Saturday, 22 December 2012


Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

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. Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story.

Eeesh. I really wanted to like this book. In fact, I did really like it. For a while. It's interesting and amusing and it was refreshing for me to read a book written from a male perspective, since probably 90% of the books I've read this year were from a female perspective. And the other ten had multiple voices. So I was really enjoying it.

Until I was about two-thirds of the way through. Okay, call me extraordinarily picky if you want (believe me, I've been called worse) but I expected the climax of a book entitled Anna Dressed in Blood to be the big showdown between the ghosthunter and, you know, Anna Dressed in Blood. That particular showdown happened around two-thirds of the way through the novel, and then the rest was focused on a totally different ghost. This did not work for me. At all. In any way shape or form. It was like the author had decided that the stuff about Anna wouldn't fill a whole book, and so they slapped on another twenty thousand words or so of the sequel idea they'd been playing around with. And it really bothered me, it ruined the book for me. Okay, so ruined is a strong word, but I certainly stopped enjoying it and can't say I liked the book because of it.

There were good aspects, though. I liked Cas, the main character, despite thinking at the start that he was oddly cynical about ghosts considering he went around killing them, and I was delighted when the cat got eaten, and I thought the writing was good. I have no complaints about the style or anything like that, except for the names. I can't stand the name Carmel anyway, and I'm getting a bit sick of this whole MC-has-a-stupid-name-so-they-only-ever-go-by-a-nickname thing. I mean, his name is Theseus Cassio. I'm sure it probably means something and is bound to be important in the sequel, but no. It's a stupid name.

Overall, I have to say that I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. The sudden change in plot partway through the story bothered me and I'd have to warn anyone about that if they wanted to read the book, which would probably then ruin the tension for them. I don't mind a twist ending - in fact, I actually like them - but this wasn't a twist ending. This was a mess and I'm still annoyed about it even now.

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