Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Review: 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.
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Tor Teen 
(summary grabbed from GoodReads)

Anna Dressed in Blood had a different feel than most (if not all) YA books I’ve read.  A lot of the “different” of this book probably stems from it having a male protagonist.  The YA sea is an estrogen ocean, so the main character being a boy was rather refreshing.  Even more so, I love that he sounded like a boy-boy.  Gruff, practical, driven… not typical girl traits.  Cas was a pleasure to read.

Other than that, I don’t have much to say about Anna Dressed in Blood.  I liked it, but I didn’t love it.  I really don’t understand the hype; it was good, but not quite brilliant for me.  I was hoping for more in a lot of categories: the love element, the horror element, and oh-ma-gawd element… I think it just got over-hyped for me with all the stellar reviews.  It makes me wonder if I should stop reading reviews for books before I read them, what with the possible spoilers and over zealousness that sometimes happen.  Reading reviews are a double edged sword, aren’t they?  You can find a book more accurately that will be a good fit, but it could also taint the reading experience.  Hmm… poof balls.

Final Thought: Anna gets 2.5 out of 3 toadstools
                          This lack of an actual review gets 2.5 out of 15 toadstools.  Bad Momo.
                          Reading reviews get 2.5 out of 5 toadstools.

Also posted on GoodReads


  1. Lol. I do enjoy your reviews, even when they're this short. I have this book in my TBR pile, and I will definitely have to read it now because I should like to see a good example of a realistically and enjoyably executed male YA protag.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the review and hope you adore the book :D