Friday, January 25, 2013
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen, 2011 (Hardcover)
Length: 316 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Horror
Started: January 20, 2013
Finished: January 22, 2013
From the inside cover:
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 house she used to call home.
But she, for whatever reason, spares his life.
This peaked my interest, plus I hadn't read a good scary book in a while and wanted a dose of creepy.
Cas, whose real name is Theseus Cassio, is a ghost hunter; a job he took over after his father was killed. He goes from place to place with his mother in tow, killing local ghosts that have in turn been killing the living. When Cas receives a tip about a ghost in Thunder Bay (woot for the Canadian reference!), he feels drawn to the case. After he encounters Anna Dressed in Blood and realizes she's not your average ghost, he needs to find out why she's so different and why he feels drawn to her.
The first part of this book really got me hooked, learning about Cas and what he does (and why he reminds me of a young Dean Winchester from Supernatural) and Anna's introduction and how wonderfully bad-ass she was. Then we find out why Anna is the way she is, Cas manages to 'fix' her, and the whole living-dead romance thing pops up...all which made the second half not quite as amazing as the first. There are a lot of things that go unanswered (the issue of the athame, why Anna didn't kill Cas) and it was enough to bug me.
Starts off good and scary, but quickly loses steam.
Thoughts on the cover:
I like it a lot, the black and white with just a hint of red, plus the fact that you can't see Anna's face really reinforce the scare-factor.