Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)

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Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
August 30, 2011
ISBN
9780765328656
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Cas Lowood has unusual skill. Like his father before him, he kills the dead. Since his father's death at the hands of a powerful spirit, Cas has taken up the family knife and carried on the tradition of ridding the world of malevolent ghosts. Everything changes when Cas receives information about an unusual ghost, Anna Dressed in Blood, who has more kills to her name than any spirit Cas has come across. Suddenly the past comes back to haunt Cas and he must rely on new friends if he plans to survive the fight with Anna.

Editor reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.6
Plot 
 
4.7  (3)
Characters 
 
4.3  (3)
Writing Style 
 
4.7  (3)
A veritable "How You Do It" when it comes to the balance between suspense and action.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
This is actually my second time reading Anna Dressed in Blood. The first time was before I really got into blogging and so I didn't write a review. This time, I chose it as the season opener for my student book club.

I love the feeling of this book. Blake doesn't shy away from amazingly brutal scenes and it engages the reader in a way that a more censored version never could. This novel is not for the faint of heart. There are some truly gruesome and horrific scenes. One of my favorites involves the first time we meet Anna - the ghost who changes everything. There is very little lead up. We stop only for a short visual description before Anna unleashes her terrifying power. Anna walks a tightrope in between all powerful evil goddess and sympathetic character who we root for. The author has done an incredible job of letting us see all of the facets of her character.

I enjoyed watching all of the missteps as Cas develops friendships for the first time ever. I found myself smiling or laughing each time he would lament how much easier it was the deal with the dead rather than the living. The characters of Cas, Anna, and Thomas are decently well developed and interesting but I never really get a feel for Carmel. She doesn't seem to add anything significant to the plot other than playing the girl in their Scooby Doo Gang.

Anna Dressed in Blood is a veritable "This Is How You Do It" when it comes to the balance between suspense and action. Blake does a wonderful job providing enough action to keep the plot moving very quickly while also allowing for some relationship building and character development.

I am a fan - reading everything Kendare Blake writes for the rest of her life.
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Ghostly Mayhem
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Liked:
Amazingly, I managed to go into Anna Dressed in Blood knowing nothing whatsoever about the book, despite its immense popularity with my friends. All I knew was that it was a horror novel, but not even anything more than that. Oh, and that this series has badass covers. It’s so rare to get to read such a hyped book knowing nothing and I treasured the experience. Kendare Blake does horror and plot well. Anna Dressed in Blood isn’t the scariest thing I’ve ever read, but it did make me shudder at times.


Kendare Blake has a serious fascination with mythology. Both Antigoddess and Anna Dressed in Blood are steeped in it. I mean, hello, the main character’s name in Anna Dressed in Blood is Theseus Cassio. The fact that he loves his parents despite this puzzles me a bit, but whatever. I was thrown out of the book anytime his name came up, but the rest of the book is good enough to make that not matter so much. On top of that, though, there’s a lot of cool voodoo stuff in Anna Dressed in Blood.

The horror isn’t the constant shock of things coming at you. It’s more the gruesome sort, like the Saw franchise. If this were a movie, I still couldn’t watch it, but as a book it was totally fine. I’m actually a bit surprised they haven’t made a movie out of this, because it’s quite cinematic. Actually, that’s something I’d noticed about Kendare’s writing in Antigoddess, though I do think she’d gotten even better at it by that point. While I had a great sense of what all the horror aspects and settings were like, I had no read on the human characters at all.

It’s hard for me to really describe what worked for me in Anna Dressed in Blood. Though I saw the twist coming, I thought it was a good twist. This book was just highly entertaining. It’s got some weaknesses for sure, but it’s a debut. Considering that, it’s a really solid novel. My attention was held and I was always curious to find out what would happen next and if my theories were correct. I could have done without the animal death, but, considering the large human death toll, I suppose I can let that slide.

