Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

publisher: TorTeen

released: August 30th, 2011

hardcover, 360 pages

intended audience: Young adult


source: received from publisher for honest review

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. 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: 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.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

Review: In one word: Awesome!

I really loved this one. It was a little of everything: tense, funny, sentimental, adventurous, terrifying, gory, romantic. All of that and more. Let me tell you, I normally steer clear of anything gory, which is why you don't find too many zombie books on this blog...I just don't have the stomach for it. Anna Dressed in Blood had moments of sheer gore, blood everywhere, people getting ripped in half---and yet I was so wrapped up in the wild story, it didn't bother me. Some of the terrifying moments were so intense and the monsters so creepy, they snuck into my dreams, but I enjoyed the characters and their dilemmas too much to stop.

The beginning hits the ground running and never stops. We don't get told what Cas does for a living, we step right into the passenger seat and get shown first hand this boy in action. Cas was far from a normal everyday guy. Yet I found him completely relatable. He was funny, so clever, wickedly brave, and had made a fine art out of keeping people at arms length. Confidence that bordered on cockiness once in a while, but that made it all the more entertaining to see him knocked off his game by the mysterious Anna.

The big surprise: This book, Anna's story specifically, had me in tears. The last thing I expected when I cracked open this book, was to need to reach for the kleenex. It was that complex, that intense...that good.

Scary, thrilling, fun, and more than a little stomach-turning...but Anna Dressed in Blood is so worth it.

Final note: Upon finishing this, I completely thought this would be a stand-alone. But a sequel has recently been announced! No details yet, but this will be high on my wishlist for 2012!

Visit Kendare Blake's site here.

Purchase Anna Dressed in Blood at: Amazon BookDespositoryIndiebound



  1. Ahh, this sounds like an amazing book! -adds to wishlist- :D

  2. I can't wait to read this book! I haven't cried while reading a book yet but the way you describe it, I think I probably will during this one!

  3. I love series books that feel like they can stand alone. All this cliffhanger stuff drives me crazy sometimes!

    This is the second great review of this book I've read today. I'll definitely have to grab a copy! I love spooky reads!

  4. This sounds really good - I'll have to read it soon. Like you, I generally avoid gore, but I love when you're so lost in a story that you don't notice all the carnage that's happening! That happened to me recently with Dark Inside.

  5. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one. Unlike you I'm a bit of a gore junkie ;) I ordered this one from Amazon yesterday and can't wait to read it for myself ^-^

  6. eeek, this looked so good, glad to see it really is!

  7. Oh, I LOVED this one! It stood alone, it was spooky but not leave-the-light-on scary, and the characters were awesome. MORE-MORE-MORE!! Great review. :)
    Mary @ BookSwarm

  8. I'm reading this right now and am quite in love. My initial excitement for it has died a little bit but I'm still enjoying it:).

    A Thousand Little Pages

  9. I loved this book! It was SO very good! Glad you enjoyed it as well! I'm thrilled that there will be a sequel as well. :)

  10. You had me at "people getting ripped in half" I loooove the gory stuff which I guess it's why I love zombie books, I'm sooo glad you liked this one it's up high on my tbr pile right now and I'm looking forward to reading even more now. =D

  11. OK, it looks like this one is going on my "wanted" list! Great review of what sounds like a great book :)

  12. This book sounds like exactly my kind of thing. I'm glad you liked it; I'm seeing mostly positive reviews. Now I just have to get my own hands on a copy!


  14. This is one of my new favourites! :D

  15. I must find this book! I won the second book in a giveaway and I can't bring myself to read it.

  16. I can't wait to read this series! I've heard it's really creepy and I love creepy. Too bad I haven't really read any other books that have creepy factors in them. I also like that you rated it 5 cupcakes and that it's awesome :)