Published September 2011 by Tom Doherty
Hardcover, 316 pages
Borrowed from library
The main character in this story, Cas, is a ghost hunter. He's taken on the job since his father died in a gruesome fight with a deadly spirit. Armed with the all powerful athame his dad used, Cas moves from town to town with his mother, following leads from trusted sources to defeat the ghosts. After hearing about a deadly ghost in Thornhill, Anna, that kills anyone who steps into her house, Cas relocates there to finish her off. But when he steps into her house to investigate and observe the ghost he's to kill, Cas realizes that Anna is unlike any other ghost he's ever hunted. She's tremendously powerful and comes so close to killing him...but doesn't. She spares him but Cas knows that he's going to have to do a lot more research before he can think of killing her again. He's wholly unprepared for Anna but the thing is, there's something far, far worse and more powerful than Anna...and it's out for Cas.
WARNING: CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS
(ie. it's not something that, once you know, will ruin the book for you)
I'm definitely a horror gal. I actually get scared so easily but I love it! So when I heard that this book was scary SCARY, I knew I needed to pick it up. And Anna Dressed In Blood just sounded too perfect for me! I love reading about ghosts, especially human-killing ghosts.
And when I picked up the book and started reading, I was immediately hooked by the ghosts which is for sure, definitely, ABSOLUTELY great sign. It's just so great to know that a book finally matches your expectations! So many books have left me disappointed and I almost feel like I have no chance in ever getting what I want. But with this book, I expected good, creepy, interesting ghosts and got exactly that! Blake made them so realistic that they seemed to pop out of the pages. I don't think I can confidently say that I don't believe in ghosts any more!
What didn't match my expectations was the fear factor of this book. From everything everyone had said, I went into this book totally thinking that my socks would be knocked off over how terrifying this book was. And then I read this book without anything as big as a jaw-drop. Which by the way, happened when we learned about Anna's backstory. (If you've read this book, you know what I'm saying! My jaw literally hit the floor. It was so unexpected and made me overcome with fury. I mean, can you imagine that?) I've been waiting for a good horror for SUCH a long time and while this book definitely brought it in the supernatural game, personally I found the scariness was lacking a bit for a book I totally expected was going to be scary and for one that classified itself as horror.
I also didn't fancy the characters too much. They weren't outstanding and I'm not going to lie, I'm definitely not going to remember any of them. They were all rather dull and didn't really make the book any better for me.
But now can we talk about the Anna and Cas romance? Like man, was it weird! I think it kind of worked though because I totally forgot for around a quarter of the time that Anna was a ghost. But I'm not sure what to make of that: is it a bad thing because her ghost-ness was lost or is it a good thing because it made the relationship make sense? I know I shouldn't be prejudiced against this - after all, everyone can love whoever they want, even if it's a ghost - but for me, I just didn't feel it was necessary to this story. But it did add some interesting dynamics to the end, knowing that Cas and Anna both like each other.
Anna Dressed In Blood had a great premise that really piqued my interest (ghosts!) but it sounded better on the flap than it really was. This, by no means, MEANS I didn't like the book. It just wasn't as I expected. I did love the supernatural aspect but really wanted more from the book when it failed to scare me. I also didn't like the characters too much and some parts of the book didn't make sense/weren't explained very well. A good start to the series though and I would endeavour to read the next book because I'm actually really curious to see what happens to Anna and the rest of the gang. Also because it gets WAY better so excited to see that!
people who like ghosts or the supernatural. If you like the show Ghostbusters, this might interest you because it's also about a ghostbuster (though I really wouldn't know - I've never watched the show).