Friday, September 7, 2012

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, book 1)
By Kendare Blake, read by August Ross
Published 2012 by AudioGo

Cas has taken up the family business after the death of his father. That family business just happens to be killing ghosts. But Cas is about to meet a ghost unlike any he's encountered before: Anna Dressed in Blood. You see, Anna has killed every teenager that's crossed her path since 1958. And Cas is about to cross her path in a big way...

Well, when I first heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. I am a horror aficionado (I wrote my Honors thesis on horror films) and often lament the lack of actual horror novels for teens and kids (remember Christopher Pike? R.L. Stine's Fear Street? Those books were actually scary!). I really, really hoped this book would be completely scare-your-pants-off terrifying. Well, I'm pretty hard to scare, so maybe it didn't reach that level, but this book is still pretty darned good.

What I liked: this book reminded me a lot of Supernatural, one of my favorite TV shows. Cas, our hero, is snarky and handsome and just continuing the family business, much like the Winchester brothers. He battles crazy stuff that normal people don't even know exists and he has a secret mission of vengeance on the evil being that felled his father. Right away, this book is hitting a lot of high notes for me. This book is downright gruesome and scary, as Cas battles ghosts with particular calling cards. The atmosphere is creepy and unsettling. The secondary characters provide interesting contrast to Cas, though they may be a bit stereotypical in themselves. Overall, the book is a pretty good blend of dark humor and horror.

I was not so crazy about the romantic elements - they didn't really feel particularly true to me, or inspire me to root for the match-ups. But, it's hard to find a good paranormal/horror that doesn't have some sort of romance, so I guess I should just get used to it. Additionally, on the format front, at times, Ross was a bit too cheerful/chipper for the story, in my opinion. But overall, I thought he did a decent job.

I am very intrigued by this book and am looking forward to picking up the next in the series. This is one I'd definitely recommend to kids looking for a good scare!

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