Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendra Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood
by Kendra Blake

Summary: 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.
 Before I get to the review, I really should clarify that I read this book while stuck in a major reading funk and I genuinely don't know whether the issue was me (trouble concentrating thanks to other stuff in my life) or if the problem was the books I was trying to read (ones that didn't hook me, didn't wow me etc.). Basically, I don't know if my opinion of the book would've been different had I read it at a different time, or if the book just didn't do it for me.

Now, onto the review part of this review... The book was okay. It wasn't amazing, it didn't make much of an impression on me - I've seen a lot of people gushing about how awesome the book is, I just don't agree.

The premise was interesting, it started out kind of like the TV show Supernatural (awesome show, go watch it), only it lacked the spark that story had, it didn't get under my skin, I didn't really feel anything for the characters or particularly care about what happened to them.

Really, I don't know if the reason I finished the book was because it was keeping me entertained, or because I was determined to finish a book to try and force myself out of my reading funk - I think it was the latter, really, because I started the book well over a month ago and kept putting it down (if I like a book enough, it'll be done in a few days at most).

The characters were nice enough, I really liked his mum and the fact that she knew about what was going on instead of the cliche where the parents are kept in the dark for silly reasons. Thomas was cute, Carmel was interesting - I liked that she was given more depth than just being the airhead popular girl stereotype. I liked Anna, as a character on her own, but wasn't fond of the romance (didn't hate it, just didn't like it/wasn't rooting for it to happen).

Really, I liked all the characters I was supposed to like - just not enough to emphasize with them or really care about them or for them to linger with me when I finished the last page (the only bit that came close to making me care was Anna's back story - there was no spark there, and it felt insta-love-ish, only it didn't seem like love, it was too... bland).

I read the book at night, in the dark (reading by the light of my laptop, not good for the eyes, I know) and I live alone - but there was only one scene in the whole book that came close to creeping me out. But, my horror sensitivity is pretty low - I've been into horror stories since I was about 7, I'm not easily scared. But I did enjoy the atmosphere the book had.

I really think I may have liked the book a bit more if I had read it at a different time, so don't let my review put you off. It really wasn't a bad book, I'd rate it 3 stars out of 5, it just didn't impress me much, beyond keeping me mildly entertained for a little while (well, I say a little while, but reading it dragged out for 6-8 weeks). There's a sequel, I don't really have much interest in reading it - at least, not right now, maybe at some point, I dunno.

If it sounds interesting, or you're into this genre, then I do think you should check it out - as I said, I've seen plenty of people gushing about the book too.

And I think that's all I have to say - sorry, I hope my reviews get more frequent and less... meh. I miss reading and reviewing.


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