Book Reviews

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

*Originally posted on Southern Bred, Southern Read Blog on 11/11/14*

I had a follower on Instagram suggest this book to me forever ago, but I had the hardest time finding it in stores. Maybe it was because I was looking around Halloween, but my local BN never had it in stock. Finally I lucked up and found it in a random Books-A-Million that I never go in. So while I would have loved to read this around Halloween with all my other spooky reads, now was as good of time as any.

Cas Lowood is a ghost hunter. Well, actually he comes from a long line of people who have the ability to see ghosts and have the ability to “kill” them and banish them back to wherever it is that they need to go. After his dad is killed by one of the ghosts ten years ago, Cas picked up the family business and has been following in his father’s footsteps for the past few years. His ultimate goal is to train enough and go back to where his father was killed and take on the ghost that killed him. In the mean time, Cas, his mom who is a white witch, and their cat Tybalt travel around the country going off of tips about ghosts that are wreaking havoc.
After receiving a tip about a ghost called “Anna Dressed In Blood” in Thunder Bay, Ontario, the Lowood family pack up and move to Canada. Cas enrolls in high school like he does every where else, and he meets Carmel, Thomas, Mike, Chase, and Will who all play big roles in the novel. The main character other than Cas is, of course, Anna. She is the ghost of a teenager who was brutally murdered in the 1950s. She haunts the house that she lived in and seemingly kills anyone who enters. Cas with the help of his new group of friends who get involved whether they like it or not have the task of killing Anna to ensure she doesn’t hurt anyone else.

I was really into this book up until about page 200. That’s where I think it should have ended. There was a huge build up and what you think is going to be the end of the book happens, but wait, there is still over a hundred pages left. That’s where everything jumps the shark. The book takes a weird turn away from the original plot and a new subplot is revealed. Enter in a new villain, a strange love story, and a bunch of angst filled teenagers. Honestly, I think this book would have worked out a lot better as a series. Book one ending with the big event around page 200 like I said before, and then book two picking up the new thing that goes on in the second part of the book. I mean, this book IS the start of a series, but I just don’t like how things jumped around.

All in all though, it really isn’t a horrible book. The plot is pretty predictable, but you don’t mind because you get caught up in why is everything happening the way it is happening even though you know pretty much how it is going to play out. It is a really creepy read, so it would be good to keep around for Halloween. There is some gore and overall it has the feel of a B-rated horror flick, but some parts will still make you feel a little nervous and jumpy. Some of the gore is just for shock value and seemed a little unnecessary, but that’s what B-rated horror movies do best.

I didn’t care for the ending, and if the epilogue wasn’t included I would have been pretty pissed. What I hate more than anything in books is no conclusive ending. I like when things resolve themselves and I know what happens to my characters. I don’t mind when things are left up to my imagination within reason, but if you just end the book then I’m going to be mad (hello, Lauren Oliver). Still, you don’t really get a lot of conclusive answers with the ending, so it makes me wonder how things will pick up in the second book. Honestly, I’ll probably just wait until next October when I’m searching around for something spooky to read to pick up book two. I just don’t have that OMGINEEDANSWERSNOW feeling after finishing up.

3.5/5 stars

-Leah

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