Title: Anna dressed in blood (Anna #1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Date Published: 03 July 2012
Genre: Horror/Young Adult
Paperback: 320 pages
Rating: 5/5 stars
I try to stay away from ghost stories because I’m such a scaredy cat with a vivid imagination and I’d probably wake my brother up in the middle of the night so he could turn the lights on in our kitchen so I could get a glass of water if I had just read or watched anything scary so I could get back to sleep. I just tell myself I got this book because the cover is eerily beautiful, I’ve read very few horror books and I should scare myself from time to time.
Theseus Cassio “Cas” Lowood would seem to be a normal seventeen year old boy, but he’s not. He’s a ghost hunter just like his father was and for three years he has been hunting ghosts that kill people with his athame, a dagger forged with the blood of his ancestors, preparing to face the ghost that ate his father. His next destination is Thunder Bay, Ontario to kill Anna Korlov - Anna dressed in blood. Anna was murdered in 1958, when she was on her way to her school dance. Her throat was slit and the white dress she was wearing has turned red because of the blood hence her ghost name.
It’s refreshing to read a Young Adult book and see the story through a male protagonist, and get a break from female protagonists who tend to go on about that brooding hot guy who’s a jerk but still hot I think I’m falling for him along with other teen drama. I like Cas’ character, he was a little arrogant at first (though still very charming and funny) because of his success as a ghost hunter, he’s killed more ghosts in the last three years than his father did in the same amount of time, and he didn’t need friends because it’s only him, something in his blood, that can kill ghosts, the athame is just an ordinary dagger in the hands of another. Then he meets Anna who could swat him like a fly and he’s not so sure of himself anymore.
Anna is horrifyingly beautiful with her hair, the way she moves, and her dress: "Anna is descending upon me, coming down the stairs without taking any strides. Her feet drag horribly along like she can’t use them at all. Dark, purplish veins cut through her pale white skin. Her hair is shadow-less black, and it moves through the air as though suspended in water, snaking out behind and drifting like reeds. It’s the only thing about her that looks alive.
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."
I think that the mystery of her death was revealed so perfectly, a sense of foreboding washed over me as Anna takes us back to the day she wore her white dress and when it was over it was heartbreaking. Her character arc was beautifully done, we first meet her as a goddess of death tearing a boy in half, more powerful than all the other ghosts Cas has fought before then we see her as an innocent girl who’s scared and who wouldn’t hurt anyone, and finally, she has become that innocent girl once more.
I had hoped for a different dénouement though, I would have wanted Cas to be the one who has found a way to defeat his father's killer but I just read the book description for the next installment and I just realized how terrifying Anna's sacrifice had been and now it's Cas' turn to go to hell and back for her. (Aww)My Verdict:
A phenomenal debut novel, I would recommend it to ghost story lovers and to my brother, we love love Supernatural so much and Cas reminds me a little of Dean he'll love it. I really can't wait for Girl of Nightmares!
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