Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Cas Lowood is a ghost hunter. Not the kind that sneaks into abandoned insane asylums at midnight with a camera crew, but the real deal. With his dead father's magical athame always by his side, Cas and his mom are nomads, moving from place to place, tracking ghosts so he can kill them - again.

Most ghosts aren't a problem - they're just sad spectres of their living selves, unable to move on. Some, however, want to take the living with them - like the County 12 hitchhiker Cas just finished taking out, who's taken at least a dozen unsuspecting victims off the bridge around mile marker 23. But Anna is different. Bigger. More. Anna Dressed in Blood is the one Cas has been waiting for. The ghost that will truly test Cas and let him know if he's ready to go after the ghost that killed his dad. So he and his mom are on their way to Canada to send Anna to her eternal rest.

Brutally murdered in 1958 on her way to a school dance in Thunder Bay, Ontario, 16-year-old Anna Korlov was found in a ditch, her white party dress stained so red with her own blood she was dressed in it. Rumored to have killed at least 27 local teens, though no bodies have ever been found, Anna is the most terrifying thing Cas will have ever faced.

Cas quickly makes friends with the queen bee, Carmel Jones, giving him an instant in to all the parties that'll give him inside intel on Anna. Unfortunately, this also means Cas is instantly hated and maligned by Mike Andover, Carmel's (very recent) ex, and his team of jock thug friends. So Cas plays right into Mike's hands and ends up knocked out on the floor of Anna's house with Carmel outside, too terrified to come in. When he comes to with an enraged ghost floating down the stairs, well... what happens next is a scene out of a horror movie.

Gruesome, bloody, and really, really scary, Anna Dressed in Blood is a spine-tingling, shivery, every-hair-standing-on end ghost story with a delicious romantic twist.  Trapped in a never-ending cycle of vengeful rage, Anna has no control over herself - except when it comes to Cas.  Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, gothic horror, and unconventional romance won't be able to tear themselves away from this brutally beautiful first novel!

(now reading The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder - if such a place as Promise, Maine, really exists, I just might spend my summer driving around looking for that Dunkin' Donuts!)