PUBLISHER: Tor Teen
DATE PUBLISHED: 17th October 2011
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered 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. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: 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, now stained red and dripping with 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.
Yet she spares Cas’s life.
A mix of horror and teen angst, Anna Dressed in Blood is the YA Supernatural. The plot itself is pretty basic with a teenage boy killing ghosts who are killing others. But then he moves to a town with a ghost that is more than just meets the eye. The pacing was steady through the book and the characters had great development.
Cas is a teenage boy who is following in his dads footsteps, killing ghosts. Does this sound familiar? Winchester brothers… Anyway, he is a the protagonist of the novel and the book is told from his perspective. It starts out with a bang in which Cas is in the process of hunting a ghost who is killing on the highway. Cas is a fun and witty character with a macabre grit that comes from dealing with the dead for a long time. His resolve is shaken when he comes across a ghost he cannot just kill, and one who maybe does not need to be killed.
It is difficult to make a mass-murdering ghost of a teenage girl a empathetic character. But, that is what Anna becomes. The first time the readers meet Anna she rips someone in half, which can leave an impression. Her character develops through the book and the readers delve into her backstory and how this has influenced her in the present day. This makes it extraordinarily hard to dislike Anna.
There is a rag-tag bunch of side-characters who supply support for Cas through his journey on how to kill Anna Dressed in Blood. They are a wide range of characters who are coming together to aid in this task. This adds an element of interest and friendship to the book.
Overall, while this is a book about a mass-murdering ghost and a ghost hunter readers will be surprised by the twists and turns within the book. All is not what it seems, dig a little deeper and discover the truth.
Keep Calm and Read On,