Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake!
Back to business with my blog schedule, and I'm starting the week off with a review of the book I finished last week, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...
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.
I was really excited about this book when my mum bought me it, and it certainly didn't disappoint.
Favourite character: I couldn't just pick one, there were so many I loved, so my three top favourites were Cas, Anna, and Thomas. Cas was a great protagonist, and I didn't mind in the slightest that he was a little full of himself; he kind of deserved to be. Anna was brilliant, as I knew she would be. I also loved Thomas, Cas's new found friend who can read minds (although I would have liked to have seen more evidence for this).
Least favourite character: There weren't really too many characters that I disliked in this novel, so I'll go with the obvious; Will and the other 'popular' boys, who liked to play mean pranks for the fun of it.
Positive aspects: Where do I start? First of all, the protagonist's full name: Theseus Cassio Lowood. Is this the best name ever, or what? (I have a thing for strange names; you should feel sorry for my future children). I loved the concept of the novel, I loved it's name, and I loved the front cover; all three of these things immediately grabbed me, and I hadn't even started reading yet.
The story gripped me from the start, and I didn't want to put it down. I loved the idea of a ghost hunter, and I loved his budding romance with Anna; it seemed natural, not at all forced, and I liked the fact that he was the only person who walked into her house who she didn't kill.
I loved the supernatural aspects of the book; ghosts, ghost hunters, spells, mind reading. It got a bit slow in the middle, but I absolutely loved the ending. I also loved the villain of the story; he was very scary, and popped up unexpectedly in the last place you'd expect to find him.
I enjoyed finding out Anna's story; it really made you sympathise with her, and understand why she turned out the way she did.
Negative aspects: The only thing I can think of to put here is that the plot was a little slow during the middle, but the first half and the ending gripped me enough to make up for that.
Overall, the book wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, although this is a good thing; I still have nightmares about the last scary book I read! I'm giving this novel 4 stars, and I'm very much looking forward to reading the next one.