Anna Dressed In Blood – Kendare Blake

“The grease-slicked hair is a dead giveaway – no pun intended.
So is the loose and faded leather coat, though not as much that as the sideburns. And the way he keeps nodding and flicking his zippo open and closed in rhythm with his head. He belongs in a chorus line of dancing Jets and Sharks.”
Cas is a ghost hunter, just like his father. He travels across the world with his mother tracking down ghosts who don’t even know they’re dead, until they go crazy and kill humans who encounter them. His latest track is Anna Dressed in Blood, a girl who’s throat was slit in 1958 and who has been killing every person who set foot in her house ever since. Cas is expecting to go right in and kill her but when the guys at school play nasty and leave him with a gaping head wound and concussion on his own in Anna’s house what will she do?
From the synopsis of this book I knew I would love it, a ghost story with vivid imagery and what was said to be an amazing plot was enough to make me really excited, so when I started with Anna on Halloween I expected to be blown away by it… and I was, kinda.
I loved the story once it kicked in, but that’s the thing, it kicked in a little slow for me, but fast at the same time and it keeps up like this the whole way through. I loved Kendare Blake’s writing style during the fighting scenes or even just the scenes with the ghosts, without fighting. All the action packed stuff was really fast and hard hitting and I loved it, it got my heart pumping. However in all honesty the little bits in between really put a dampener on things and I was aware of the slowness of everything. I’m gunna go into English Literature student mode here and say that I guess this is kinda a reflection on the was Cas is though, tracking down ghosts is his thing and he feels at home and whenever he’s doing anything else it’s nothing to him? Maybe?
Anyway that aside, when Kendare Blake really gets ghosts, they had different personalities, they weren’t just there for one thing, they had different ways of “dying” when Cas destroyed them and they showed their wounds in different ways, some proud, others not so much. I loved the ghosts in this story, even though they were terrifying in places!!
I was a bit worried about the relationship aspect of this book as I really don’t see how a ghost and a human can be romantically involved. This bit of the book was another small niggle to me but I think it worked because of how human you come to view Anna, something changes her when Cas is around and that something makes it easy to forget her spectral status. I understand why Cas feels the way he does but ghost and human romances do not work for me, I’m just glad this one wasn’t all out!
The characters were just amazing and hugely three dimensional. Cas had more to him than the ghost hunter thing, even though didn’t want to admit it. His mum is an amazing white witch who I know I’d love to know in real life. Thomas was such a sweetie, and Carmel even grew on me towards the end of the book! There were other smaller characters and even they were well developed. I do kinda wish we got to know more about Will and why he was the way he was though, I thought that was going to be a bigger thing. But not one of these characters is anything compared to Anna. Wow, Anna, you are one mean ass ghost, at the start, and then you are an incredible ghost, and I look up to you, I really do.
When I say that the story was slow in places I’m talking mostly about the first half of the book, as you get to the end and all that action goes down well put it this way, you will not be able to put the book down! This one is really crying out for a UK publisher, it needs one guys… I can’t just let the US have this book, everyone needs it! It’s heart-pumping, scary as shit, all out action and I loved it.
Anna Dressed In Blood is the first in the Anna series; it was published in the US in September by Tor Teen. My copy was won in a giveaway from Jenny at Into the Morning Reads, thank you Jenny!


  • Liz. R

    I agree that this NEEDS a UK publisher. I’ve yet to read it, but from what I’ve heard, I think it’d be really successful over here. Glad you enjoyed it (despite the slow start) – the characters all sound amazing, especially Cas and Anna! Great review :).

  • Mel

    I want this in the UK as well!! I love the cover and have been so intrigued by so many reviews… I want to know what the fuss is about! 🙂

  • Hannah Mariska

    I’m really surprised it doesn’t have a UK publisher. It’s always nice to find books with great characters, and the whole ghost/human relationship seems different. Reminds me a little of Casper! Will wait to read this one before I make up my mind up on the relationship side though!

  • Kristina

    I finally got this book from the library, and then I never read it. I don’t know why I didn’t, b/c everyone is talking about how good it is! I’ll have to borrow it again.

    I see what you mean by a ghost and a human being involved. It is so strange, but it has happened in Queen of the Dead, and it wasn’t as weird as you think it would be!

    Thanks for the review!

  • Jesse Owen

    Ooh! This one sounds like it’ll be making it’s way onto my wishlist soon, shame about the slow start though!

    I actually quite like ghost / human relationships as it forces the relationship to be more deep emotionally (usually anyway lol).

    Fab review 😀

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