Anna book 1
Yo, that was straight up creepy…and a tad romantic
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.
This was amazing. I’d heard good things about this duology but the premise seemed a little strange to me so I hesitated in picking it up but holy moley was I pleasantly surprised. You’re hit right in the face with adventure from the very first page and it is so fast paced that you don’t have a moment to get bored.
“Move, hunt, kill. Like lather, rinse, and repeat.”
This is equal parts creepy, sad, funny and romantic (believe it or not). This small town is populated with great characters and I felt that these teens were real representations of high school students – minus the whole ghost hunters thing. They were snarky, arrogant, flirty and curious and they brought this town to life. They weren’t one-dimensional and they served a purpose rather than just being background fodder which I find sometimes happens with YA novels of this genre.
Let’s breakdown the main/my favourite characters a little.
Anna: Shiiiiit that girl is scary. I’m talking making you see your worst nightmares and torturing you for her own sad pleasure. The descriptions of what she can drag up from the depths of hell before she kills you put some horror movies to shame. Anna was a really interesting character because even though she is set up to be the big bad who murders anyone that enters her home, it is clear that she is struggling with her own demons…literally and metaphorically. We find out why Anna is as horrible as her reputation suggests but we also find some humility in her tortured soul. I felt for Anna more than I thought I would’ve when I started this book particularly when she was forced to relive her final moments that lead her to be the way she is. I really looked forward to her interactions with Cas and I thought they humanised her in a beautiful way.
Cas: Cas was way too cool, calm and collected for a teen who hunts dead people for a living. I know that he inherited the job from his father but still, that is a lot to take on for anyone let alone a teenager. He befriends a few of the kids in his new high school so he can learn more about the mythical Anna. When a few of the douchebag guys ‘generously’ offer to take him to the house in what is clearly a macho attempt to test his masculinity, we get our first glimpse of Anna. He is all prepared to kill her right then and there but something makes him hesitate and thus our real story begins…
Carmel & Thomas: Ah the unofficial sidekicks. I wasn’t too into these characters when they were first introduced – in fact I thought Carmel was a stuck up bitch – but before I knew it I was rooting for them and couldn’t wait to find out how they would interact with Anna and Cas alike. One of these characters has a really interesting plotline themselves that is shrouded in mystery and serves to be a great conduit to Anna & Cas’ journey.
I don’t want to spoil the plot, but let’s just say that Anna Dressed in Blood is jam packed with twists and turns and there are so many elements to this book to satisfy almost every reader. I love horror movies and definitely believe in lingering spirits so I’m glad that this ended up being an enjoyable read for me.
Find more reviews on Goodreads.
Buy this book: