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.