Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
ISBN: 978-0765328656
Pages: 316
Series: Anna #1
Type: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Gift

Cas Lowood has an unusual life. He lives with his kitchen witch mother and their spirit sniffing cat and spends all his free time hunting ghosts in hopes of avenging his father's death. Cas is following in his father's footsteps killing the vengeful dead before they can claim more victims. When Cas gets a tip about a particularly viscious ghost he goes off to discover more about Anna Dressed in Blood as she is known, and soon finds there is a lot he doesn't know.

I'd seen this book mentioned all over the web with loads of rave reviews. I loved all the teasers people had posted on their blogs so I decided to read this over Halloween. I'm really glad I did as it is an amazing read, managing to blend creepy with gross and sweet in a storyline packed with so many twists and turns it makes your head spin.

The plot is amazing. I was expecting the tagline to cover the plot "Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story..." but there is so much more to it than that. Cas and Anna's stories rapidly become more complex than I was expecting and all the other characters introduce so much depth to the story I could barely stop myself reading. There are also a lot of pop-culture references which are brilliant and made the book have a self-aware feel.

I don't read many books with male protagonists so I was surprised to like Cas as much as I did, though with a name like Theseus Cassio I was always going to like him. The characters on the whole are really well written, from the hero Cas to his kitchen witch mother (who isn't stereotypical or mocked) and the reluctant sidekick Thomas. Anna is incredibly well developed managing to find a balance between menacing and vulnerable, and despite her bad girl role I loved her.

The ending is well written and cleverly done, managing to conclude the story with some big twists I didn't predict. It does lead into the next book which is good in some ways, but leaves a few unanswered questions which will bug me until I get the chance to read it.

All in all, this was an incredible read and I can't wait for the sequel - Girl of Nightmares.

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 10/10

Overall: 49/50


  1. I keep seeing good things about this one! The premise seems awesome! While I don't often read books with male protagonists, I usually find them refreshing when I do. Great review!

  2. Aw, thanks Penguin :) It really is a refreshing change to read a male protagonist and this book is a great read!


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