Review Blog

May 07 2012

Anna dressed in blood by Kendare Blake

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Tom Doherty Associates Books, 2011. ISBN 9780765328656.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. With a raft of awards (Cybils Award Nominee for Fantasy and Science Fiction (Young Adult) (2011), YALSA 2012 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers (2012), and YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults (2012)) Anna dressed in blood is an ideal book to get teens reading. Cas Lowood kills the dead. He is a ghost hunter like his father before him. When his father is cruelly murdered, he inherits his strange athame, and goes around the countryside with his mother, a white witch, looking for ghosts to lay to rest. Arriving in a new town, searching for the ghost called Anna dressed in blood, Cas finds a ghost, dripping blood, who spares his life even though she has killed countless others.
I enjoyed reading this ghost story, which is written in the first person in the voice of Cas. Cas is a wonderful narrator, who gives the reader an in-depth insight into what he is feeling about the ghost hunting that he has to do and the loneliness he experiences as he and his mother move from town to town. He has no time to make friends and to be a normal teenage boy. When he enrolls at Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate and Vocational high school, he finds that he can't shake either Carmel or Thomas, who are determine to befriend him and help him in his quest. Both of his friends grow and begin to value themselves by the end of the story.
There are many exciting and gruesome scenes, which will be enjoyed by those who like some bloodthirsty action in their reading. Suspense is built up throughout the book, culminating in a thrilling ending that left me wanting more.
Cas's feelings for Anna are pivotal for making the story interesting. As a reader I became fascinated by the relationship between the two, which seems to be doomed. However there is another book in the pipeline, so it will be interesting to see where this talented author goes with the sequel.
Recommended for reluctant readers and those who enjoy a well written paranormal ghost story.
Pat Pledger

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