Book Spotlight: ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD (#1) by Kendare Blake

About the Book: YA Horror/Supernatural



Hardcover: 316 pages

Publisher: Tom Doherty

Release Date: October 17, 2011


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)

About the Author:

According to the bio on her website, Ms. Blake is an import from South Korea who was raised in the United States by caucasian parents. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Ithaca College and a Master’s degree in Writing from Middlesex University in London.


My Thoughts:

Cas Lowood is an interesting protagonist. He bears his calling–killing notorious spirits that harm the living–with apparent ease and sometimes, a hint of a swagger. But it’s mostly appearances–Cas’ father died doing what Cas is doing now. It’s a lonely world, but he keeps at it because he can’t escape his calling, even if he doesn’t fully understand his task. When he sets out to rid a killer ghost everyone referred to as Anna Dressed in Blood because of her bloodied dress, Cas encounters a lonely spirit grievously wronged in her past…

The writing is superb and fast-paced, and despite the gruesome content, Ms. Blake doesn’t employ heavily gross and graphic descriptions that may turn off a reader. Instead, everything is done tastefully well. But the element of horror is there, and you would do best to read this with the lights turned on (which I did).

The sequel, Girl of Nightmares, was published August 7th, 2012. But I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. My TBR (To-Be-Read) pile keeps getting bigger, and sometimes it’s just hard to catch up. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to reading this when I get the chance.



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