What Left Me Wanting More:
What left me cold, as though a ghost were sitting on my heart, were the romances. There are a couple of ships in here and neither of them did the slightest thing for me. I don’t quite unship them either, but there was a whole lot of non-caring to be had from me. Like, how often is it that I am wishing the kissing would stop and the plot could get on the road, at least in a book I actually enjoy? Hello, I am all about the kissing scenes, but not so much this time. I don’t really see a future for either couple, for very different reasons, and their connections aren’t sufficient for me to be invested anyway. It must be the lack of banter.

The Final Verdict:
Though I didn’t have a strong emotional tie to this one or give it one of my highest ratings, I’ve already purchased the sequel. It’s damn fun and I want more. Usually I reread favorites, but I could see wanting to reread these just for the ghostly mayhem.
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Wow
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
What a stunning debut. Atmospheric, compelling, dark and dangerous with a narrator who is as captivating as the ghosts he hunts. I can't believe it took me so long to get around to reading this book. My only wish is that it was longer. I'm hoping the sequel (which I will be snatching up the second it's available) is longer. I particularly enjoyed the way Ms. Blake paints her scenes. I could vividly imagine all of it, and the ghosts scared the never-you-mind out of me just by walking onto the page. I also loved the relationship between Cas and his mom, with the thread of his dad's memory binding them together. This book is a delicious little nightmare, and I loved every second of it.
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Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot 
 
4.5  (25)
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4.5  (25)
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4.6  (25)
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could have been much better!
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I liked Anna, the badass villain! I disliked though Anna, the ghost involved in an out of place romance and whose role changes drastically throughout the story! Could have been much better indeed! Still her backstory was amazing and the horror truly terrifying!
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Epic
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Astounding!
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!
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Review: Anna Dresses in Blood
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Oh… my God!!!

Oh my freaking God!!!

You have no idea but I’ve read this book almost in a single night. And what do I mean with “almost”?! I mean that I was in page 130-ish and finished the book in a night. Oh yeah baby! It was 6 in the morning when I finally closed the book and whispered (because I couldn’t scream): “WOW!!! That was AWESOME!!!”

Anyway, moving to the review which is being really difficult for me to write ‘cause I still can’t believe I’ve finished this book. But I’ll try, I promise I will.

So, Anna Dressed in Blood started as a very creepy story I just couldn’t read at night but couldn’t also stop reading. When I finished the first chapter, I was looking everywhere, terrified that a ghost would jump out of thin air and scared the hell out of me. It was such and just the perfect and smart way to introduce you to the book and its content I bow to Kendare Blake.

Cas Loowood’s job is killing the dead. Yah, you’ve read it right; he kills the dead. Basically, he hunts down those scary stories told by generations around the country about ghosts who are still walking among us killing people and finish the unfinished job: he sends the ghosts to where they belong, or where they should be. It’s in his blood; his father used to do it so he feels it’s his legacy to follow his footsteps. But, he also has a reason for killing the dead. He’s planning on re-murdering the man who, literally, ate his father.

Cas is sent off to Thunder Bay after a ghost known as Anna Dressed in Blood. And if I thought chapter one was creepy, I was wrong. His first encounter with the ghost of a young woman, whose death is a mystery, was something rather spine-chilling. Plus, the death of Mike was disturbing… a lot disturbing.

But I admit that the most disturbing bit of the book that had be cringing all over the place was Anna’s murderer. You see, Anna’s character wasn’t as evil as people in Thunder Bay thought. Sure she was a death goddess as Cas named her, but behind all of that was an innocent girl robbed of her innocence by her own mother. And that was revolting and frustrating. Knowing that Anna’s life has been miserable for quite a long time and when she finally takes a step forward to do something to change it, she’s murdered and cursed to remain in her house for all eternity by her own mother! That was simply cruel and had me wished for Cas to kill her mother (even though she’s already dead).

