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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Unique, Mesmerizing and All Those Other Adjectives That Mean Awesome ...

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Twelve high schools in three years—that's a lot, even for a troublemaker or a military brat.  But, Cas Lowood isn't either of those things.  He's a ghost hunter.  Like his father before him, Cas travels the world tracking down evil spirits.  Armed with an ancient—and lethal—weapon, he sends malevolent ghosts away forever.  Only his mother and a close circle of associates know the truth about Cas.  Outsiders can't know what he does, so he moves frequently, avoiding friendships, romances and anything else that might could tie him down.

Then, a letter written in blood leads him to Turtle Bay, Ontario, Canada.  It's a modern city, but one that hides its fair share of secrets.  And restless spirits.  One in particular has drawn Cas' interest: Anna Dressed In Blood.  Everyone in town knows the story of 16-year-old Anna Karlov, a Turtle Bay resident who was nearly decapitated on her way to prom back in 1958.  They also know what happens to anyone stupid enough to step inside the old Karlov home.  The brutal killings could be the work of some homicidal squatter living in the abandoned house, but Cas knows the truth—Anna's ghost haunts the residence.  It's not just any ghost either, but one of the most powerful he's ever encountered.  Also the most beautiful, the most mesmerizing, the most tragic.  She's killed dozens of people.  Cas has to end it, end her, but can he?  Or will he become another helpless victim, lured to his death by Anna's tale of woe?

It's hard to describe the premise of Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, let alone explain how such a dark novel can be so compelling and beautiful.  Yes, it's a horror novel, complete with the requisite gore, but it's more than that.  It's a love story, a ghost story, a murder mystery, even a little bit of a comedy.  Unique, scary, exciting, tender, romantic, heartbreaking—it's all that.  Which is why I loved every page of Anna Dressed in Blood.  Every.  Page.  The sequel (Girl of Nightmares) comes out in 14 days and you better believe I'm counting them down.            

(Readalikes:  Reminded me a teensy bit of the John Cleaver series [I Am Not A Serial Killer; Mr. Monster; and I Don't Want to Kill You] by Dan Wells and a little bit of Ruined by Paula Morris)

Grade:  B+

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  R for strong language, violence/gore, and depictions of underage drinking  

To the FTC, with love:  I bought Anna Dressed in Blood from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.


  1. This is one of those books that I think my expectations were too high for. I liked it OK, but I really didn't think it was THAT amazing. Sigh!

  2. This book had a great impact on me in different ways. Personal Statements


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