Anna Dressed in Blood, by Kendare Blake - my review

Overview (via Goodreads)
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-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 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: move, 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.

Author: Kendare Blake
Pages: 316
Published: August 30th 2011
ISBN: 0765328658 (ISBN13: 9780765328656)

My opinion:

Blake is an amazing writer. I almost could feel there, with the characters. It was sometimes an intense reading, and I loved it.

Cas is a brave teenager that does what his dad did before he died: kills dead people. He lives with his mum and she tries everything to protect him, but she doesn't stop him of going out to "do the job" even if she knows how dangerous that can be. She has other ways of protecting him: some really special ways, since she is a witch.

He doesn't make friends easily, but in this school he finds two special people who will help him, no matter what they know about him and what he does, no matter what they see and know.

It's not easy to persuade everyone, and some people will be lost in the way, but the true friends will be there for him, and, God, he will need them.

Cas has some questions that need answers, but some of them he doesn't even dare to question again. He developed a way of doing things by himself.

Anna isn't who I thought she would be, it was surprising to see the way thing develop between her and Cas and his friends. I loved her! Mysterious, dark, but at the same time so lovely and sweet. Anna is not just another ghost like the others Cas found before.
Her story is touching and really made me feel mad when I read about it... maybe almost as mad as Cas and his friends. It makes total sense what she does after you know what's behind.
She and Cas develop a different relationship than he had with other ghosts and that she had with anyone...well...ever, apparently.

With what we can read in the Synopsis, this could be a very boring, predictive ghost book, but in the end it just turned out to be real fun and nice to read... and, yeah, even beautiful... even with all the blood and dead people and all.

Blake is extraordinary, brilliant. When you think you know what will happen next: you're wrong! 

The plot is original, really well thought and imaginative. 
It's not a book about some "vampire slayer", or a book about a regular ghostbuster. It's a book that deals with magic, too, with heritage. If you like the genre, you really need to read it. 
I can't tell you how much I loved it by words. All I can say is Blake's writing is perfect for this story, the descriptions, the dialogs between the characters, the stories of those who are dead, the way the action takes place. It makes sense, and you will need to read more, because you'll want to know what happens next.

My rating:

The second of the series:

Girl of Nightmares

Click the image for Goodread info

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