Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Posted by Simay Yildiz with 3 comments
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Kindle Store
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.
Anna Dressed in Blood is the story of the 17-year-old ghost hunter, Theseus Cassius Lowood (I can't continue without mentioning that no matter how big a Shakespeare fan you are, you should never name your child this). When you read the synopsis, you can't help but hear this music in your head. Then you start reading, and it reads very much like a Supernatural episode. I love both these things, so, of course, I didn't have a problem with it.
Anna Dress in Blood was different from the other YA books I've read in many aspects. First of all, I liked that the narrator was male. Everyone calls him Cas for short because he has an impossible name. His father was a ghost hunter, and one can say that Cas is carrying on the family business. His mother knows what he does, and she helps him out, which was another thing that made this book different than many others. I was quite glad that there was no "what if mom/dad finds out?" drama this time. Cas and his mother move from city to city, wherever the dangerous ghosts lead them.
One day Cas goes after Anna Korlov's ghost. However, Anna isn't like the ghosts he's encountered before; she's not stuck in the moment of her death, unaware of what she's doing. In the end, as expected, Cas helps her get rid of the urge to kill, and they fall in love. I'm not sure how a human and ghost can be together really, but I have a feeling we will find out.
My favorite part about the book was Cas being portrayed as a regular 17-year old. Unlike most main characters in YA, he's not the odd-one-out or the most popular, the most lusted-after. He uses a special knife to kill ghosts, and it comes up more often than I like. And sometimes the "am I in love?" parts seem to continue for too long, but overall it's an enjoyable, quick read.
Girl of Nightmares was released last month. I must admit I'm very curious about how Cas and Anna's relationship will continue, so I will be reading this one as well.