Since my interest in ghost stories have peaked since deciding to write one, I’ve searched high and low for other novels of the same topic. There are quite a few I’ve come across and I hope to give them all a good review as time goes on, but today’s book is Kendare Blake‘s Anna Dressed in Blood. The title and cover attracted me to it, but the story itself is pretty damn impressive.
Inheriting the family business, Cas Lowood is a ghost hunter. After his father is murdered by a goes he’d tried to kill, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mom and their spirit-sniffing cat. With his dad’s mysterious and deadly athame, they follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
This time they searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas expects to do the usual: track, hunt, kill. Instead, what he finds is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a spirit like he’s never faced before. Still wearing the dress she wore the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home since her death. All except, she spares Cas’s life.
Assuming I haven’t shared this little tid-bit about myself, I deeply enjoy the tv show Supernatural. My husband and I binge watch it in Netflix every time a new season airs. I got him interested in the show when we first got married and we haven’t missed a season since. I think they were on season 4 or 5 when we picked it up and season 12 is airing now. If you aren’t familiar with the show, it focuses on two brothers in the family business of monster hunting. Like Cas (which is funny because there is a character named Cas on the show), the travel all over the country tracking, hunting, and killing everything from a windigo and vampires to demons and gods. I know it’s why I absorbed this book like a sponge.
But, enough of my fan girling! On to the cons! I can’t necessarily find much wrong with this book. Maybe because it’s right up my alley of interests. With that being said, there’s always something that can be taken wrong with the book and if I have to take a guess on anything it would be, then I’d have to say it’s (SPOILERS!) the gruesome deaths Anna inflicts on her victims. And I’m not being polite when I say this. When Cas tries to take her out the first time, he’s got teenage company with him. Anna kills one of the boys by slicing him in half. Down the middle. It’s safe to say Anna is one hell of fucking force to be reckoned with. She may have spared Cas in that encounter, but she leaves him with the haunting memory of the poor boy murdered before him. It’s intense at a level I didn’t even expect. And crazy shit like this happens on Supernatural all the time. Unlike the show this is possibly inspired from, the Lowood family focuses on ghosts. Whether this changes in its sequel, I have yet to learn.
Continuing on to the pros, I can go on about how awesome this is. If you’re into gore, then con above won’t even faze you. Which says something for a paranormal novel meant for teens. The supernatural aspect of this is pretty damn cool and something I’ve always hand an interest in. Anna isn’t the first spirit this family has come across and definitely not the last. Assuming you’ve had a glimpse of Supernatural, you’ll enjoy the theme and vibe this story holds while you read. Right up to the crazy scary plot twists. I had chills when I realized that shit was hitting the fan.
In the end, the choice to read Anna Dressed in Blood is yours. If you’re a Supernatural fanatic, don’t miss out on this book. If you went through this whole post with no idea of what Supernatural is after my explanation, you have a show to binge watch. As always, share your thoughts on the matter. I’ll love to discuss the either or both topics with you!