Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

I love a good spook story. I’m not much into horror and gore, even in a book it just makes me nauseous. But I adore the paranormal genre and love ghost stories. That’s why I had to pick up Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. Well, that and people have been raving about the book ever since it came out in the autumn last year. I can certainly see why! I really enjoyed this book and, for now, it is my favorite book of 2012.

Cas Lowood inherited an unusual vocation from his father: he kills the dead. Cas and his kitchen-witch mother travel the country with their spirit-sniffing cat to seek out those unruly ghosts and ghouls that trouble the living. When Cas travels to Thunder Bay, Ontario in search of a local legend said to kill any person who sets foot in the house she once lived in, he thinks it’s going to be a normal hunt. But when he ends up in the path of Anna Dressed in Blood without his mysterious and dangerous athame to protect him, Cas expects to end up dead himself. But Anna, for some reason, spares him. With his newfound friends, Cas will have to unravel the mystery of Anna Dressed in Blood and confront his past, including the death of his father.

Anna Dressed in Blood turned out to be everything people were gushing about in their reviews. It’s an awesome story and blew me away. On the surface it looks like a simple, really well-written ghost story but underneath that we have layers of events that turn this simple ghost story into something truly fantastic. I enjoyed all the characters, even the token defenseless but surprisingly necessary girl character. (Although, I have trouble taking people with ridiculous names seriously and with a name like Carmel, you might as well tattoo ‘hooker’ across her forehead because that was all I could think about when I read her name.) The characters all drive the story.

Anna Dressed in Blood has ghosts and witches and demons woven into a story about love and redemption. It’s complex and well thought-out. I was very surprised with how well the differing elements worked together in this book. The pacing is good and it never slows down. The book never drags and the reader is never bored. I enjoyed how aware Anna was, so unlike the other ghosts Cas had encountered. None of the characters annoy me and nobody suffers from ‘too stupid to live’ syndrome. It’s hard to write reviews for truly good books because I have nothing to nitpick and I’m trying not to sound like I want to marry this book and have its little book babies. (Which I sort of do.)

Anna Dressed in Blood is the best book I’ve read this year so far. Anybody looking for an exceptional paranormal story will love this book. Whenever I read a paranormal story, I always feel as if I’m reading something that is a little silly. I can’t quite believe in it. But with Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake the elements of the book are so well put together and everything just flows in a way that makes this a true treasure to read. The sequel, Girl of Nightmares, comes out on August 7th, 2012.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Published August 30th 2011 by Tor Teen
316 pages
First in a series

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About Patricia @ Lady with Books

I'm a 34 year old female. Brown hair. Blue eyes. I spend a great deal of my time surfing the internet and blogging. I enjoy cooking. I make a mean sautéed vegetable dish. I write. I read.

Posted on May 14, 2012, in book review, fiction, paranormal fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I have a soft spot for ghost stories too. 🙂 Must find this one!

  2. Hi! I’ve followed you awhile. Perhaps you’d like my site. http://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/favourite-genre-gothic-mystery/

    It’s hard to respond to all posts of interest because I’m on dial-up modem. Love where I live though in rural Canada. Seeing this, I had to ask where you are because it’s easy to assume “everyone on the net is American, unless said otherwise”! Kendare Blake is either Canadian or has done a rare location: Thunder Bay, Ontario. I haven’t seen her work or Thunder Bay but could drive to it in a day. If you’re Canadian, a pleasure to meet another. If you aren’t and read our authors, I applaud that.

  3. I have thought about reading this book off and on but just haven’t quite decided if I want to read it or not, but your review has convinced me! I am totally adding it to my TBR list 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation and awesome review! Cheers

    • Patricia @ Lady with Books

      I would definitely give Anna Dressed in Blood a try if you like paranormal fiction even a little bit. The sequel will be out soonish and advanced reviews say it’s also awesome. Thanks for stopping by!

  1. Pingback: Favorite Books of 2012 « Lady With Books

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