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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An exciting and terrifying novel!
Anna Dressed in Blood is an exciting and terrifying novel that will leave readers breathless and prepared for more. Looking for a frightful summer read? Then pick up this book.

Cas isn't a normal teenager. He has a job to hunt and kill the dead who still haunt at the place of their death. When Cas and his mum move to a new town, Cas has his mind set on a very...
Published on 21 Aug 2012 by Sam

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3.0 out of 5 stars Teenage ghost hunter
Cas Lowood is no ordinary teenage boy, with his mother he moves from town to town locating and dispatching the restless dead. Usually ghosts cannot hurt people but these ghosts are an exception, more than touch they can kill. Cas comes to Thunder Bay, Ontario to confront the most famous of these creatures, the spirit of a girl called Anna who has killed anyone who...
Published 16 months ago by Jo Bennie


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An exciting and terrifying novel!, 21 Aug 2012
This review is from: Anna Dressed in Blood (Paperback)
Anna Dressed in Blood is an exciting and terrifying novel that will leave readers breathless and prepared for more. Looking for a frightful summer read? Then pick up this book.

Cas isn't a normal teenager. He has a job to hunt and kill the dead who still haunt at the place of their death. When Cas and his mum move to a new town, Cas has his mind set on a very famous ghost: Anna Dressed in Blood. He's only heard rumors and stories. Anna has killed every single person who has entered her home. So when Cas and his school mates visit the house Anna does something no ones expects. She spares his life.

I found this book really interesting and completely gripping. This book is told from a male's POV, which is great because YA fiction needs more of them. It's all one exciting and scary-as-hell roller-coaster. Get ready for blood, guts and a whole load of ghosts.

Cas is strong, determined and brave. I loved reading the scenes between him and Anna when they have the chance to talk to each other. His life is extremely intriguing and sad at the same time. He was not able to have a decent childhood due to the fact that he has the duty to kill ghosts.

I loved the suspense, the mystery, the action, the romance and the characters. One thing I didn't like so much was the book started pretty slow and I was waiting for something exciting to happen 60 pages in. The book did get more interesting but it felt like the plot was going round in circles a bit. I would have liked to see more talking going on between Anna and Cas but I guess I'll have to wait for the sequel.

Overall, Anna Dressed in Blood is one of the most freakiest books I've ever read! It had me biting my nails and checking behind doors after I'd read it. A definite recommend. I can not wait to read Girl of Nightmares.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creep-tastic!, 1 Jan 2013
By 
Kat (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anna Dressed in Blood (Paperback)
I'm not one to gush about book and be all fan-girly - have you ever seen me do that? No. So mark down this day in history 'cos - I LOVED THIS BOOK! I read it in a day - a day I'd planned to do a lot of other things, but I just couldn't put this down. I loved the story, I loved the spookiness and I especially (brace yourself) loved Cas. Yep, I'm confessing my first EVER book boy crush.

Right - I need to justify all this gushing *takes deep, calming breaths*.

Anna Dressed in Blood is unusual in the YA-paranormal genre in that it is written in first-person perspective of a male character, Cas. And Cas is a great character - he's snarky and smart-arsey, clever and funny, brave and strong (yeah, there's the gush again) - his looks aren't really described but I did imagine him as kinda like Dean from Supernatural, it's the personality that I loved so much! And Anna, my heart broke more than a little when her story was revealed......

Although Anna Dressed in Blood is not one of the scariest books I've ever read, the creep factor is pretty high - the ghosts are scary as all get-out and any scene featuring them got my heebies jeeby-ing, it's subtly written but quite intricately detailed as well.

There's also romance (which had me all misty-eyed), magic and some surprising characters - the popular girl from the local high school Cas attends, Carmel, actually isn't the stereotypical bitchy bimbo at all, and Cas' mother is not the overbearing overprotective character I would have assumed the mother of a ghost-hunting teenage boy would be.