Cas character had me by my heart right in the beginning. I admit I have a thing for guys who hunts down the supernatural, and Cas is a troubled soul with a heavy heart full of sorrow. I just wanted to cuddle with him and let him take all of his secrets and pain off his chest. And then, he begins to have these strange feelings towards this killer ghost, Anna, and you find yourself happy for him ‘cause he found someone to talk to about his job. Yah, it sounds pretty lame but it’s a love which you want to end up good knowing it’s rather impossible. I mean, how can a ghost and a human be together in the end?!

Oh God, I really have to stop mumbling about this book. I absolutely loved it and the copy I have was lent to me by Carla from O Livro que Deu um Pum so I’m saving money to buy this for myself.

THANK YOU SWEETIE :)

This was a good scary book. But don’t go wandering around thinking this is a horror book. It does have some eerie scenes and some gorge and stuff but it turns into a soft romance. Okay, perhaps not that soft since ghosts are always creeping around. But it’s a good book to read in this time of the year with Halloween and everything happening.

Now, I need to have Girl of Nightmares, which is the sequel of this one ‘cause I need to know how the hell will Cas save Anna… like, right NOW!!!
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One of the scariest books I've read
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
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!
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fakdhfsuh
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Loved it!
Good Points
Actually really good. Cas, somewhat ghostbuster, travels around to somewhat "help" ghosts cross over to the other side. Takes up this Anna case after what he heard she could do. In a way ends maturing, finally made some friends, and fell in love, who just happened to be Anna. He's stil dealing with his father death, still plotting revenge against the demon that killed him. Wasn't surprised at his decision at the end about what's going to happen to him.

Could have done w/out the cat scene, it was out there.

I will actually read the sequel and see where this journey takes Cas/Anna.
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Anna Dressed In Blood
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
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.
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Anna Dressed in Blood
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
This book has one of the creepiest covers ever. I absolutely love it. This story sounds like it would be pretty creepy right? Well it is, in some parts at least but it's also very sweet and romantic as well. This is one of those books that I had to put down at night, solely due to the fact that reading ghost stories at night bothers me. I would however rush to pick it back up in the morning. This is a book that I won't be able to get out of my head for a while.

Just the first like of the description "Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story" was enough to draw my attention. I knew going in that this would probably end up being somewhat of a romance and it really did a great job of that by not taking over the entire storyline.

The ghost aspect was really refreshing, instead of the main character being afraid of ghosts or just being haunted by one, he actually sought them out to "kill" them. This really made the story interesting and the whole time I was wondering whether or not Cas would really be able to "kill" Anna.

The characters really helped make this book for me. Cas was an independent guy who wasn't part of mainstream society. He worked in the dark and kept himself distanced from people mainly because of what he did every night. He's actually a pretty sweet and caring person once Thomas and Carmel managed to get past his anti-social shell. Thomas was an interesting one. He was so shy and withdrawn yet he had this personality that just made me like him. Carmel seemed like such a snob in the beginning but as the story goes on we find out that she's actually much deeper than that. I loved Anna. Her story is so tragic and the things that she does are horrible. Yet there is so much humanity left inside of this girl who had everything taken away, she actually feels regret.

The story is emotional as well. There is the one scene where we finally learn Anna's whole story and believe me it's a sad one. I found myself getting upset and angry over the fate that she met and I kept rooting for her as the story progressed. The story had a shocking twist as well, I didn't see a lot of the things coming that happened and for that I was really happy, who wants a predictable ghost story anyway?

I absolutely loved Anna Dressed in Blood and I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel. If you like ghost stories then I definitely recommend checking this one out. Even if you aren't that big of a fan of ghost stories, I still recommend this, there are plenty of other aspects to this story like romance, mystery and suspense.
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Anna Dressed in Blood
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
hope for Cas to find Anna.
Good Points
I loved the story. Kinda made me think of the TV show Supernatural at first but with a younger crowd. It was suspense filled and a love story all in one. Awesome.
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This is some serious horror and voodoo!
(Updated: April 29, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Creepy yes but tolerable. Thanks to magic of spells part
Good Points
Wow. I’m impressed! This has been a great terrifying experience of legacy, family, friendship, and love all in one. Cas + Anna + Thomas + Morfran = some serious voodoo:

While there’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer for vampires and Ghostbusters for ghosts (in a funny way) then there’s Cas (Cassius Lowood) for serious ghost hunting and killing, only 17 y/o but continues the legacy of his father after his father’s death from a ghost murder.

