Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed In Blood is a YA horror novel told through the POV of Cas, a young ghost hunter. I suspect Cas is an unreliable character. Which explains the choppy plot.

Let’s have a look at the Goodreads blurb:

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. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: 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.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

•••

I wasn’t expecting the romance in this story because it was kind of abrupt with a red herring caused due to the presence of another female character. I’m also not a huge fan of paranormal romance. Or more specifically romance with ghosts. I just feel it is a hopeless love since they can’t be together. But Anna is different. Cas can touch her and…well he fell in love.

The unreliability of Cas made me keep on reading this book. I wanted to so badly know how it will end. I was left with two impressions: this book could’ve either been longer, with more stakes driving the story to be scarier/more suspenseful, or shorter with a different plot that will make it a fast-paced novella.

Why you should check it out:

  • The beginning of the story is unlike anything I’ve read. It was so good I had the highest expectation from the plot but then Cas became more and more unreliable. But since this story has paranormal elements I guess it was intentional: that the author is writing the true story. And it being in first person made her unable to dump all those information on us.
  • It has a tragic backstory that drives the goal of the MC. I wanted Cas to win the battle at the end but I also couldn’t get over the feeling that the author made things easy for the character. I was down for an adventure -with blood, deaths, and sacrifices- but then…there wasn’t any.
  • There is an awkward yet fascinating character with a love interest here whose existence alone could add 1-star to the initial rating of this book.

Now, will I reread this?

Probably not. But it ended with a cliffhanger. It has a sequel: Girl In Nightmare which I’ll check out when I trim down the books on my TBR. Keep your notification on for that review. Until then, Peace out ✌️

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