The writing in Anna Dressed in Blood is extremely good, the pace is maintained even when the ghosts aren't around and the action scenes had me sitting on the edge of my seat. The dialogue is great - it really cements the personalities of the characters and I could almost hear them in my head (I can't admit that I DID hear them, that sounds slightly crazy!). Of course, being a series, there is a cliffhanger - but not the kind that made me want to throw the book across the room, more the kind that had me hugging the book and beginning to stalk Ms. Blake to see when the next book is being released....

Anna Dressed in Blood is one of my favourite books of 2012 so far, if not THE favourite.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just a typical ghost-hunting story, 4 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Anna Dressed in Blood (Paperback)
When Cas' father is brutally murdered, it's up to him to take over the family job: killing murderous ghosts and sending them away from earth. Cas, along with his kitchen-witch mother and ghost-sniffing cat have moved from city to city carrying out his work but this book is about a job he has been given to kill Anna: a brutal ghost living in her childhood house who kills anyone who enters.

I read this book just in time for Halloween and it set the mood perfectly. With creepy, gory and downright disgusting parts, this is definitely a great spooky read for any time of the year. Anna Dressed in Blood left me with a creepy feeling but I also found myself becoming attached to Anna. Cas was my favourite character, as he was the hero of the story; the protagonist and the kind of guy I would like to have as a friend. The book wasn't just a typical ghost-hunting story, it had deeper parts and even funny parts - which is why I gave this book a 4 out of 5. I would definitely recommend reading this book and I can't wait to sink my teeth into the second one in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling but exciting ghost story, 27 Dec 2012
By 
AR (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anna Dressed in Blood (Paperback)
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Cas Lowood is no ordinary teenage boy. He doesn't care about sports or computers and he isn't interested in girls. He hunts ghosts.

His latest hunt takes him to Thunder Bay, Ontario, where a violent spirit known as Anna Dressed in Blood haunts the town, brutally murdering anyone who dares to stray into her home.

Everyone except Cas...

The sole reason I chose to read this book was the title. Anna Dressed in Blood has quite an old fashioned, Gothic ring to it that appealed to me. I wasn't disappointed with the novel.

I've read a number of YA supernatural romances over the last few years, which have become popular ever since the Twilight phenomenon exploded. This is one of the better ones I've come across.

Unusually for a YA supernatural romance, the central character is a teenage boy. Theseus Cassius Lowood is descended from a long line of ghost hunters, most recently his father, who died at the hands of a powerful and mysterious spirit in Baton Rouge a decade earlier. After his father's death, Cas inherited a wicked looking mystical knife known as an athame, which his father used to kill ghosts.

Cas would fit brilliantly into the TV show Supernatural; he's cut from the same cloth as the Winchester brothers and moves from town to town, job to job, the same way that they do, killing ghosts in a gung-ho, action packed style.
Everything changes for Cas when he moves to Thunder Bay and comes up against the town legend, a teenage girl who had her throat cut on the way to a high school dance in the 1950s. Ever since, she's literally been tearing her victims apart, her rage is so strong.

But Cas discovers another side to the spirit when she spares his life after he falls victim to a prank. As he discovers more about Anna's past, it becomes obvious that she was the victim of a horrific death, which casts her ghostly murders in a different light.

As such, the novel deals with the idea of good and evil in an accessible way. Anna has committed some horrendous crimes, but she was also the victim of one. Her actions can be explained, but that doesn't excuse her of them.

It seems that a recent trend in supernatural romances is for the male lead, or the love interest, to be a bad boy, with little to redeem him. I find it hard to believe in a romance when one of the characters is completely mean all the time. Here the characters are better drawn and easier to empathise with, which makes the book much more engaging.

The story is fast-moving and exciting, with plenty of brutal and bloody action. There are some genuinely chilling moments and the descriptions of the ghosts have a visceral quality.

I really enjoyed this book and will definitely keep an eye out for the sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars creepy, 14 Dec 2012
By 
Kirsty at the Overflowing Library (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anna Dressed in Blood (Paperback)
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Anna Dressed in Blood is a creepy and atmospheric read

Cas is a ghost hunter taking over from the role he father had before him. Along with his mother he moves around the country to dispatch a variety of ghosts. His ultimate goal is to find the ghost responsible for killing his father and get his revenge. On his travels he hears about Anna Dressed in Blood.