You might think what the heck? Can a ghost kill? Unfortunately I do believe bad souls might kill even in reality through hallucinations and accidents that will eventually happen to people because of their fears. I may not be so sure if there are ghost hunters ever around the world but this story felt so real despite the creepiness because of the stories behind the ghosts, their death and why they revenged so much that made them take other people’s lives. But then again, the ghosts lingering around and doing that is never right and that’s the reason Cas is here to defeat them.

Cas was only 7 years old when his father died and since then, he made the decision to take over and even hunt more ghosts than his father did to prove the ghosts that he’s come to be their better enemy.

Anna Dressed In Blood is written in first person where Cas narrates the whole thing. His points of view are almost all agreeable and I felt both his anger and grief of hunting ghosts for the sake of his dad and the rest of living.

Cas kills the vengeful ghosts through his father’s athame (a magical knife with spells to kill these ghosts and send them outside the earth) – I know killing souls seemed weird but I was touched by the way Cas fearlessly slayed numerous of ghosts to stop them from killing more innocent people. Cas cares for humanity and the last thing he’ll expect himself to suffer is seeing his own mother die from these ghosts and he’ll never let that happen. I loved his integrity of having to sacrifice friends and building relationships because of this job and I’m sure wherever his father is, he made him proud.
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Less than scary, but entertaining
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Lately I’ve been on the hunt for unique YA reads that promises an interesting story. Anna Dressed in Blood filled those criteria, and skimming through, it seems to have gotten high ratings from my friends. And as an added bonus, it was on sale. So I was really happy that, for the most part, Kendare Blake delivered what I was looking for.

First off, I was really excited because Anna Dressed in Blood is narrated by a guy. The YA genre is heavily dominated by females, so this was a nice change. And I liked Cas as a protagonist. He was realistic, likabale, had an appropriately sardonic sense of humor, and was in general just a nice kid.

Blake’s cast of supporting characters was good, too. Cas had a couple of Harry Potter-style sidekicks who ended up dating, Cas’s mom was thankfully not an annoying dysfucntional YA parent, and everyone else was really interesting.
Now I was slightly disappointed in Anna herself, just because I was expecting some ferocious teen ghost or something, while in reality Anna was actually really sweet and shy and mopey. Of course, I can’t at all blame Blake for my misconception, and it really wasn’t a big deal in the long run.

I also really liked the world of ghost hunting that Kendare Blake created. The Wiccan and voodoo elements were really interesting for me, and I think the author explained them without sounding too info-dumpy. The spell the gang used in the middle of the book was pretty cool. I’m not well learned in magic or witchcraft, but it all seemed pretty realistic to me.

The big problem I had with Anna Dressed in Blood was the plot. If you take a knife and cut this book exactly down the middle, you will find two very different conflicts. The first half of the book is about Cas’s need to stop Anna from killing people/haunting her house. Halfway through, Blake almost entirely resolves that issue and then the book moves on to an issue having to do with Cas’s athame (ghost killing knife) and the person who killed his father.

In my opinion, it would have been better to split this book in half, flesh both sides out a bit more, and then present them as separate novels. There is nothing wrong with either of the two conflicts presented—they were well executed and not tediously boring, I just felt that having them both shoved together under one title isn’t the best plot construction choice.

Oh, and can I just briefly say that Malvina is the silliest bad guy name ever? Come on, it’s practically the same as Maleficent.

While not as creepy or gory as I was expecting, Anna Dressed in Blood is still a very good book. I enjoyed the storyline (even though it was bulky), and thought the characters and paranormal elements meshed together really well. Blake left things wide open for a sequel, and I’m definitely anticipating Girl of Nightmares. Bottom line: I recommend this to…well, anyone.
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