Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood has been on my to read list for a while now. I put it off for the sole reason that I knew I’d love it and didn’t want to have long to wait before reading the second book.

Blake jumps right into the story and wastes no time in introducing Cas’ life to us. He hunts the ghosts that terrorize people and spends most of his life in moving boxes. His life is all about move, hunt, kill, repeat. Then, for the first time ever, a ghost presents a challenge like he’s never known and his system is thrown a little off balance.

I loved Cas. He was a real guy, and I applaud Blake for being able to write a guy that doesn’t sound like a girl in disguise. The relationship with his mother isn’t strained like a lot of parent/child relationships in Young Adult books today, and I really liked that. Cas and his mother don’t have many secrets and it was nice seeing a book hero rely on his parent when he needed just a little help.

Blake’s writing made this book stand out. She didn’t gloss over anything in an attempt to make it less frightening or disturbing. She tells it like it is when it comes to the ghosts. If they have skin hanging, she tells you. If their head isn’t on quite right, she tells you. She lets the gore speak for itself and that adds a level of tension to the story that made it amazing.

The one thing that held this book back from being five stars was how easily Cas’ new friends believed anything he told them. I wish there had been a little bit more convincing when it came to his friends. After one incident, they all take Cas’ word, and I would have liked just a little bit more conflict there.

Anna Dressed in Blood is a terrifically written ghost story that will have you holding your breath and checking over your shoulder for phantom eyes as you read. It’s got a little something for everyone and I can’t wait to read what happens in Girl of Nightmares.

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