Series: Anna #1
Published by Tor Teen on August 30th 2011
Genres: Horror, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
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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.
I don’t believe in ghosts. I don’t believe in Ouji boards, aliens, loch ness monsters, abominable snowmen, poltergeists, republicans or any of that other stuff.
My little brother makes me watch those ghost hunter documentaries (I’m using that term lightly) and tries to show me the DARN FACTS, DAMNIT KATE! WHY CAN’T YOU SEE THAT THEY’RE REAL?
Funny how he believes in ghosts but not the continued statistical evidence that indicates women still suffer from inequality and, yes little brother, even in western society. *Cue eye roll*
So keep that in mind when I say that this book scared the shit out of me.
Nothing is less fun then getting up in the middle of a dark night to tend to your son. You’re creeping through the halls thinking over and over in your head, “Ghosts aren’t real. Ghosts aren’t real. Fuck what was that?! Nothing, okay? That was nothing because ghosts aren’t real. Ghosts aren’t real.”
It’s not a perfect novel. Apart from the pants-shitting terror, there is Cas to deal with. A lot of other reviews cover how his head space is occasionally annoying to be in. For me, that just felt like realism because if I were a badass, devil-may-care, teenage ghost hunter (if they existed, little bro) then I’d probably be really smarmy and annoying too.
What I really enjoyed was Anna and her relationship with Cas. Anna was like the girl next door. If the girl next door tore livers out of people to play hackey sack with, that is. She’s this really lovely, murdersome, complicated ghost character. Although, I have to wonder how much she has to complain about really. I mean, sure, she’s a dead horror-monster stuck in a house filled with the spiritual husks of her victims – but she died in a really awesome dress! And it even changes colour from white to red depending on how sadistically evil and murdery she feels at that time. Downside? I can’t think of one.
I enjoyed the writing, the cast of characters, the plot and the pacing. I enjoyed pretty much everything about this novel.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend the next two weeks pondering why the interrobang ever managed to fall out of popular use while roaming the dark halls of their house?
“What the hell was that?!”
“Is it going to eat me?!”
“Will they hear me scream!?”
“Why’d I read that stupid, fucking book… shitamIgoingtodie!?”
“When is the next one coming out?!”