This book FREAKED ME OUT in the beginning. I was really scared,I had to see several episodes of South Park to stop looking in the dark corners of my room. :D
Was anyone thinking about Supernatural while reading this book? I was. It contains many of the same elements, and in many ways Cas is not unlike the Winchester brothers. He's funny and driven and talented and a damn fine person!
The secondary characters in this book:Thomas,Caramel,Will and Morfran are well developed characters. I love their quirks. I love their flaws. I love their fullness.
The plot worked until the focus shifted away from Anna about two-thirds through, which is a shame. You may think I am insane for saying this but the romance with Cas and Anna did nothing for me. Kendare should let them hook up in the second book and not in the first. I loose interest very fast that way. That is the only reason I give it 4 stars.
This was the best ghost story that has been written in years. It is the ghost story readers have been looking for but haven't been able to find. Creepy, scary, and will keep you up all night turning the pages! All in all, I am fascinated by Kendare's writing ability and I look forward to continuing this series. I can't wait to see what happens to Cas and Anna next!
Anna Dressed in Blood is one of the most original, deeply creepy and engrossing novels I’ve read recently. The story certainly lives up to the eeriness of the cover art and is an interesting mix of supernatural horror and forbidden attraction.
Kendare Blake has created a world in which things that go bump in the night are very real and likely to kill you. Cas is an interesting and wonderfully flawed hero, while Anna's character opens the story to new directions that the reader doesn't expect. Secondary characters are just as important and well-developed and help bring Blake's world to life. Anna Dressed in Blood perfectly balances horror, action and emotion to leave the reader anxiously waiting for the next volume.
I’ll be honest – this book actually gave me a few nightmares. Not because of Anna; she is intriguing and tormented and freaky yes, but there is another character that I truly gave me the chills. Readers will feel compelled to finish this book in one sitting so as not to be too overcome by the death-by-ghost possibilities. Kendare Blake is a talented writer who’s second novel bursts onto the YA Paranormal scene with a bewitching tale.
Recommended for readers of:
Robert Liparulo, Stephen King, Richard Yancey, Maureen Johnson
Picture the scene of a horror movie, right before something is about to happen, and the creepy music goes silent. That is the feeling I got almost the entire length of this book. My hair was standing on end and I was on edge - jumping at any creaks or groans emitted in my apartment.
Anna is heartbreaking. And terrifying. There were definite moments where I forgot she was dead, and hoped for a future for her. Then Blake would shatter my heart and remind me that Anna was dead and that there was no hope. The scenes with her dripping blood were written so vividly, that I kept fearing that when I looked up from my book she would be hovering over me.
Cas was a strong protagonist, and I loved the slightly awkward moments between him and Thomas as their friendship grew. It was refreshing that Cas was honest about everything with everyone, instead of making stupid decisions which would end up coming back to haunt him later. I wish his thirst for vengeance for his father had been slightly stronger, and that it had been explained why his mother and Gideon reacted so strongly to his questions about his father's death - and the strange talisman he found at his murder site.
Thomas was a great supporting character - his awkward clumsiness was endearing, and being unnaturally brave made his actions that much more honourable. Carmel was also a refreshing supporting character. As the popular cheerleader-type, I expected a vapid airhead. She proved herself the complete opposite several times and I really enjoyed seeing her come into her own and prove her worth.
I did find the first half of the book was a little too slowly paced for me, as I didn't really understand Cas' attraction to Anna. I get that she is different then every other ghost he has faced, but other than curiosity over how she had gotten so strong, I didn't get why he would risk his life to ask her questions - questions that she kept refusing to answer.
Once the binding spell was completed, however, and we learn about Anna's sordid past, I couldn't get to the ending fast enough! Suspense and twists had me gripping the book until my knuckles went white. I won't get in to the ending - I don't want to inadvertently spoil anything - but I will say that the final scene at Cas' house will haunt my nightmares. I've got chills just thinking about it again.
