Thursday, October 25, 2012
REVIEW: Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake
Despite the amount of reviews around, I still managed to come to this story without much of an idea of the basic storyline. I love when that happens. And with Anna Dressed In Blood, I was interested right from the start. I find it really wonderful to read a YA novel from a male perspective as it isn't something I read very often so that was a point in its favour right from the start.
But aside from that, I really found the ghost killing element of the story to be fascinating. Cas Lowood has followed in his father's footsteps by travelling the world searching for ghosts that he can eliminate using his father's magic-infused knife. With the help of witchy mother, it's pretty much just Cas and his knife against the murderous ghosts out there who are all set on this loop of death and destruction. I was absolutely gripped by each and every word of this section of the book, I really wanted to read more. I could read book after book detailing Cas' experiences hunting ghosts!
But when Cas hears of a ghost nicknamed 'Anna Dressed In Blood' he feels immediately drawn to her story. There isn't much known about Anna before she became a ghost, only rumours. But she is fierce and deadly. She kills every person who enters her old house ... that is, until Cas shows up. And so Cas sets about finding answers about Anna's life before her death, and in doing so manages to unlock some secrets and mystery that has surrounded his father's death many years ago.
What I loved most about this story, besides the ghost and the scary bits? Are the characters. I really felt for both Cas and Anna. Cas is this horribly lonely teenage boy who has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He really believes it is up to him to rid the world of murdering ghosts and that is a lot of responsibility on one so young. He's also being haunted by the death of his father and there's just so little that he understands - about ghosts and voodoo and dark magic. I really just wanted to give him a big hug throughout this book! I was incredibly glad that Cas begins to realise, albeit slowly, that he doesn't need to walk this path alone and starts leaning on the friends he has made in this new town.
And Anna. I never thought that I would feel such sympathy for a ghost who tore a character limb from limb. But I do. As much as Anna scared throughout much of this book, I also felt really sorry her and for the circumstances in which she has become this ghost that has done these things.
I'm really intrigued to know that there is now a sequel to Anna Dressed In Blood available! I shall certainly be looking out for it and for more books by Kendare Blake. I found myself really emotionally attached to the characters in this story. And there's just enough gore and ghosty creepiness to get your heart racing this Halloween or at any time of the year! I'm very glad that I read this book!