Monday, February 2, 2015

Review "Anna Dressed In Blood" by Kendare Blake

Title/Author: Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) By Kendare Blake
Genre: YA, Supernatural, Horror
Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis: 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. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: 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.

Yet she spares Cas's life.


Thoughts on the Overall Book: I love ghost stories, I love awesome male protagonists, so this was kind of a fun read for me, and definitely creepy, which is always a plus in my opinion.

Cover--Yea or Nay: I do like the cover, it's very gothic and creepy looking. I have a thing for black and white covers with red as the only color.

Characters: I loved Cas, he was awesome. It's always nice to find YA books with first person male protagonists, so I liked him all the more for it. He was kind of sarcastic, he was smart, and he did what he had to do, but not without thinking it over first. He wasn't stupid and always rushing off to get into trouble. I also did really like Anna, and felt horrible for her. Thomas was a kind of quirky, but easily likable character, and I was surprised how much I liked Caramel, she was a nice girl even if she was a popular one. Will and Chase were kind of jerks, and jocks, and I can't say I really cared for them, but they served their purpose. The baddie was majorly creepy. I had shivers down my spine reading about him, really good job there.

The Romance: Not as prevalent as I thought it would be. I think because Cas didn't really realize how he actually felt about Anna for a while, and it was never the foremost thought in his mind until the end of the book. I liked that, it made the storyline bearable and never got in the way of the plot. Of course, it's also sad because you pretty much know it's a doomed relationship. You also have a sideplot of Thomas/Caramel which I actually thought was kind of cute, and it doesn't take up a lot anyway.

Writing Style: I liked Cas' narration, he was an easy character to read, I liked how he kind of balanced out the freaky with some humor and easy narrating (Kind of like Cal in the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman). This is a book that really did creep me out, which doesn't happen very often, though I try to find books that will scare me (because I'm weird like that, lol) But I read this book over a course of rainy days and it was scary, especially toward the end where you get to meet the baddie.

Accuracy/ Believability: Not applicable. And I was slightly disappointed we didn't get to see more common lore in this book. I do like the take with the story, but I love ghost stories and folklore based books because I love traditional folklore, but apart from that, it was entertaining. I do not know anything much about voodoo, so maybe it was actually kind of accurate to the lore after all.

Problems/What bothered me: Not too much bothered me. A bit of stronger language than I like, and a bit more of the demonic stuff than I care to read toward the end, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. I think a few things could have been explained better, like about the voodoo, and the baddie, but overall, I didn't have any problems that kept me from enjoying the book. The only real complaint I have is that they made the text red, which I hate. It's very hard to read colored text. That's kind of a reading pet peeve of mine.

Conclusion: 4 stars. I'm going to be honest, I don't think this book needs a sequel, I liked the way it ended, (view spoiler) so I probably won't read it, unless I decide to later, but I really did enjoy this one, and I wouldn't mind reading more of Cas.

Recommended Audience: Girl or guy read, if the guy doesn't mind a little romance. 17 and up. I would definitely recommend it to Supernatural fans, and don't worry, it's actually not too similar, which is what I expected when I started it, but you will appreciate it.

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