Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

November 18th, 2011 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: August 30, 2011

Publisher: Tor Teen

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from

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. 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: 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.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas’s life.

This was one of those funny (not haha but strange) books in that I zoomed through it because I was enjoying it so much but there were so many little things that bugged me.  I knew going in there was going to be some sort of romance going on and I was curious how it was going to work when Anna wasn’t just any old ghost haunting a house.  She was an all out psychotic killer ghost so it just did not seem like the ideal romance candidate.  That said I actually thought the relationship building between Cas and Anna was the best part of the story.  I loved seeing the two of them getting to know each other and trying to figure each other out.

I also loved Thomas, the geeky guy who befriends Cas.  He is the kind of guy who gets picked on, never gets the girl and no one ever expects much from.  Yet out of everyone in the book I felt he showed the most hidden strength.  He came through when needed and no matter how afraid he was he still did his best to help his friends.

And then there were the little things that kept me from liking this book more than one would expect considering I read it almost in one sitting.  First off was the whole thing with the death of Cas’s father.  We know he was killed by a ghost and Cas wants to avenge him but beyond that we don’t get much until the very end and then I was just confused.  Was it random that this ghost killed his father?  Then there is a twist at the end that totally shocks Cas and I couldn’t understand how he could have missed the clues.  It was so obvious and for someone who was supposed to be this badass ghost killer it just struck me as strange that he didn’t put the pieces together sooner.

Then there was the relationship between Thomas and Carmel, the high school hottie.  Don’t get me wrong, like I mentioned above I loved Thomas but I don’t see how that relationship really got going.

I have to bring up the fact that Anna killed so many people and yet other than some rumors circulating among the teens there did not appear to be much interest from the rest of the community.  There are a few comments about how people ignore things that don’t fit into their idea of reality but I found it hard to believe that disappearances or murders of well known people around town could be brushed off so easily.

The biggest question I had was why did Anna spare Cas?  It sounds like she has no control over her actions so even if she liked him at some level why did she apparently not even have the urge to kill him?

In the end yes there were bits of the story that bugged me but it all came down to this book was an engaging read that I didn’t want to put down.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Young Adult

3 Responses

  1. Kailana

    I am not sure what to think about this book. It sounds good, but on the other hand does not…

  2. Michelle

    This one actually appealed to me initially but then I saw people talking about the horror elements and I’ve shyed away. I’ve also heard it’s a bit stronger in the creepy department which means I might just take a pass on it.

  3. Debbie's World of Books

    It was a bit more gory than I expected but the horror level wasn’t too bad.

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