Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Description: 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.

Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars-- Highly Recommended!

Sexual Content: Mild/Moderate
Language: Heavy
Violence: Extreme
Cover Rating: 5 stars. The cover really relates to the story, with Anna, and though it is a big creepy, I could definitely get lost in this cover. In fact, maybe even be able to stare at it all day and not get bored!

Wow. Just wow. I started this with no expectations whatsoever and ended with it being one of my favorite books. A definite five-stars and absolutely recommended, if you haven't read this yet, which I'm surprised if you haven't.

It starts us off with Cas just moving to a new town to hunt down Anna, but most of the beginning is introduction, because this is a new series, after all, and fellow readers are going to want to know what the heck they are reading about and what is going on (obviously); along with the introduction is the character building. Through these grand beginning explanations, the action really picks up when he finally finds Anna. Now, don't get me wrong, Anna is pretty dang scary, but until she began changing, I just couldn't see how she, the practically invincible ghost who began as, technically, a demon, could like, much less love, anybody, especially the ghost-hunter Cas, who tried to kill her more than once through the book. Nevertheless, I appear to be wrong, for as Anna became a bit more normal and less blood-thirsty, she really started to grow on me, becoming my favorite character besides Cas. Once I read about her wretched past, I felt sad for her and what she always wanted; her history made her love her even more than I currently did. I understood, then, and didn't barf when Anna and Cas fell in love (I saw it coming, of course).

Besides the romance, my favorite part definitely had to be the descriptive horrors throughout the book. They were enough to send chills down anyone's spine. I also adored the action, and I have to admit that I didn't expect the ending (which is a rare thing for me). 

Other than my favorite characters being Anna and Cas, I liked Thomas and Cas' mother. Carmel was okay, but at times she could be a bit, let's say, annoying; but then, all the girls fawning over Cas got on my nerves, too, and all the characters in themselves have flaws. But that's just one of the things that make them so great! (Because, really, who here wants to read about a perfect heroine? That's just not interesting.)

The ending crushed me. Seriously. I almost cried. Read this and you'll understand why.

Overall, pick up this book if you love a good, creepy read and a story that you won't soon forget.

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