Sunday, September 20, 2015

[Review] Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) - Kendare Blake

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17-year-old Cas Lowood is a ghost hunter, always on the road to find ghosts to kill.

When he stumbles upon the local lore on Anna Korlov, a ghost that has killed every single person who set foot in her former home, he instantly becomes obsessed with her. When he finally attacks, Anna does something he hasn't seen any ghost do before - she spares his life.

What intrigued me: I love a good ghost story!

Great Premise - Slow Beginning

The premise is great, but it lacks in execution. The story doesn't really start until page 100 and it's annoying. The side characters are unnecessary and it makes no sense for Cas, an experienced ghosthunter, to drag local teenagers into this, when he's known for being a loner. I feel like the side characters that Cas makes friends with at school, are just an excuse to hit off an unnecessary love triangle.

I feel like a lot of the book could have been cut and I wished that Blake just cut to the slack sometimes. The novel could have started with Cas being spared by Anna and you'd have a kickass beginning right there. I don't understand why there's the need for so many random side kicks that are just annoying.
Also, I believe that Cas would have worked better as a character if he'd been written as an adult. He's too comfortable in his skin, conceited, and doesn't feel like a teenager at all. He's not believable.


A Fluffy Ghost Romance? Uhm... 

I don't think it's even a romance. It's as insta-love-y as it gets. Cas the ghost hunter and Anna the ghost he has to kill, instantly fall madly in love with each other. Then again, Cas doesn't come across as a professional when dealing with Anna. There is just not enough reason for him not to attack her on the spot. His early attempts at killing her seem sloppy, making me question why he's such a renowned ghost hunter, when he's actually pretty rubbish at his job. It doesn't make sense either that Cas takes the help of Carmel, Thomas, and Co, Why would he endanger innocent civilians?

Aside from the ridiculously long build-up, the insta-romance, and the poorly-written protagonist - the biggest problem of this novel is that it just isn't scary. Not even for half a second. There are maybe two or three gory scenes that are pretty gross if you imagine it, but the writing isn't vivid enough to make me see the whole thing in front of my eyes. I didn't even happen once that I felt like I was diving into the story, the writing just doesn't do it for me. This may also be due to the way Cas narrates the story - he flips between monologues, flashbacks, and the present events so often that you don't have the time to get really lost in any of the scenes.


Rating:

☆☆

 




Overall: Do I Recommend?

Nope. Not scary. I only read this because I was looking for the perfection combination between scary and romantic. This is just weird.




Additional Info

Published: October 17th 2011
Pages: 316
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: YA / Horror
ISBN: 9780765328656


Synopsis:
"Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered 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. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, 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, now stained red and dripping with 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.

Yet she spares Cas's life."   (Source: Goodreads)



Can you recommend a great YA Horror book to me?

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