Q and A Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Soooo. This is THE book I've been waiting to read for so long. I'll give you the Q and A version of a review for this one.


Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.  
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered 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: track, 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, now stained red and dripping with 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.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

Q. Why the hell did you want to read it so much in the first place?
A. Because:
1. The cover is REALLY gorgeous.
2. I'm tired of angsty, whiny female heroines. I want a smartass dude's POV. And Cas is full of smartassery.
3. I love that title. Love it. Anna Dressed in Blood. Now, why didn't I think of something like that?
4. He's called Theseus Cassio Lowood??? He he, you just know this kid's going to be amusing. Also, my new novel's protag is called Cassio. I'm an Othello fan, too, WTH.

Q. What did you think of Cas?
A. Theseus Cassio Lowood. Not only having to battle ghosts but also the ghosts of his own past. Never whining about it. (Thank GOD for that.) Professional ghost-killer, smartass, intelligent and all around great guy. Not that he keeps saying that. It's so nice to see such a dynamic young man from his own POV. I love how Cas is both sensitive and brilliant, I love his dynamic with Anna and with his mother, I love the way he's out to avenge his father. I love him. He's full of awesome.

Q. What did you think of Anna?
A. Ah, Anna. Anna, Anna, Anna. Why don't we have more female leads like Anna? Here's what Cas has to say about Anna, the dark ghost of Anna Dressed in Blood:
She was nothing like I expected, though now that I’ve seen
her I have a hard time remembering what I did expect. Maybe I thought she’d be a sad, frightened girl who killed out of fear and misery. I thought she’d trundle down the stairs in a white dress with a dark stain at the collar. I thought she would have two smiles, one on her face and one on her neck, wet and red. I thought she would ask me why I was in her house, and then come at me with razored little teeth.
Instead I find a ghost with the strength of a storm, black eyes, and pale hands, not a dead person at all but a dead goddess. Persephone back from Hades, or Hecate half-decayed.

 And, you know, this entirely believable, wonderful boy keeps doing the "goddess" reference. Which is just great. Because Anna reminded me instantly of a powerful, dark goddess too, the way she was described.

Q. Is there a plot? Or is it just usual YA blah-blah?
A. There's a kind-of plot. But there doesn't have to be a linear structure to the plot, because this book is more about the movement of the protagonist. Cas is a ghost-killer. But he's half in love with death itself. Anna is a killer ghost. But again, she's heartbreakingly in love with him too. Again, there is the whole angle of Cas's family that's been done very well. I loved his kitchen-witch Mom, she's a very strong character. I liked Carmel and Thomas. 

Q. Stand alone?
A. I hear there's a second book. There better be.

Q. Writing?
A. Great. I loved Cas's voice, his cursing, his wise-guy comments.
The hallways today look like something out of a movie. You know, the ones where the important characters walk in slow motion and the rest of the people just whip by as different flesh- and clothes-colored blurs.
This is how the entire book is, with his sometimes weird observations that's perfectly believable for a guy. (Or maybe, I don't know, I'm not a guy.)

Q. Verdict?
A. 4 on 5. I'm knocking off one point simply because I thought the book could be longer.


  1. Your review left me giggling! This was too great! I loved it! This book has been on my TBR pile and I'm glad it's sitting there. One day I'll get to form my own opinion!

    Your blog is fabulous! I'm loving the header it's so fun!! And the clouds make me happy!

  2. Thanks, Jen! I love the clouds too. They're very sweet :)


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