Name of Book: Anna Dressed in Blood
By: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Copyright Date: August 30, 2011
Format: YA fiction, paranormal
Reason for Reading: my neighbor said i had to read it and promptly handed it over
Cas hunts the dead. It is a vocation passed down from his father who was killed when he was seven. Now Cas and his mother move all over the country as Cas tracks down, hunts, and kills ghosts. Usually the ghosts are pretty run of the mill and the kills easy and quick. That is, until Cas faces Anna Dressed in Blood.
I was in a bit of a reading slump this summer, but Anna Dressed in Blood pulled me right out. Cas is an entertaining narrator with his quick wit and dry humor. He is a tough dude but also a bit of a softie at heart. I usually enjoy my paranormal with a side of vampires or witches; however, I really enjoyed Kendare’s take on ghosts and magic.
Cas is the ultimate loner. He doesn’t make friends or date. He has a job to do and that is his sole focus. However, Thunder Bay changes all of that. Cas finds that he can’t just shake off Carmel or Thomas, two schoolmates who ultimately become his friends. Cas is quite distressed at having other people involved in his life, not to mention they are aware of his abilities and will not stand by while he attempts to kill Anna.
I really enjoyed the relationship between Cas and his mom. She is, refreshingly, aware of his abilities and involved. She is also supportive, although she has her worried mom moments. The relationship is delightfully rich and complex. It was fun to watch Cas squirm a bit as Thomas and Carmel charged into his life and refused to leave.
Anna herself is quite engaging for a killer ghost. Her backstory is heartbreaking. She is more than she seems at the outset, which creates an interesting dilemma for Cas.
The story is tinged in horror and does have some gore, but Blake is adept with her words, so it didn’t bother me at all. There were moments where I felt a little scared or cringed, but the story itself is so compelling and readable.
An atmospheric, well-written, spooky tale of killer ghosts and a ghost slayer. Real relationships with adults present. Also, there is a tinge of gore and strong language.