Monday, September 10, 2012

Anna dressed in Blood

Anna #1

by Kendra Blake



Summary:

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 ordinary: 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.




Rating: 4 /5

Review:
This book got under my skin!
After reading it I my mind was reeling I had to talk about it, to order my thoughts to somehow get it out of my system.
This was apparently marketed as a horror, but thankfully it was just a deliciously dark story.

Blake created a wonderfully gothic piece of literature. I loved her gory descriptions and the story itself was really great. The master piece though for me is her language and the way she puts things just there not quite visible, just under the surface that one misses them, but in the end one sees they were there all along.

The story line is really interesting. And there were two twists that I didn't see coming until they were nearly slapped into my face. Thinking back I know I should have seen it. Blake sets it up very subtlety so its not a total shock it's more a 'how could i miss it' moment

Cas who also narrates the entire story was one of the reasons this isn't a 5start book of me.
He comes across much more mature than 17. I kept on thinking he was in his mid-twenties .
I found him conceited, pompous and condescending. And found it a bit hard to believe he never even has so much as a crush before that. How did he become 17?!
There are several "I am to sexy for my pants"- moments when I just wanted to slap him.
like

"Midway through a lesson on proofs, a folded rectangle of paper finds its way onto my desk. When I open it I see a note from Heidi, a pretty blond-haired girl who sits three rows back. She’s asking if I need help studying. And whether I want to go see the new Clive Owen movie. I tuck the note into my math book like I’ll answer it later. I won’t, of course, and if she asks about it, I’ll tell her I’m doing fine on my own, and maybe some other time. She might ask again, two or three more times maybe, but after that she’ll get the hint"

Then again I did really love it when he spoke about his father and how through that his fears and insecurities were revealed.
I also found his interactions with his mother and with Anna very endearing. They helped making him bearable actually

I love Anna. She is gorgeous as the dark goddess (yes i like it a bit gothic) and despite the horrible fate she had she is strong at the end
In fact most of the characters start off as a stereotypes. Like the prom queen or the dork, but as the story evolves and Cas gets to know them they become more complicated and more real and interesting. Just another example of Blakes clever and well calculated writing and her finesse for details.

But the book left me with several questions. Like what was the attractions between Anna and Cas (love at first sight? really?), what was the connections between the Athame and the Obeahman, and none of the ghost slayer family secrets were explain at all. The second reason that I only gave it 4stars. I was left a bit baffled as in oh its finished? What now? What about x,y,z.?...
I am hoping those are issues that will be explained in the sequel however!

All in all: a great story beautifully narrated! I am looking forward to the second installment



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