Review War: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

24 February, 2012 Review Wars 19 comments

The Players

Stephanie Sinclair and Kat Kennedy

The Book

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

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.

The Fight

Stephanie Sinclair: Okay, so obviously I’m the black sheep when it comes to loving Anna Dressed in Blood.

Kat Kennedy: Well, we try not to judge you for it.  I mean, it’s hard not to but…we try.

Stephanie Sinclair: It’s good to know I have such good Internet friends.

Kat Kennedy: The best!  What I want to know is, how could you NOT be utterly in love with Anna Dressed in Blood?

Stephanie Sinclair: Everyone thought the book was scary, but I’m not sure why.

Kat Kennedy: Well, maybe because it was pretty damn freaky.  That would be my initial reaction.

Stephanie Sinclair: Anna= Casper the friendly ghost.

Kat Kennedy: I don’t recall Casper ever ripping out someone’s innards. Besides, Casper was a suicidal ghost. Anna is just awesome.

Stephanie Sinclair: Anna only did that in the beginning. Then she just went all soft and lovable on us.

Stephanie’s interpretation of “lovable” apparently

I wanted to see a murder spree.

I iz disappoint.

Kat Kennedy: I’m kind of doubting your mental stability here.

Stephanie Sinclair: I’m a twisted individual.

Kat Kennedy: Look, she had to soften up eventually, but it’s not like it happened immediately. She still TRIED to kill people, but people became hard to kill because people tend to be wary of murdersome death-ghosts.

Stephanie Sinclair: “There is no try. There is do or do not.”


If you insist, Yoda!

Stephanie Sinclair: Yoda’s a wise “man.” But gold star for recognizing that quote! I’m really impressed.

Kat Kennedy: That is the tip of the iceberg for nerdy quotes that I know, unfortunately.  So your issue is that there weren’t enough maimed carcases for you?

Stephanie Sinclair: I guess I was expecting her to be more scary. I’ll chalk it up to your hype train.

Kat Kennedy: What part of she tears people apart with her bare hands was not freaky to you?

Stephanie Sinclair: Again, only in the beginning.  And I should say, that part was awesome.  What about Cas? Where you really convinced he had a Y chromosome?

Kat Kennedy: I’m one of the few people that enjoyed Cas as a character.

Stephanie Sinclair: He had a few memorable quotes: “You fuck! You ate my cat!”

Kat Kennedy: For me, I didn’t get the Cas hate.  Sure he was a cocky little shit, but he’s also a teenage ghost hunter with a magical blade.  I thought, legally, that allowed him to be a cocky little shit.

Stephanie Sinclair: He was over compensating.

Kat Kennedy: For what?!

Stephanie Sinclair: For his ovaries.

Kat Kennedy: He got illicit ghost smoochies from a paranormal creature known to tear people apart with her bare hands.  If that doesn’t take a massive set of balls, then I don’t know what classifies.

Stephanie Sinclair: Okay, now that was awkward.


Stephanie Sinclair: Muahahahahaha! I’m a robot!  He kissed a ghost, who was pretty much half zombie.  Ewwww….

Kat Kennedy: Well, maybe he looked deeper than the plasma-skin level into her beautiful, demon-infested, murder-heart and found something kindred.  And maybe some of us, while reading this book – those of us with a SOUL may I add – found that sweet.

Stephanie Sinclair: C’mon, Kennedy! Kissing a DEAD person is not romantic.  It was awkward at best and necrophilia at worst.  The beginnings of necrophilia.

Sexy, sexy necrophilia.

Kat Kennedy: Well, if you were dead, wouldn’t you hope someone cared enough to kiss you?

Stephanie Sinclair: If I were dead, I’m not sure I would care.

Kat Kennedy: I think we’ll have to chalk this one up to differences in opinion between those capable of feelings, emotions and beauty – and you.

Stephanie Sinclair: Because my soul is black.


Stephanie Sinclair: Muhahahahah!  So what about the plot, I actually did like that.

Kat Kennedy: The plot was smooth and ran well. I didn’t get bored and you know how easily distracted I a- hey a butterfly!

Stephanie Sinclair: *snaps finger* I’m over here, Kennedy.

Kat Kennedy: Oh sorry.

Stephanie Sinclair: I felt bad for Anna and I did want Cas to succeed in helping her.

Kat Kennedy: Just in a strictly platonic, non gross way?

Stephanie Sinclair: Yes, exactly. I mean, how is that relationship supposed to work out?! It’s a dead end relationship. Hahahaha! wink Get it?!

Kat Kennedy:

Stephanie Sinclair: I’m here till next Tuesday!

Kat Kennedy: If I start throwing holy water on you, will that save me from your jokes?

Stephanie Sinclair: Nevaaaaa!

Kat Kennedy: What did you think about the writing?

Stephanie Sinclair: I liked the writing a lot. I think it was a very readable book.

Kat Kennedy: Other than the fact that you couldn’t enjoy it because the part of yourself that enjoys beauty has been defiled?

