Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)
by Kendra Blake
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Tor Teen
ISBN: 0765328658 (ISBN13: 9780765328656)
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.
Don't you just love books that already ooze with excitement the moment you read the first line? Anna Dressed in Blood started out in a way that will catch the readers' interest pronto. At the beginning of the book, Cas meets the killer ghost that he's set out to kill. Cas seemed like a likable and a super cool guy too even at the start, so it wan't hard to tell that I was so going to enjoy the book.
The first half was everything I hoped for and more. I loved how the readers are introduced to Anna. She is expected to be a very terrifying ghost, and so that was how Blake introduced her to the readers. I can still picture her as the malevolent ghost that suddenly materialized at the top of the stairs and effortlessly ripped a person in half. Not something you'd expect a ghost would do, or could do for that matter, but somehow, Blake managed to make it natural and realistically creepy.
Unfortunately though, about 3/4 through, the plot suddenly became inconsistent. I'm also not satisfied with how Anna's case was solved. It was abrupt and very wth-ish. Cas's relationship with Anna wasn't totally believable. It wasn't spontaneous, and not to mention really awkward. I guess it's something that you're supposed to expect in a young adult book, but still, I didn't see it coming.
Overall though, Anna Dressed in Blood still provided for a very good quick read. And in spite of the wth-ish moments, I still can't wait to read the sequel.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars