Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendra Blake

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 love a good horror story, filled with gore and screams. Usually, with the target of the YA genre being children of 13+ you don’t find horrors that really fit the definition of horror. Anna Dressed in Blood for me is the perfect blend of YA and adult horror and needless to say, I absolutely love this book.

I loved being in the head of Cas. He’s a little messed up, extremely independent, and he knows his stuff. He’s also the perfect blend of teenager. Blake does not shy away from the fact that us teenagers can rival a sailors mouth and Cas is no exception. It actually really annoys me when author’s portray teens as people who don’t swear. Because we do. Especially when there’s a ghost who rips out your guts and hangs your beheaded body in the basement. (Seriously. Perfect blend, yeah?)

That’s the other thing Blake doesn’t shy from. I was expecting a mellow done sort of ghost story. No. Anna kicks ass and we all know it. As mentioned above, there is violence and gore and lots of it. Cas comes across as seriously kick ass... Then Anna is a Goddess with a vengeance.

I also wasn’t entirely sure where the romance would come in, as Clare is quoted on my cover saying “spellbinding and romantic”, but as we grow to know Anna I really understood. And I felt so sorry for Cas. Anna’s a ghost who kind of has a split personality: the one where she kills anyone who steps inside (that’s when she has scary black eyes and a blood dress), and the one where she stops herself from harming Cas (the one we all love).

Anna Dressed in Blood is a truly fantastic book. There’s a whole cast I haven’t spoken about, but I feel like I could rave about this book forever so I’ll leave it with those highlights. If you love a little bit of horror or ghosts, a strong headed protagonists who kicks butt and a villain-not-so-villain, I recommend this. I recommend this for everybody. Stuff that, just go read it now!

Rating: 5 stars
Date Read: Jan 2013
Date Published: July 5th 2012
Australian Publisher: Orchard 
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Series: Anna #1


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