Stephanie Sinclair: It’s true. The darkest pits of my soul could not be warmed up.

Kat Kennedy: Basically, your main complaints are compressed to:

-Not scary enough

-Don’t like illicit ghost smoochies

-And Cas annoyed you

Anything else you want to add to that list before I declare you a witch and have you burnt?

Stephanie Sinclair: Yeah, that pretty much sums it up!

Kat Kennedy: Awesome.

Stephanie Sinclair: Plus, there were a few plot inconsistencies I found.

Kat Kennedy: Where? Where are these inconsistencies you speak of?

Stephanie SinclairThe plot inconsistencies have spoilers. You’ll have to read my review. And my favorite character died! Whhhyyyyy?!

Kat Kennedy: Oh good – maybe your favourite character can now have a fulfilling romance in the second book?

Stephanie Sinclair: No, I think he’s gone for good.  He died a noble death.

Kat Kennedy: What do you consider scary?  I mean, are you often afraid in ghost movies?

Stephanie Sinclair: Yes, I scare very easily!

Kat Kennedy: Do you actually believe in Ghosts?

Stephanie Sinclair: No, not really. I mean, I was having a conversation on Twitter with Blake the other day about Jurassic Park. Those movies terrify me!

Kat Kennedy: …

Please note the deliberate use of a Star Trek image just to fuck with

Stephanie’s cute little Star Wars lovin’ mind.

It’s all about the details. – Kat

Kat Kennedy: Wait, you didn’t think Anna Dressed in Blood was scary but Jurassic Park freaked you out?!

Stephanie Sinclair: I think she may have secretly laughed at me.

Kat Kennedy: I make no secret about laughing at you. I’m laughing at you right now.

This is all the proof you need that ghosts exist: Ghost caught on babysitter cam.

You must watch it. You will no longer doubt.

Stephanie Sinclair: Are you trying to give me nightmares. Don’t you know I could drive by Amnityville house if I wanted to?!

Kat Kennedy: Just watch the video.  It’ll make my night.

Stephanie Sinclair: Omg, I can’t. I pulled up the video and saw the crib.

Kat Kennedy: WATCH IT!

Stephanie Sinclair: It says not for the faint of heart. I’m faint of heart!!!

Kat Kennedy: *snicker* I can’t believe you won’t watch this video, but you scoff at Anna Dressed in Blood not being scary!

COWARD.  Yoda is ashamed of you. Fear is bad. Leads to the darkside, yada yada

Stephanie Sinclair: I watched it!

Kat Kennedy: NOW do you believe in ghosts?  That video made me a total believer.

Stephanie Sinclair: I can’t believe you doubted my midi-chlorian count. *nods head* They are totally real.

Kat Kennedy: And thus deserve love-smoochies.  Which means this book was awesome.

Stephanie Sinclair: That’s…a stretch.

Kat Kennedy: That’s what she said…

Stephanie Sinclair: I think it just boils down to me not really loving ghosts and having a soul the shade of Hell’s bed linens.

Kat Kennedy: And I think that’s something we can both agree on.

Stephanie Sinclair:I’ll own that.


Kat’s Review

Stephanie’s Review

What do you think?  Give your opinion in the comments section below!

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Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

19 Responses to “Review War: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake”

  1. Kat Kennedy

    Fauzan – there are definitely more coming, but unfortunately Stephanie and I don’t disagree on a lot of books – so unless other people want to do review wars with us, there’s only going to be a few more!

    Nicola – it’s my job to insert graphics in the review wars – that can be a pretty fun way of mocking Steph – so I’m glad you approve.

  2. Lexie B.

    You can never go wrong with Yoda quotes. NEVER. (Also, I may or may not have had the Yoda graphic up when my mom decided it would be a brilliant idea to stare at my screen . . . erm.)

    I, personally, was a big fan of ANNA. I wasn’t too terrified by it, but I think that’s because I primarily read it during the day, surrounded by people; if I’d read it at night, it might’ve been a very different story. But I loved the narration, the plot, the writing, and most of all, Anna. She was such a BAMF. It’s incredibly refreshing to read about someone as awesome as her after some of the YA heroines today.
    Lexie B. recently posted…Cover Reveal: My Heart Be Damned, Defiance, and The Lost GirlMy Profile

  3. Donna @ Bites

    I’m so desperate for YA horror that I’ll take what I can get but I really did love ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD. I don’t think Cas’s relationship with Anna was of the ZOMG! variety but considering he’s a nomad that has finally connected with someone/thing, I thought that was touching. But I liked the gore, as demented as that sounds. YA needs more gore and less love triangles. Or love triangles filled with gore. I might read those.
    Donna @ Bites recently posted…A Week with Carolrhoda Lab Begins with Andrew Karre, Mad Scientist!My Profile

  4. Kimberly

    This is so freaking funny! I loved that book and I’m on the second one now. There’s no way anyone could say the second one isn’t scary.

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