Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
From Goodreads: 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 she used to call home.
And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.
From the first page I was hooked. I felt like I was reading an episode of Supernatural which is definitely my favorite TV show. Cas sounded exactly like Dean Winchester, only 18. He was witty, sarcastic, had a way with getting information from girls. Saw people as a means to killing a ghost, getting the job done and then leaving. No ties. No friends.
I liked the candid monologue he would have in his head. I liked the idea of him wanting to avenge his father, but knowing that to do so he must hunt and gain his experience before he knew he was ready. The fact that he was training himself in preparation for killing the thing that took his father showed a lot of restraint and smarts for an 18 year old.
Anna was a creepy ghost. I liked her story as hard as her past was to read about. Her inner struggle was interesting. What would it be like to know you're dead? She went through hell and was more powerful than anything Cas had ever come up against in the past. She was something more than a ghost.
The rest of the characters were good. Fitting perfect stereotypes that made the story feel like a teen horror movie. Carmel, Chase, Mike and Will were your typical popular girl in school and jocks. Thomas was the awkward, yet comes into his own and is a force to reckon with. I actually had to put the book down near the end knowing I wouldn't be able to sleep. Had to save the end to read during the day. Not many books freak me out and make me love it.
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