Anna dressed in blood by Kendra Blake
Published by Orchard
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.
Anna Dressed in Blood is a creepy and atmospheric read
Cas is a ghost hunter taking over from the role he father had before him. Along with his mother he moves around the country to dispatch a variety of ghosts. His ultimate goal is to find the ghost responsible for killing his father and get his revenge. On his travels he hears about Anna Dressed in Blood.
Anna is a terrifying ghost. Murdered whilst wearing a white dress turned red by her own blood she has killed a variety of teenagers locally who dared to enter the house she was murdered in. Over the years her story has become urban legend which become reality when a group of teenagers Cas hangs out with decide they want to investigate.
I loved the relationship between the main teenage characters in the book. They are really funny with the tongue-in-cheek scooby doo and buffy and the scoobies reference thrown in. I love how Cas has spent his entire life avoiding making close friends but when they force their way into is life he actually finds having that support network really helpful.
I like how this book really didn't hold back like some YA read can do. The way in which some of the victims are dispatched is truly gruesome to the point where I was freaked out (and I'm not squeamish)
The last few chapters where everything kicks out is really tense and creepy - not to watch when at night alone. The scene when you realise what it is that is actually residing in the loft is absolutely terrifying as it dawns on you and then wonder how Cas is actually going to deal with the latest problem.
I loved that the book in itself stands alone but if left open enough that there could be a sequel. I hope so...