Sunday, October 16, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood
By: Kendare Blake
Reported by: Juli Helms

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered 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: track, 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, now stained red and dripping with 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.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life. 

-Summary from Goodreads

Now, if you read my blog, you know that I like to play around with the name of the review. I almost never use the actual name of the book as the title of the review. When I do, there is only one explanation:

The title is unbelievably awesome.

The cover of this book is unbelievably awesome.

This entire book is unbelievably awesome.

Anna Dressed in Blood is unlike anything I've ever read before. It's a haunting story, but the book itself is almost like a spell because you just can't stop reading it, you're almost trapped by it, and every emotion you can possibly feel boil just beneath the surface and reaches out to you like tentacles.

This book is, in its essence, very, very clever. When I first started reading it, the descriptions felt jumbled, disorientating. The plot felt dragged on.

And here's where I was wrong.

Anna Dressed in Blood is not at all what it seems. Not the characters, not the plot, not the prose. This is a book that you won't really realize the wonderfulness of until after you finish reading it. Kendare Blake writes some of the best descriptions I've ever read, yet I never noticed until I finished the book and went back, looked at it, and oh, it is just beautiful.

Here, read this:

The city smells like smoke and things that rot in the summer. It's more haunted than I thought it would be, an entire layer of activity just under the dirt: whispers behind  peoples' laughter or movement you shouldn't see in the corner of your eye. Most of them are harmless--sad little cold spots or groans in the dark. Blurry patches of white that only show up in a Polaroid. I have no business with them.

But somewhere out there is one that matters. Somewhere out there is the one that I came for, one who is strong enough to squeeze the breath out of living throats.

Actually, that was on the back cover, but I don't want to spoil anything for you.

Overall, Anna Dressed in Blood is a book that you have to read. The ending broke my heart, the characters won my heart, and my heart devoured this book.


  1. I *so* can't wait to read this! Thank you for not posting any spoilers!

  2. It's amazing, you definitely need to read it! And no problem, my pleasure. :)


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