Thursday, October 20, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood Review

Anna Dressed in Blood
by Kendare Blake

The Short Story
Cas comes from a long line of ghost hunters, and takes it seriously since his own dad was taken out on the job. He travels the world with his witchy mom, listening to local ghost stories and making them go away. When he hears about Anna dressed in blood, he decides she will be one of the last ghosts to help prepare him to find his father's killer. Except that's not at all what happens. A good, but violent, Halloween story. 4/5

Come for the....
disclaimer. I saw this book praised (with a but) on Kiersten White's blog, and I feel the need to start out similarly. I liked Anna Dressed in Blood. But it's not what I normally read, and the content has some very violent, gruesome (and sweary) parts. If descriptive gore and the f-word make you uncomfortable, this is probably not for you. I don't like those things, but I still liked Anna. (But, again, parts were gory enough that I skipped paragraphs here and there. I don't need all that spelled out for me.)

On to the good stuff. Anna was actually really funny in parts. The tag line is "Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story." Even Anna, the serial killer ghost, is funny. And the writing is just good. The descriptions of Anna's dress dripping blood made my stomach turn. Passages are detailed enough to make you feel like you're in the story, but not to slow the pacing down. And then there's a great cast of characters. They're such a rag tag bunch, but I liked their quirkiness. Again, they're described just enough that you trust them. For the most part.

Stay for the
cat; the goofy names; the sense of mystery, and knowing that you're missing something somewhere (but you probably won't figure out what); the sequel, which comes out sometime in 2012.

Don't Think About This Too Hard
  • For the most part, the plot stays in pretty familiar horror story territory. People go into the scary building when they shouldn't; the cat has special powers; people are killed in very violent ways. It may be a little formulaic, but that didn't really bother me.
  • This is the most violent book I've ever read. Just had to reiterate that. 

The Big Three:
Language: frequent profanity, including the f-word (frequently)
Sex and Stuff: not an issue
Violence: gory, gory violence; lots of blood; people missing limbs; also some implied child abuse

Just So You Know
I read an ARC of Anna Dressed in Blood as part of Around The World ARC Tours.


  1. This was definitely one of the most violently graphic books I've read (and Stephen King is my favorite author...) but I loved it none the less.

    Great review :)

  2. Sounds really good but perhaps too scary for me. I wonder if I would like the audio? Great review.

  3. I'm actually glad for the warning. That stuff doesn't usually bug me but when you go in blind and weren't expecting it, it can be quite the slap in the face. I'm excited for this one just because it has a male MC. :)

  4. Love your review! I feel the same way; I loved this book so much, but the I see what you were talking about on Twitter. Anyway, it's definitely one of my favorite ghost stories.

  5. I keep saying that I want to read this around Halloween, but now it's almost Halloween and I still haven't started it :) Like you, I'm not usually big on violent or gory books, but I still want to read this one! Loved your review!

  6. I just finished this. I loved it, but yeah, there was a lot of swearing. I was so sad about Tybalt. :(