Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood

I admit it: I picked this book up based on the intriguing title and the stunning cover. Both suit the book perfectly: my expectations were fulfilled in a most satisfying way.

Our hero is teenage Cas.  He is a ghost hunter, just like his father before him.  He and his mother move around a lot, as Cas tracks down ghosts and dispatches them with his father's athame, a dagger with mysterious powers.  Things have been fairly cut and dry for him up to this point: stay detached, hunt down ghosts, kill them, move on.

Then he hears about a ghost known as Anna Dressed in Blood, and they move to Canada. There Cas finds himself facing a ghost unlike any he's ever known, and this time, he is going to need backup. He's held himself apart for so long that it is a strange sensation to find that he actually has acquired some friends willing to stand up with him, but even with their help, the situation quickly spins out of his control...

This is the perfect Halloween read, with atmospheric creepiness galore, along with an action-packed plot with twists and turns, sympathetic characters, a touch of romance, and even a little humor. My eighth grader picked it up this week and has had her nose in it ever since, barely able to put it down to do her homework or join us at the dinner table. I like that in a book! The novel stands well on its own and ends with a fairly satisfying conclusion, but there is, of course, a sequel. I found Cas to have his faults, but he is a charming and tough protagonist - and Anna?  I won't say a word - you'll have to find out for yourself! So I'm definitely on board to see what happens next. This may be a little gory for sensitive readers, but for those looking for a story to get under their skin, particularly for Halloween, this one will fit the bill.

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

Anna Dressed in Blood (#1 in the Anna series) by Kendare Blake (Tor Teen, 2011)

Also reviewed at:
Anna Reads: "Horror is really not my thing — in books or in movies — but this was a pretty solid read."
Beyond Books: "Anna Dressed in Blood is a thriller-mystery with relationships, friendships, some wit and a lot of atmosphere.  It's one of the better books I've read this year."
Book Twirps: "Anna Dressed in Blood is a great mix of horror, comedy, action and romance. Kendare Blake doesn’t waste any time, or words, in this novel. Each scene has a purpose and drives the novel forward at a satisfying pace."


  1. Horror isn't my thing either but fantastic titles are always my thing. And when horror is slightly my thing it's ghost horror (rather than serial killer horror which is awful).

  2. I just bought the sequel yesterday! I plan on gettin' my read on in the next week! ;) Glad you liked this.

    And Jennysbooks - it's not too horribly horror, I would give this one a try! ;)

  3. Jenny - I feel the same way. My husband laughs that I can't deal with terminal illness in books, or actual non-supernatural killers - but bring on the zombies, and I'm fine with it! This is way more than a ghost story - there are definitely creepy horror elements, but there's a lot more, too. That's why I liked it so much. I agree with Cat - I hope you'll give it a try!

    Cat - I'll be interested to hear what you think of it. I have got to stop waiting so long between books that I forget the first one. I love that there are sequels to books I love, but I'm feeling a little overwhelmed these days with keeping track of all the series I read!

  4. I've heard so many interesting things about this book. I really want to read it now. Thanks for the comments!

  5. Rachel - Please let me know what you think! I hope you'll enjoy it as much as my daughter and I did.

  6. I do not normally read horror, but I just read and reviewed Anna Dressed in Blood as well. I could not resist a book with such an unusual tagline as "Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people." It was very satisfying read and I look forward to pick up the sequel some time soon. :)

    1. Patricia - I'm glad you enjoyed this, too! The sequel came in for me at my library last week, but my daughter whisked it off, and I haven't had a chance to read it yet. :)


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