Wednesday 18 July 2012

200. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Published July 2012 Hachette Australia (Orchard)

From the publisher:
Cas Lowood is no ordinary guy - he hunts dead people.
People like Anna. Anna Dressed in Blood. A beautiful, murderous ghost entangled in curses and rage. Cas knows he must destroy her, but as her tragic past is revealed, he starts to understand why Anna has killed everyone who's ever dared to enter her spooky home.

Everyone, that is, except Cas...

This book has ‘pick me, pick me’ written all over it.  The title, the cover, the tag line on the back of the book Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. And the Not For Young Readers warning on the back.

The cover makes it look like a girly read, but I don’t think it is.  For a start the protagonist is male, and there are quite a few graphic descriptions of the ghostly murders.  Cas is like Buffy, a chosen one, the only one.  He’s job is not to slay vampires, but to kill ghosts who have made their mission in the afterlife to kill as many people as they can.  His Father was killed by a ghost, while doing his duty and Cas has taken over from him.  His aim is to hone his skills, until he is ready to face the ghost that killed his father, and avenge his death.

He and his mother have moved to Thunder Bay for one reason, to find and kill Anna Korlov murdered in 1958, Anna Dressed in Blood.  Finding her is simple enough, everyone knows the stories and everyone knows the house that she haunts.  On his first visit to this notorious house, he see’s Anna and witnesses her literally splitting a teenage boy in half.  Anna kills everyone who comes to her house, but she doesn’t kill Cas, and Cas is finding it hard to kill her.

This is where the girly romance bit starts.  Not a vampire and human, but a ghostly human killer, and a human ghost killer.  Anna and Cas both feel at odds with the worlds that they inhabit, and it’s this mutual understanding that develops into something that takes killing off the cards.

For the first time, Cas has to enlist the help of civilians.  Thomas and his Grandfather, both experienced witches, and Carmel, who has no skills in the supernatural, but can't walk away and leave Cas to cope alone.   When the ghost who killed Cas's Father comes to Thunder Bay, they all have to work together to save Cas, even Anna has to play her part.

There are few books written these days that are 'one offs', there always seems to be a sequel in the pipeline.  This book is no exception.  There is even a preview of the next book (Girl of Nightmares due 2013) at the back of this one.

Who will like this book: Girls and Boys age 14+
Read it if you like: Mediator series by Meg Cabot

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