Wednesday, August 1

Book Review:
Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood 
by Kendare Blake
Anna Dressed in Blood Cover

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.

Personal Fave Punch: “Yes. Smashing. You’ll be just like those four chaps in the movie. You know the one, with the oversized marshmallow.”
Movement after reading: Glaring at my closed door, mentally daring something to open it.
Bit on Bits: Despite being all scary and dark, there's light humor.

Let me get this one out first: I loved the book. I might get overexcited and forget to include how I feel about it clearly. Anna Dressed in Blood was able to frighten me a little bit. And no, it wasn't the bloody dress. Or even Anna.

I read a lot of horror books so when I first got this book, I was already half in-love with it. Both the cover and the bluntness of the title made me do a mental ballet twirl. But as a habit, I put-off reading it until I was in the mood for it. When I find a book that I think will be good, I set it aside for a time when I can devour it without distraction.

The story is told by the awesomely-named hero, Theseus Cassio Lowood. He broods in a confident way that may actually strike some people as arrogance. I didn't even think brooding and confidence can go together and result in something good.  Cas, as he prefers calling himself, believes that hunting and striking ghosts with the athame his father once used is his legacy so his life is mainly travelling from country to country. I found this part a bit similar with the life of the Winchesters' in Supernatural. Except, of course, Cas travels with his mother and Tybalt the cat. The routine brought them to Thunder Bay, Ontario, following a tip from a trusted contact about a murderous ghost: Anna Korlov, or more known as Anna dressed in blood.
“She doesn’t wear her death wounds like other ghosts do. They say her throat was cut, and this girl’s throat is long and white. But there is the dress. It’s wet, and red, and constantly moving. It drips onto the ground.”
From hugging my pillow tight, I moved on to burrowing myself in all my other pillows. Cas's thinking and behavior are better understood when his bouts with Anna begin. His character even grows a little bit as the story progresses. He is able to form friendships despite his stubborn self-tirade to remain alone in his so-called darkness. (*laughs*) Among them is Thomas, who would probably be one of my bestfriends if we went to the same highschool. I have a thing for glasses and black magic. Carmel reminded me of why I refuse to hate popular girls despite all the hype to stereotype them as wicked. The voodoo, scrying bowl and Cas's mother pressing a wet thumb on her son's forehead sealed my love for the book.

I (abruptly and needlessly) profess my loyalty to Anna. She is murderous and sweet. It was strange how her little dialogue felt like something I would say.
"Having no choice doesn’t seem fair,” she says, seeming to read my mind. “But having all of them isn’t really easier.”
I shouldn't be giving away huge spoilers but aside from Tybalt the cat, she's the one who made the whole story more interesting for me. Well, she is the main highlight...right? *wink*

Maybe there were parts I wish Kendare Blake made more detailed (or more bloody, whichever works better) but there is no doubt that the storytelling is quite good. I recommend this for readers who love a good story with a scary edge. It's more than the gore, though those parts are enjoyable too. It's also a story of why, oftentimes, we should question our own motivation.

There's a sequel coming out VERY SOON, like a week from now. Anna Dressed in Blood could've done very good even as a standalone. But as a favor to Cas and because I love Anna, yes please... bring on the scenes from hell, Blake! I'm ready for more flesh-tearing and sewn eyes.


No comments:

Post a Comment