Anna is a terrifying ghost. Murdered whilst wearing a white dress turned red by her own blood she has killed a variety of teenagers locally who dared to enter the house she was murdered in. Over the years her story has become urban legend which become reality when a group of teenagers Cas hangs out with decide they want to investigate.

I loved the relationship between the main teenage characters in the book. They are really funny with the tongue-in-cheek scooby doo and buffy and the scoobies reference thrown in. I love how Cas has spent his entire life avoiding making close friends but when they force their way into is life he actually finds having that support network really helpful.

I like how this book really didn't hold back like some YA read can do. The way in which some of the victims are dispatched is truly gruesome to the point where I was freaked out (and I'm not squeamish)

The last few chapters where everything kicks out is really tense and creepy - not to watch when at night alone. The scene when you realise what it is that is actually residing in the loft is absolutely terrifying as it dawns on you and then wonder how cas is actually going to deal with the latest problem.

I loved that the book in itself stands alone but if left open enough that there could be a sequel. I hope so...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly scary!, 7 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Anna Dressed in Blood (Paperback)
Anna Dressed in Blood combines the eerie ghosts and stoic hunters of Supernatural with a fun and comedic group dynamic. It offers everything from bubbling romance and unexpected friendship, to gory murder scenes and brutally creepy phantoms.

Cas is a ghost hunter that patrols the country killing spirits, with his wiccan mother in tow. After his dad is horrifically murdered, Cas adopts his powerful athame and swears vengeance. He's not just hunting for ghosts, he's hunting for the thing that killed his father.

Cas was subtly manipulative enough to play the role of someone used to adjusting to their surroundings, stealthy and skilled enough to be the trained hunter he claimed to be, and yet also wry and anxious enough to be just another teenage boy. Kendare Blake really did a wonderful job crafting a character who manages to be so many things, none of them ever seeming forced or overdone.

Unfortunately, I wasn't too keen on Cas's new friends. Thomas seemed like a recycled version of every typical 'smart sidekick' character and Carmel was far too bland to ever capture my interest.

Anna more than made up for that though. Her darker side was truly scary in some points and the vividly grotesque descriptions of her, right down to the dark tendrils of hair, were enough to creep me out.

As we watch her struggle with the more demonic side of herself, and her back-story is revealed, I only liked her more and became invested in her as a character who, despite anything, was still fit for redemption.

This is a romance as well as a horror, but that aspect never really takes shape. It's hinted at and implied, but never fully-developed, which I was pleased with. At its core, this is a ghost story, and I was glad the focus remained on that, splattering some blood-red droplets of doomed love, but never drawing away from the story with it. Instead we're treated to a plot that twists and turns in so many surprising ways, redeeming old murderers and revealing new ones.

This was a fantastically eerie ghost story that made the perfect Halloween read. Kendare Blake was able to effortlessly balance gory ghostly murders with slow-burning romance and a plot that twists and turns with the wind.

It wasn't perfect, and some clichés floated through to the surface, but overall this was a satisfying start to the series.

Favourite quote: Having no choice doesn't seem fair, but having all of them isn't easier.

Overall rating: 4/5 little birdies

For this and more reviews made of awesome, visit Little Birdie Books: www.littlebirdiebooks.uk
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4.0 out of 5 stars This book started and finished with a bang, 31 Oct 2014
Everything about this book had me dying to read it; from the title, to the gorgeous cover, to the intriguing tag line “Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story”.

And I’m so glad I did! It had moments when the horror aspect definitely took hold of the story and some of the descriptions were definitely cringe-worthy but that only made me love it more, and if you’re also a horror-junkie then this is definitely the book for you.

Romance also played a big part but wasn’t nearly as noticeable as everything else going on, particularly since Cas was doing the boy’s thing and denying his feelings right till the end… *sigh* I thought he was a great character and easy to understand with how the ghost-hunting side of his life distances himself from living a “normal life” with “normal” (or simply not dead) people.

