throughout all her struggles. Her story was sadder than I expected it to be, and I think it made me appreciate everything that she had gone through a little more.

Plot - The plot was fast paced and action packed. Kendare Blake really doesn't beat around the bush when it comes to major points in the plot line, and I loved it. New events unfolding in every chapter really made this novel a page-turner.

Gore - Kendare Blake really didn't hesitate to put gory and sometimes chilling scenes into a YA novel, which I appreciated! I think more YA authors need to branch out and not tone down what have the potential to be gory/scary scenes.


Well, actually, there's only one thing I didn't like about this book, and that was the romance. Don't get me wrong, I love a bit of romance in YA, but it has to be developed properly and not be anywhere near insta-love. Unfortunately, Anna Dressed in Blood had one of the weirdest romances I've ever read about.

The romace wasn't necesarily insta-love or even completely under-developed. It just seemed too rushed towards the end, seemed to come out of nowhere. One minute, Cas was thinking about how he still couldn't trust Anna, how he was still wary of her, how he still had to kill her, and in literally the next chapter he was madly in love with her?

I really didn't understand where the romance came from, and it definitely needed to be developed a lot more, but other than that, I really loved this novel and would highly recommend it for a Halloween read!

4/5 stars.


  1. Cool review! And the romance sounds pretty weird :D

  2. This I really want to read. I really am not one for romance in books, because it is usually always cliche. Oh well, this is certainly on my list of books to read. Thanks for the review.