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.
Although I didn’t like the ending, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Anna Dressed In Blood! Cas Lowood was one of my favourite character as, after the death of his father, Cas not only takes on the responsibility of continuing his father’s ghost hunting business, but also the responsibility of protecting himself & his mother from unearthly creatures. He tries successfully to balance his paranormal activities with maintaining the pretence that he is just an average teenager, that is until he meets Anna Dressed In Blood, when his father’s paranormal history finally catches up with him. Anna was also one of my favourite characters, as I loved reading about how she became the notorious, Anna Dressed In Blood, and how what happened during her short life triggered the events that would affect the whole community for the subsequent decades during her “afterlife”. Anna was also one of my favourite characters because of her quick wit, and sharp tongue. I love the cover of Anna Dressed In Blood! It portrays Anna, and the events surrounding her in the book perfectly. I would definitely recommend this book!
Anyone who really knows me, would know about my obsession with blood and dead girls. So it was no surprise that I would want to read this book as soon as I saw it. (And the cover, oh, the cover!) Whether I’d like it or not was an entirely different story. I’ll have you know, that I absolutely love Lenore. Poe’s Lenore and Dirge’s Lenore. But there are countless other books with dead girls that I can’t even care to remember them, they were that bad.
The thing with horror books is that they can be as scary as you want them to be. When watching a movie, you get a package deal of horrific images that may scare or be just meh, depending on your own spook-o-meter. But books give you the liberty of imagining those scary ghosts and creatures in any way you want to, providing just the base. My imagination is crazy. Parts of this book had me freaking out and seeing shadows around my room. The fact that I read in absolute darkness (on my Kindle) may have contributed to my fears.
To be honest, in hindsight, this book isn’t all that scary. It’s about a young guy who kills ghost who are out wreaking havoc and murdering people. And then he comes across Anna, who is the most vindictive, bloodiest ghost he has ever faced. Saying more would be giving out spoilers.
But I have to say, after Lish McBride’s Necromancer books, this is the only one that kept me up all night to finish it. I’ll be reading the sequel soon.
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Published by Tor Teen
On Shelves Now
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say: Sinister and Superb, A sucker-punch to awaken the world of YA!
So, I’ve been staring at this book for months now trying to work up the courage to read it. And when say months, I mean, at least six—but I always psyched myself and decided it was probably too scary for me. So, when I finally picked this up to read, it was a big deal to me. I mean a BIG DEAL! Further explanation? I don’t do horror. Whenever I think I’m kick butt enough to watch a horror movie, I end up sleeping with EVERY light on for at least a week. In fact, when I watched Silent Hill…that week turned into almost a month. I don’t do scary. So, I started reading Anna, completely sure that I would spend my nights lying flat on my back…with dozens of pillows surrounding me….with all the lights on….and with my glasses perched on my nose all night (just in case I heard and noise and needed to quickly scan the room)….and with a bat hiding snuggly under the bed (if I could brave myself enough to look under the bed). AND? Pleasant surprise! Anna was amazing—scary at times, but not so much to warrant an all-night watch-for-the-unworldly-athon.
The best thing about this book—it was the FIRST BOOK EVER where I liked the female main character better than the guy. This is a big deal! Big! I’m usually swept away by the good boy with charming good looks and sweet smile, or fall head over heels for the bad boy whose arrogance rivals only a Greek god’s. But, with this one, I immediately fell on the side of Team Anna. She was so awesome! The way Kendare described her was chilling, and her words wrenched me from the recliner and thrust me straight into that old Victorian where I felt like I was staring the “dark goddess” in the eyes. Full of power and darkness, yet ridden with innocence and guilt; Anna was the kind of bad guy that you just can’t help root for.
