Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendra Blake

Title: Anna Dressed In Blood
Author: Kendra Blake
Series: Anna #1
Genre Young Adult/Urban Fantasy/Horror 
Number of Pages: 356
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: My copy 


 Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...
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.

This is one of those books that when you finish you stare at the last page in disbelief, not quite believing that it's over.  When I finished it I tried to will more words on the page, only to find that was indeed over and that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make more words appear.

Saying Anna Dressed In Blood wasn't what I expected at all is putting it mildly. I freakin' loved that it kept shocking me.  I thought it would be  your typical paranormal romance full of fluff and teen angst. Well there was a lot of the latter, but not a lot of fluff and that was such a nice change of pace in the YA genre that I'm still shocked over how much I loved this book. This book is a cross between Urban Fantasy & Horror, but heavier on the UF. What I liked is that it stayed true to form throughout the whole book and didn't keep switching didn't try to become something it wasn't.

I loved that this book  had lots of gore and  drama. The action never stopped. Just when I thought that the action parts were getting to be a bit much, there would be a nice emotional twist thrown in. There were just so many twists and turns happening in every chapter that as soon as I thought I had it all figured out it changed on me. I love it when a book totally surprises me like that.

Cas is a loner by nature, and like his dad and grandfather before him is a ghost hunter. When he and his mom move to a new town, he thinks it will be like all the other haunts he's done. He couldn't be more wrong. For starters, when he goes to meet his contact, the local who invited him to get rid of Anna, he finds that the contact isn't that easy to shake. To make matters worse, things quickly get out of hand, and Cas finds himself with a group of friends. I loved seeing how he changed to gradually realize that he had a support group to lean off of, even if he didn't really want one.  The secondary characters were wonderful because the good guys were fun to cheer for and the ones that weren't so good made you cringe-just as they are supposed to. There's nothing worse then a weak bad guy in a story, so I'm glad that didn't happen here. All around the characters will leave in turmoil wondering what will happen to them next.

 I truly can't wait to read the next book in the series and read more from this author. Fans of the tv show Supernatural should read this-because this book reminded me a lot of that show. This is a book that will consume your whole day if you aren't careful. It's skip a nap worthy, and I wish more books were like that.