Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: August 30th 2011
Find On: Amazon, Goodreads
Quick Review: '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 ordinaOkry: 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.
Detailed Review: Ok first off, this book was absolutely a fun and an exciting read as well as unusual. I always loved ghost stories but this is totally new spin of ghost hunters/creepy killers. This story is told by 'Cas' who is known as Theseus Cassio Lowood. He is a boy who avenges his father by taking his legacy of wielding a knife that is able to kill ghosts. Like the blurb says, his Mum is seriously a witch who brews stuff in the middle of the kitchen and a ghost sniffing cat. It starts off where Cas has decided to hunt a ghost which is a hitchhiker. It's main goal is to keep you from getting home.
Cas picks him up and they swerve out of control as a bridge starts coming closer and closer. Then when he killed the hitchhiker. Followed up, Cas and his unusual family goes to a town called Thunderbird where they hear about a ghost called 'Anna Dressed In Blood'. Voila! The ultimate ghost is awaiting Cassio. And meeting a telepathic kid named Thomas.
'But there somewhere out there is one that matters. Somewhere out there is the one that I came for, who is strong enough to squeeze the breath out of living throats.
I think of her again. Anna. Anna Dressed In Blood. I wonder what tricks she'll try. I wonder if she'll be clever. Will she float? Will she laugh or scream?
How will she try to kill me?'
But guess what? Typically cut short, Cas befriends the most popular girl, Carmel for info. There he meets other students like Mike, Will and Chase who are all typical jocks. Cas then gets juicy info out them by spending time at a party about Anna. They decide to take some time off at Anna's house and sooner then later Mike gets ripped up by Anna HERSELF! I couldn't believe how horrible Mike got hit!
'She sets him on his feet. He's bleeding from cuts on his face and hands. He takes one step backward. Anna bares her teeth. I hear my voice coming from somewhere else, telling her to stop or just screaming, and Mike doesn't have any time to scream before she thrusts her hands into his chest, tearing through skin and muscle. She pushes her arms out to the sides, like she's forcing her way through a closing door, and Mike Andover is torn in half. Both halves fall to their knees, jerking and skittering like insect parts.'
I mean how disgusting can that be? Mike in a pile of his torn-up body. Luckily Thomas pulled Cas out just in time. Then the real adventure begins where Carmel learns who Cas really is. A ghost hunter like his Dad. Thomas soon joins the group after the event and helps Cassio with his hunt for Anna. The next few days he has horrible nightmares about a creature standing over him while he sleeps. He feels incredibly disturbed until one morning he decides to go Anna.
There he starts falling in love with her! And- the scene breaks apart as Carmel interrupts their conversation. I thought Anna was WOW. She has a different side to her. A soft one and her horrible screeching tearing apart human self. She chases them out.
Guess what? Carmel and Thomas happens next. I mean, they fall in love! Okkk..., double dates. Dead girl + Hunter = who knows? But anyway they try to figure out how to kill Anna and instead helped her. The dress she was wearing is actually something to keep her inside of the house forever. Until Cas helps her by changing the dress and also meeting the mysterious creature standing over his bed. The creature is called an Obeahman which eats flesh to become stronger.
There Cas and Obeahman have a final stand off. Instead Anna saved Cas butt as she dragged the Obeahman to Hell, leaving Cas completely sad and happy. One because Anna's gone. Two, she's free...or so he thought. But I love the characters. They were amazingly written and Cas's narrative flowed so easily, I already loved it from the start. I was kinda happy when Anna dragged the Obeahman away everyone. I mean, he was creepy. Imagine this guy eating his or her flesh of someone you knew!
Yuck. But I loved the end.
'"Where-" he starts, and looks at me carefully, trying to be delicate. "Where do you think she went?"
I look at my friend Thomas, at his sincere, earnest face. "I don't know," I say softly. There must be a devilish glint in my eye. "Maybe you and Carmel can help me figure it out."
Yet it's not the end.
Brief Review: 'Anna Dressed In Blood was amazingly written and unstoppable. As I read the book, I couldn't stop putting it down even for a minute! I was completely engrossed in this story. Cas was easy-going and a non-stop believer, he was a great character from the start till the end. I can't wait for more!'
My Rating: 4/5 'Really Liked It'