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Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (Anna #1)

won from vvb32 reads

Synopsis from Goodreads
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.

Amazon  US/UK(£3.91!) | Amazon kindle US($2.99!)/UK | The Book Depository US/UK 


* * *
Anna Dressed in Blood is a very very good horror story, one that will keep you turning the pages until the very end. It's tense, exhilarating and pretty dark.

Why on Earth then did you give this book lower rating? you might ask.

Truth is, I felt that with all the excellence of this novel, the love story was completely unnecessary. It's awkward at its best, developed under highly unlikely circumstances and it just doesn't stick.

Why would a boy who sees Anna as his target, who just witnessed the girl killing someone in the most gruesome fashion suddenly feel for this girl? I'm sorry, but no. Sympathy, pity, certain respect, fear... I can understand that. But love? That's pretty twisted.

Cas himself reminded me of Cassel Sharp from Holly Black's Curse Workers series. He likes to feel superior to his peers, detached from their worries, but in reality he is not that good at what he does. He manages to do it by sheer luck and perseverance, but not because of his skills and cunning. Hell, no. There are plenty of people around who really appreciate what he does and who help him all along the way.

The secondary characters though are really well done. I admire them for going against stereotypes. Carmel, especially. She is a beautiful blond cheerleader. Strong, not egocentric and very clever. She's got a really good heart and she falls not for Cas, the main character, but for his geeky mind-reading sidekick slash witch, Thomas. I thought it was awesome.

The scariest moment of this book? The cat dies. You do not kill the cat! *sobs* It's just so unbearably cruel.  Kill humans instead. Pets are no-no, unless they are from The Pet Cemetery.

All in all, this is a fantastic read, full of suspense, and a very good murder mystery. Ditch the love story, and we'll have something truly great in the books to follow. I also hope to see more of Carmel and Thomas.

* * *
Обалденная книга! Жуть как понравилось практически всё - чудовищная натура Анны, интрига с расследованием её убийства, замечательные второстепенные герои, которых я просто полюбила гораздо больше Каза.

Каз сам по себе напомнил мне чем-то Касселя Шарпа из серии Холли Блэк. Он чувствует своё моральное и физическое превосходство над своими современниками, но по правде говоря он не так уж и хорош в своём ремесле. По большей части он выезжает из очень плохих ситуаций на удаче и своём упорстве, а с планированием и нахождением призраков ему помогает куча обычных людей, которые благодарны за то, что он хоть и плохонький, но наш охотник за привидениями.

Сильная сторона книги - замечательные второстепенные персонажи - Кармел и Томас, что чем-то напомнили мне команду Баффи. Кармел - блондинистая, хорошенькая чиарлидерша, которая в отрицание всех стереотипов, оказывается умной, рассудительной и находчивой девушкой. К тому же, она влюбляется не в Каза, как этого ожидаешь, а в Томаса - тощего ведьмака и, читающего мысли, ботаника. Оба, и Томас, и Кармел - одно удовольствие, и я надеюсь, что мы их увидим в следующих книгах.

Единственная проблема сюжета для меня - это совершенно ненужная любовная линия Каза и Анны. Ну, зачем? Мне очень трудно поверить в развитие любовного интереса когда у тебя только что на глазах убили парня, разорвав его на части, с кишками и прочими прелестями, размазанными по полу... Я могу понять уважение, страх, жалость, даже сочувствие Анне как жертве, но любовь? Мягко говоря, я нашла её странной.

Однако, книга  читается на одном дыхании, и я рекомендую её всем поклонникам кровожадных призраков для обязательного прочтения.

Самый страшный момент? Кота *рыдает* убили, мать вашу!

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