Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Published by Tor Teen
Date Published: August 30, 2011
Rating: 5/5

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.
Lately, I’ve been stupidly busy at work AND trying to Camp NaNoWriMo which makes Jennifer a busy girl and a sad panda for not being able to read as much as she likes. Alas, when I finally did FORCE myself to read I was in the mood for something dark and creepy. Wise old Twitter suggested Anna Dressed in Blood. A ghost girl dressed in blood. Awesome.

And I was really surprised by all the funny!! First of all, let’s hear it for snarky boy POV. Cas is pleasantly snarky with a touch of that ‘I am a rock’ complex Simon and Garfunkel so artfully sing about. If that doesn’t get ya, a load of well-placed hilarious pop culture references will. Cas is forced to ask for help when he first encounters super-ghost Anna. And of course, he enlists an oddball list of high school stereotypes including Queen Bee Carmel and bottom-of-the-social-wrung Thomas, who happens to practice magic. It was kind of a Scooby Doo gang (but less lame, jinkees!) crossed with Buffy. No, really!

But of course there’s also ANNA. I feel like if I go in too much why I like Anna, I’ll give it away book secrets and I’m against that, but all I’ll say is: YES! ONE BAD ASS GIRL GHOST! And the relationship between Cas and Anna was amazing in its own very interestingly different way.

Then there was the creepy. Gotta say, I was NOT disappointed in the creepiness department. People getting ripped in half, words written on the walls in blood, people getting eaten - OMG! Bring out the popcorn and the Milk Duds, y’all this is better than THE SHINING!!!! I mean you know it’s serious when I look away and gag a little. And I did.

So, I’m aware this book doesn’t come out until August but, Ms. Blake, can I haz sekuel naow?! Kinda kidding, but also entirely not. Seriously, this is definitely going to be one of my favorite books of the year, no contest.

If you like funny mixed with your slightly heartbreaking all topped off with some gore, you WANT/ MUST check this out! Seriously!

This is for you, if you liked: Holly Black, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series) or Supernatural (TV series).

-Reviewed by Jennifer

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that does sound pretty interesting! And I <3 Scooby Doo, a childhood fave of mine, so the Scooby element of "the gang" sounds great too! And really it wasn't jinkees-lameness. It was just the 70s!

    Great review!