Now that doesn’t mean I didn’t like Cas, I really enjoyed him, also. Tough and arrogant, and completely at home in the other world, Cas will definitely leave you breathless at moments. Cas has been left with the duty of sending murderous ghosts back where they belong, but there is a part of him that wonders about his destiny. He struggles with everything he doesn’t know about the world on the other side. I loved watching his journey of truth, and by the end of the book, though his journey is far from over, I felt like Cas had grown from a boy exacting revenge to a man seeking discover the truth about his powers.
Kendare did an amazing job creating the personalities of the minor characters, also. You have 2 sidekicks in this Scooby gang—the quiet, nerdy boy with witchy powers (like Velma, only a dude), and the beautiful, always gets her way popular chick (we’ll call her the modern day Daphne). Together with Cas and Anna, these two will provide the much needed comic relief from the terror of the book.
And what about the story itself?
It was full of twists and turns that (although some you could see coming), kept me on the edge of my seat. The imagery was at times beautiful and poetic, while at other times, sinister and macabre. There were definite gory parts, but surprisingly, they didn’t bother me. In fact, they added to the sorrow of the story. I mean, this is a horror story, but most of the time I either felt an unwavering sadness at how evil had caught so many in its net, and at other times, I was in awe—of the way Kendare put so much power into play. Her world will melt from the page and come alive around you, and there will be times when you will wish it could stay that way!
Okay…so I will leave you with a few statements that you need to remember!
1.) This books is Ah-mazing!
2.) If you are scared to read this book, don’t be! It’s worth the fear!
3.) Anna is freaking unbelievably awesome!
4.) YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!
5.) My review of Girl of Nightmares (Book 2) will be up soon. Although I didn’t like it as much as this one, it was still great.
6)….AND…AGAIN….You must read this book!
Number one thing I loved about Anna Dressed In Blood above anything else? Cas. Hands down, it's Cas. He is the best male character I've ever read! You know the brooding, mysterious boy that makes a debut in almost every novel? He is always the crush of the female character because he is so different. That boy? That's Cas. It's amazing to finally get to see things from that boy's point of view, and let me tell you, it's a pretty intense point of view. As a main character, Cas shows us what it is like to be the lone wolf. The person trying to keep others at bay to protect them. It's sensational!
I do admit that this book scared the pants off me for a bit. Let's be honest, this isn't a book for the faint of heart. In fact, if you're not a fan of slightly gory occurrences? This might not be for you. However if you are okay with some violence in your reading, then you'll love Kendare Blake's story. This is a darker story. One filled with grief, vengeance, and yet still the hope that there is something better out there. The multiple layers create something that is wholly immersive, and easy to read.
Anna Dressed In Blood moves at breakneck speed, and I promise you that if you pick it up you won't set it down until you've finished reading. The way that the characters all compliment one another, the way that just enough suspense gets placed in just the right places, it makes this a story that is massively addicted. In fact, by the time that I reached the end I wanted to throw the book across the room. Not because I didn't love it. Nay, because I wish I had more! I cannot wait.
Suffice it to say, if you couldn't tell from my above ramblings, this is a book that I just adored. Kendare Blake has taken all of the elements that I love in a good story and blended them together into something that is just too good to be true. I never thought I'd find myself enamored with a ghost, but there you have it. Blake has managed to do that for me. I don't doubt you'll feel the same way when you pick up a copy of this book. Anna Dressed In Blood is amazing.
Such a amazing story.
This book is so engaging and enthralling! It really grabs you and keeps you wanting more! The attention to detail is on target, not to mention the characters. I don't even know what to say there. They are captivating. The stereotypes they "fit under" get tossed out the window when it comes down to the nitty gritty. They really shocked me because I expected them to be meek and boo-hoo-y for what has happened, yet they don't.
I really don't know what else to say there. haha
I never wanted it to end honestly. It's the kind of book I would recommend to EVERYONE. No matter what kind of books they liked or don't like; I'd still say "You should still read it." lol
Ghosts, blood & guts, wicked murders, craziness, witches, and someone who "kills" the dead. Hey, what's not to like!?
If you aren't reading this book yet, I fully recommend it!