Review: Anna Dressed in Blood & Giveaway

Anna Dressed in Blood – Kendare Blake
Genre – Young Adult Horror/Paranormal

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 and in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangles 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 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.

My Review *Spoilers*

Nowadays, many Young Adult novels are dominated by female voices, so it was refreshing to have a male as the protagonist this time around. Cas Lowood is a 17-year-old ghost hunter who travels around the country banishing ghosts with a magical athame. This is a profession which he inherits from his deceased father, and it leads him to a new town where a ghost, known as Anna Dressed in Blood, has haunted the town for many years.

Enter Anna. Holy smokes, is she fantastic! I loved Cas from the beginning, but Anna just fascinated me. She was so cruel and full of rage and she ripped people apart; it was awesome! I kept wondering what made her that way and I found out, and I wished I hadn’t found out. As vengeful and scary as she is, you can’t help but feel sorry for her. The visual which Kendare Blake puts into your head of Anna in her white, bleeding dress is hard to get rid of.

The other amazing part of this novel is the imagery. For example: “Dark, purplish veins cut through her pale white skin. Her hair is shadow-less black, and it moves through the air as though suspended in water, snaking out behind and drifting like reeds. It’s the only thing about her that looks alive.” You just don’t forget descriptions like that. Kendare Blake’s writing has this way of getting into your head…and, ok, I admit it. I was a little spooked out by this whole novel.

What Worked: Many things. Cas Lowood was a great protagonist. He was strong, confident without being arrogant, and he was humorous at times which really worked amidst the horror. Anna was a great antagonist for the first half of the book, but after that she becomes someone who you pity, very much like Cas begins to. Imagery was great and the spooky bits really did freak you out. Also, the minor characters didn’t have stereotypic roles and actually added to the story, so that was great.

What Didn’t Work: I have very little to say here, but I will mention something about the ending. There seems to be this expectation that YA books need to have a romance in them, which I disagree with. I think ANNA would have been just as enjoyable without romance. Anyway, it does make things interesting for the sequel.

Recommended: If you enjoy the TV show, Supernatural, or even if you’re a Ghostbusters fan.

This review is part of the New Author Blog Hop and giveaway, so leave a comment here for your chance to win a $25 e-gift card for Barnes & Noble.

Giveaway Requirements:

– This is an international giveaway
– You must be over 13 to enter
– You must be a follower of this blog
– You need to leave a comment with your email on this post or on the Kendare Blake interview

This giveaway is now closed.

9 thoughts on “Review: Anna Dressed in Blood & Giveaway

  1. I've been hearing a lot about this book recently. I just love the TV show Supernatural. The fact that your recommendation mentions it, makes me want it even more.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

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