At first I didn’t understand how this could be something Cas and Anna relate on but I think it worked perfectly and also gave a lot more depth to Anna’s character. She wasn’t simply a demonic murdering ghost, though no one can deny that she has brutally killed her fair share of people.

Along with these main protagonists there were a lot more side characters which I didn’t expect and they were all great in their own ways; I even warmed up to Carmel (who I kept reading as Caramel, probably because it was late at night and I was hungry…) after I found out she wasn’t interested in Cas. Otherwise I might have set Anna Dressed in Blood on her.

In the end this book started and finished with a bang, so I am once again dying to read the sequel.

Posted on: http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk/
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A page-turning paranormal young adult novel, 25 Jun 2013
This review is from: Anna Dressed in Blood (Paperback)
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Anna Dressed in Blood is YA paranormal fiction with a touch of romance. I generally find that books combining the words young adult and paranormal and romance are best avoided, but I did actually enjoy this book. Anna Dressed in Blood is about a teenage boy, Cas, who hunts murderous ghosts (a profession he inherited from his father who was murdered). He moves to a small town in Canada to search for Anna, a ghost who wears the blood-soaked dress she was killed in. Anna turns out to be a more intriguing ghost than any he has encountered before and he cannot bring himself to finally send her off into the afterlife. Anna is also stronger than any other ghost he has encountered and he finds himself needing help from a motley band of local kids he befriends. There is another story running through the novel relating to Cas wanting to avenge his father's killer.

I thought Anna Dressed in Blood was an enjoyable page-turner with likeable characters. Anna is an especially interesting character and it was sad to find out why she is so bitter and full of hatred. I thought the horror elements of the story were enjoyably spooky, but not particularly frightening. There is a "not for younger readers" sticker on the book, but I would be happy to give this book to a horror-loving pre-teen. Besides, whilst I certainly think all ages will enjoy this book, I felt it was aimed at younger teens. The only element of the book that did not work for me was the romance plot. It seemed tacked on as though the author felt she needed to include it to keep the teenage girls happy. Personally, I think the novel worked better as a paranormal thriller than a paranormal romance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speechlesd, 26 Dec 2012
By 
Kittykat (Bridgend, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This book is beautiful, full of twists and turns that will always leave toughening. It's perfect; the untraditional love story between Cas and Anna is funny, amusing,and heartbreaking st some points, as well as being perfect and blossomingly sweet, as well as being the source of many satirical jokes from Cas's point of view.
You cannot get a better book, I totally recommended it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boy meets Girl, except she is ghost - and has a killer past, 22 Oct 2012
By 
Amazon Customer "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anna Dressed in Blood (Paperback)
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The overview:

Our main protagonist is one Cas Lowood; he has followed in the footsteps, of his late Father's, a career/vocation, where He destroys violent poltergeists.

It's a very dangerous business for Cas Lowood, as his father was killed in the most gruesome way by a ghost he sought to kill/destroy. Cas is now armed with his father's mysterious Athamé a ceremonial dagger, and he travels the length and breadth of the country. Along the way he acquires friends that accompany him and try to help? As for the rest of the so called `normal' world, it is of no interest to him, it is the here and now that is important and of course the business at hand.

However, things change when in a new town, he is working on his latest project the elimination of a dangerous ghost called `Anna Dressed in Blood', Cas believes that this is business as usual, but things go very wrong and he fails in his mission. As he awaits his imminent death he is spared by ghost. The question is why?

My thoughts:

Well this book is clever, spooky and funny. There are interesting characters and great action sequences throughout. The premise and the narrative, I thought, were at times both beautiful and sad. As YA fiction goes this definitely one of the better reads and I am sure with such a promising and interesting start, where the characters are well rounded and interesting, I guess there is certainly an amount of `emotional investment' by the reader. I believe this book straddles both YA and main stream adult fiction. This reader recommends this book highly. Check out the author's sequel `The Girl with Nightmares'.
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