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. (From Goodreads)
Best Bits: I think this book had the perfect combination of horror, suspense, and mystery without the violence getting out of hand. To explain myself, since I added violence into the review...I don't think that there was a lot of gore in this book, but what showed up was necessary to the story. The reader sees Anna kill others, and it emphasizes the difference between that Anna, and the girl who was able to stop herself from killing Cas. There are also a number of scenes where Cas is attempting to kill ghosts, so take that as you will violence-wise. Anna could have very easily been an unsympathetic character (hello, she's killed a bazillion people), but I was interested in why she killed them, and what had happened to her. As for Cas, he's definitely an interesting character...but he really should pay more attention to his cat.
Nit Picks: So the one major issue I had was that the font was red. Now, I understand how it fit symbolically within the story...I'm just really averse to non-black font. I think it might be the purist in me, the person who has trouble reading ebooks and needs serif font. I have had this issue with previous YA books, and I find it's harder for me to get into them. I also think that the supporting characters could have been explored a bit more, although I suspect that will happen in the sequel.
Anna Dressed in Blood
By Kendare Blake
Published by Tor Teen