It’s time for a new review since I finished Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake yesterday evening. Yes, just in time for my June wrap-up, haha!
I originally picked up this book because of the beautiful cover with a dash of creepy vibes. Even though I was thinking – and still do – that her dress could use a little more blood seeing it’s Anna Dressed In Blood. She doesn’t look so “dressed in blood” to me.
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kils-people story…
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: he kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and dealy 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, but now stained red and dripping 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.
And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.
So, ghost-hunting boy meets murderous ghostly girl that suddenly shows she has a heart. Does that come over as lame to you guys? I don’t know, but it did to me. I immediately had a feeling of cliché. Fingers crossed my gut feeling was mistaken.
When I opened the book, my first thought was “Oh damn, that font is huge” and it is! Seriously! Just check the picture. The big font is Anna Dressed In Blood and the small one is Roar by Cora Carmack – which I read earlier this week. Going from one font to another is a bit of a shock to my senses, haha!
After reading about a fifth of the book, I felt like the story had the potential of being good. Unfortunately, I’m missing the skin-crawling writing-style that’s necessary to give it that really creepy edge. Kendare Blake uses very straight-forward and to the point descriptions. That, my Munchworms, is what makes it impossible for me to feel the creepiness. It should’ve been written in a way to suck you right in. To make you envision everything. Disappointment all over, since it didn’t have that effect on me.
The fast pace of the story itself also doesn’t help in that department. Yes, it makes for an easy read since I flew right through it in about two days time, but since it went so fast, the lack of creepiness and suspense is, once again, explained.
Until, yes, until, I suddenly got very, very creeped out. Out of the blue. As if Kendare Blake wanted me to think it wouldn’t get creepy and then slam creepy right in my face.
I didn’t put the book down, though. I didn’t feel like hurling it across the room to get it away from me. But I was relieved that there was finally some actual creepy stuff happening, described well, and made me read on with eyes as big as canon balls.
One time I had to actually laugh over something Cas said. I even ran across the apartment to get my notebook cause I wanted to include it in my review:
“Is this like how the Smurfs say they smurfing smurfed all the time?”
Something I did deem very positive, are all the unexpected twists and turns. I have to admit that Kendare Blake knows how to surprise you, how to make something happen that you didn’t think of. There are books out there that are so predictable, but not this one. Nope.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save my opinion of Anna Dressed In Blood. There were some creepy moments, the story is fast-paced and actually quite original, but it didn’t made me curious to the sequel. It lacked that spark of creepiness that I was expecting to pull me right in the book.
Because of that, I’m only be giving this book a 3/5.
I paid full-price for this book and this is my honest review for which I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.