Saturday, November 26, 2011

Anna Dressed In Blood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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

Not many authors can scare you to death by eliciting vivid, gruesome imagery and, at the same time, take your breath away with sheer beauty of their prose. I never expected Kendare Blake to be one of those authors – that’s why her book took me completely by surprise. It was very different from what I thought it would be. When I choose a book based on a beautiful cover and an intriguing title (and yes, I really AM that shallow), especially one that none of my friends have read, I usually end up disappointed. Anna Dressed in Blood undoubtedly looks amazing and has a memorable title, but the most interesting part is right where it should be – between the covers.

Cassius Theseus Lowood grew up in an unconventional family. His mother is a white witch and his father was in the business of killing the dead for the second time, at least until one of the ghosts he was hunting murdered him in the most gruesome way. In Cas’s world, dead people often don’t want to leave the place where they died, especially if they were victims of a violent crime. Instead, they stay behind as monstrous echoes of their former selves – most of them seeking revenge for the horrors they experienced.
When Cas’s father died, Cas inherited his duties and his powerful athame. He’s been moving all over the country and killing ghosts since he was 14 years old. But he’s never run into a ghost as powerful as Anna nor did he ever try so hard to understand what drives a dead person to murder innocent people.
Anna is different in every way. She was killed in 1958. while walking to the prom in her beautiful white dress. When her throat was slit, blood covered her entirely, thus earning her the name Anna Dressed in Blood.
Someone cut her throat, but that’s an understatement. Someone nearly cut her head clean off. They say she was wearing a white party dress, and when they found her, the whole thing was stained red. That’s why they call her Anna Dressed in Blood.

Ever since her murder, Anna’s been tied to the house she grew up in. Twenty seven people have tried to enter, and none of them came out alive.

Nothing is black and white in Anna's story: she is both a killer and a victim, a horrible monster and an innocent girl – and just when you think you figured her out, she turns around and does something completely unexpected! Her entire personality changes as quickly as her appearance which forces Cas to doubt every single choice he made since the beginning of his hunt.

I don’t usually watch horror movies and I always do my best to avoid horror novels, Oh, so what? I live alone and I scare easily. :D, but black witches, white witches, people trapped in walls, Voodoo, athames, ghost hunting, cursed objects, a strong male protagonist and unexpected developments made me very happy that I decided to read this book. I really hope it gets the attention it deserves.


  1. Incredible review of an incredible book. Anna is one of my two favorite reads of 2011. I'm glad you loved it as much as I did! I can't wait to see what Kendare Blake does with the sequel!!

  2. Okay -- after reading your 2011 faves post, I had to go back and read this review. Now, I HAVE to read this! I agree with Donna -- this is an incredible review. Even the quotes. I am officially buying this because of you lol.

  3. This book is a smashing success by Blake, and terrifically well written. A must read for any YA fan. I am thrilled to see what else Blake has up her sleeve.

    Irene (Houston Local SEO)


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