26 June 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Anna #1
Release Date: July 5, 2012
Publisher: Orchard Books
Rating: Enjoyable

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. - Goodreads

I have to admit, Anna Dressed in Blood disappointed me a little. I had previously heard amazing things about it from fellow book reviewers, and couldn't wait to start reading it. I even held a poll to see which book I should read next, and Anna got the highest votes. I didn't love this book, and there were quite a few things that didn't hold up to my expectations. I'm going to be writing this review a little differently than I normally do.


- Creepy factor.
Anna Dressed in Blood had some great creepy scenes, particularly towards the end. There was one specific scene that gave me chills as I was reading it, and then it went on to full on gross me out.

- The lore.
The lore was my favourite element of this book. There is a lot of talk about ghosts, voodoo and other paranormals which I wholeheartedly enjoyed.

- Anna (in the beginning)
She was a BAMF! In her first scene, she literally ripped a guy in half. It was awesome. I really liked her as a character, before she got too involved with Cas, and I loved learning about her sad history.

- Secondary characters.
I loved Thomas, the awkward sweetheart, and Carmel. I also really liked Cas' mum, although I do think she must be a complete nutter for letting her son travel around the country after her husband had been killed by the very same things Cas was hunting.

- Deaths.
There were quite a few deaths. Quite a few GORY deaths. And I loved it. I love it when YA authors aren't afraid to kill off characters and to show a little blood.


- Cas.
He's a bragger, and I can't stand braggers. He was tolerable through some of the book, but during most of it he annoyed the crap out of me.

- The love story.
I'll try not to go off on one huge rant about this. The relationship between Anna and Cas felt so contrived, it was ridiculous. The two of them barely had a proper conversation, outside of him talking about killing her and her telling him about her life when she was alive. All of a sudden, they're in love with each other. After (what seems like... see below) two weeks. Also, she's a ghost. He is human. This makes me feel uneasy.

- The time frame.
I got very confused. Cas mentions at the end that he knew Anna for two months, but I had previously thought that this took place over a fortnight or so.

- Silly mistakes.
Cas is constantly bragging about how good he is at his job, and yet he made one HUGE error that nearly cost a lot of people their lives. It had me wondering if he was really a professional ghost hunter, or if he was just pretending. Even I saw this coming, and I don't know the rules about ghost hunting like these characters supposedly do.


Anna Dressed in Blood is by no means a bad book, it's just not the kind of book for me. I don't enjoy books with insta-love, or little character development.

Anna series:
1. Anna Dressed in Blood
2. Girl of Nightmares


  1. I totally agree with all the things you said especially with the Negative ones... this one didn't worked well for me. I was expecting something good with all the hype but I was just not satisfied enough.

    We Fancy Books

    1. There was definitely a lot of hype surrounding this book, and that made me so excited to read it. It's a shame it was disappointing.

  2. I really loved this book aside from fact that it just wasn't scary. I never picked up on the time frame though... But like you, I love the gory deaths.

  3. Awesome review! I like the way you separated the pros and cons and kept them short and to the point. I'm still kind of on the fence about this book. I haven't read a lot in this genre and I get freaked out easily. So, I'm not sure yet.

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked the different format :) I might try this again with another book soon.

  4. I agree with what you said about the romance. It didn't make sense to me either. It wasn't a bad book, but It wasn't for me either.

  5. I'm currently reading this right now and I'm having to read an eBook along with it because I can't read the book at night and when my hubby isn't home! (He works night shift) I love scary stuff, but this is definitely creepy. And about the part with Mike, I nearly dropped the book! I was all HOLY CRAP. And yes, she definitely is a BAMF!

    Great review! Definitely need to finish this book, its good, but so creepy!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying it!

      Mike's scene was CREEPY, I agree! Wait until you get to the scene that takes place in the last couple of chapters. It gave me shivers and made me really paranoid that someone was in the house.


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