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Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in BloodAt first glance, Cas Lowood might seem like an ordinary teen. But when you take into account his completely and utter lack of friends and the frequency with which his family moves, it seems there’s more to Cas than meets the eye. And there is, because being friendless and moving all the time are just hazards of his occupation: killing the dead. Like his father did before him, Cas follows rumors and local ghost stories to keep the murderous dead at bay and send them to where they need to go. When Cas moves to Thunder Bay pursuing a dangerous ghost known as Anna Dressed in Blood, he has no reason to expect this job will be any different from all the other ghosts he’s killed before. But it soon becomes clear that there’s something about Anna that makes her stronger—and crueler—than the other ghosts he’s faced. Since her murder in 1958, Anna has gruesomely murdered every person to step foot in the old Victorian which used to be her home, but for some strange reason, she spares Cas’s life.

Anna Dressed in Blood is a wicked awesome story of magic, hauntings, and killing ghosts. Blake does a fantastic job of crafting an undoubtedly exciting, action packed, and well written plot, but I have to admit that what really drew me into the story was Cas’s voice. Despite the outward attitude and sarcasm, Cas is actually a really considerate guy who kills ghosts not necessarily because he wants to, but because he feels it’s his duty. I thoroughly enjoyed reading from his perspective, especially as he got to better know the ghost called Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas makes this story such a thrill to read, even as some of the details got a little to gory for my taste. I’ll admit that I was a little thrown off by the rather abrupt change in plot direction midway through the book; though I ultimately liked where Blake took the story, the transitioning could have been smoother. Despite this and not particularly well developed supporting characters, Anna Dressed in Blood is overall a thrilling and fresh take on ghost stories.

Anna Dressed in Blood is sure to be enjoyed by fans of Ruined by Paula Morris, The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong, and Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from publisher Macmillan

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