Monday, September 19, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood
by Kendare Blake

Monday, September 19, 2011
In the past few weeks I have been less forthcoming with my reviews. Despite the fact that I read everyday, I continually find myself stuck writing about those books. I have a million reasons for this, but the real truth is I am not sure why I am finding myself failing in this area. Consequently, I decide to give Three Reasons Review format a try especially for books that so many people have recently read and whose reviews are much more articulate than I seem to be able to accomplish.

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered 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 ordinary: track, 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, now stained red and dripping with 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.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.(Publisher's summary from Goodreads)
1) Reason you chose the book: From the moment I saw the cover and read the summary I knew that this was a book I had to read. I love a good ghost story, and this sounded as if it would deliver.

2) Reason you liked or disliked the book: Characters! Kendare Blake did a phenomenal job creating characters who jumped off the page including secondary and minor characters. Often with first person POV I feel like I have a firm grasp of who the narrator is, but end up not knowing the other characters as well, but this was not the case here. Between Cas's thoughts and motivations, the dialogue between all the characters, and their actions I had no trouble picturing each and every one and becoming invested in their lives.

In addition, Blake's plot was so original and well executed that I was immersed in the action and the setting. Like Cas, I wanted to know more about Anna, her history, her reason's for killing, and why exactly she spares Cas's life. Blake's writing kept me mesmerized, and I never knew what would happen next. I also loved the ominous atmosphere that permeated the story throughout and Blake's ability to maintain that mood from beginning to end. And when the end came I was reluctant to stop reading. I can only hope that Anna Dressed in Blood is not the end of Cas's ghost chasing, because I am ready and willing to follow along with him an another adventure.

3) Reasons for recommending the book: Without reservation if you love a fast paced, ghost story with great characters then you should not miss Anna Dressed in Blood.  The combination of urban legends meets Ghostbusters is just too spooktacular to ignore, and for those of you who want a bit of romance with your spooks then you will like it too.

I want to thank Staci @ Life in a Thumb for turning me on to Jenny Loves to Read's blog where Three Reasons Review was created.

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