|TITLE: Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)|
AUTHOR: Kendare Blake
PUBLISHER: Tor Teen
PUB DATE: Aug 30 2011
"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."
Cas Lowood might probably be the luckiest guy to still be alive.
After his father’s gruesome murder, Cas inherited a very extraordinary profession – he hunts down ghosts... and kills them, for good this time. When word got to Cas about a ghost named Anna haunting an old Victorian house in the small town of Ontario, he and his mom packed up and moved for the kill; literally speaking.
Every person that stepped into Anna’s house was never seen again. Every one of them dead, everyone except Cas. For whatever reason Anna and Cas have yet to figure out...
I do not read horror stories – at all! I tried reading one of the first volumes of the Philippine Ghost Stories collection but one page was enough to make me throw it across the room (and they say it’s not even that scary). Nor can you convince me to watch one more horror flick. Ten minutes in the theatre and I’d be screaming bloody murder if anyone forces me to sit for the entire movie. No way! I would most likely be the very definition of a scaredy-cat. I’m not proud of it, but it is the truth. So I think Anna Dressed in Blood is probably one of my most daring reads ever!
I’ve seen it displayed on my favorite bookstores ever since it got released, then the paperback came out and it was all over the place, along with the second book, Girl of Nightmares. A series of book towers all around, mocking me that I wouldn’t bother picking it up. It is as if it’s trying to pick a fight with me, the nerve! I may be easily frightened but I do not go down without a fight. Oh, it is on!
Although I was sceptical to read this at first, I have to admit that Anna Dressed in Blood was amazing! First thing that got me hooked was Cas, he was awesome! That’s right, he’s a guy. A male protagonist for a YA book? Woohoo! It isn’t that bizarre but you don’t see it often so... Anyway, aside from having a change in protag gender, I like Cas for his personality. He’s clever and determined, and major points for being the guy who isn’t afraid to admit fear. He always tries to overcome it, but his voice never lies and says he’s not frightened by the ghosts he hunts and kills.
Moving on; even though she scared the heck out of me, I like Anna. I was intrigued about her, why was she cursed? How did she die? What on earth possessed her to spare Cas? Not that I’m complaining, but I was curious. In the end, she’s just a girl after all and that really touched my heart.
I might not have bought the whole Cas and Anna love interest, insta-love and I have not been in good terms lately (the main reason why I didn’t give this a full 5 star rating), I like them together. It’s a sweet twist despite the fact that I know it’ll probably end bad, Anna being a ghost and all. Still, I want them to be together.
So we have good characters, a whole lot of ghosts, and a little romance, but Anna Dressed in Blood isn’t short of action scenes either. Each chapter was all too exciting that even though I got scared, I couldn’t put it down! Perhaps my “please don’t creep me out” mantra helped me a bit. So maybe I can handle a little scare now? Probably still not! But I would try to get over my fears just so I could read Girl of Nightmares.