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

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)

Rating – 4  stars

I am usually not inclined to read YA Paranormal romances. The reasons being they are too boring, too cliche and too predictable. Ever since the world was taken over by vampires that ‘sparkle’ YA romances got even worse. It’s as if there is a competition to write the most douchiest characters ( Okay, so that’s not even a word but you get the gist). The hero has to be this brooding stalker-like guy who you are instantly fawning over because OMG he is so HAWT. Like really you seriously feel like poking the girl in her eyeballs, shake her enough to rattle her bones and tell her at the top of your voice to get a life because she will undoubtedly be sulking in at least a quarter of the book how HAWT he is and he won’t even notice her, then be amazed he does notice her, followed by feeling herself being unworthy of him since he could win the award for being the most handsome stalker that existed in history even if he is sickly pale and creeps her out by staring into distance even when with her falling into a brooding silence while little old her is just another plain jane he finds edible. And I am not kidding here about the edible part – the guy would suck her dry if he hadn’t realized there is someone finally foolish enough to be around him willingly and do the deed with him at long last, even when she is scared out of her mind – since he has probably spent a century or so as a lonesome nomad and being a virgin too. He had after all given precedence to his hunger pangs opting for a life of abstinence for the past 100 or so years of his undead life. And oh the last part of the book unless its the finale which does give a happily ever after even if it has creepy and disturbing after effects – usually ends with some problem or other threatening to split up the girl from the wuv of her life. Yeah you probably wanna poke your eyeballs out for reading the crap even knowing what’s coming your way.

This is where ADIB kinda goes different. Its not the usual Paranormal fare that’s served these days. I came across this book on Goodreads by chance and am so happy that I did. The first thing that immediately grabbed my attention was the cover – the creepy, gorgeous cover art. Its not everyday that I find a cover that can be described as equally fascinating and sorta creepy. The next thing of course if the tag line and the synopsis. I knew I had to read this one even if I would hate it just to know the story and also check out a new author in the process and boy am I glad I made the right choice.

ADIB – (I am lazy to write the whole thing repeatedly) is basically the story of a ghost called Anna and Cas – a ghostbuster – though don’t call him that. And yeah a heads up don’t equate him to Buffy too. So as I was saying Cas is in the business of eliminating the undead who can’t move on past their death into the afterlife or whatever as something stops them from passing on. He comes in and provides a friendly little shove to them, and life goes on. Its his legacy, something passed on through his family for generations. So after finishing off his last assignment, Cas & his mom move into a new town that is said to house the haunting site of one of the most terrifying spirits there is – Anna. A girl who was murdered at the age of 16 over fifty years ago is the town legend. Its said she haunts the place that was her home once and anyone unlucky or stupid enough to set foot in her house is never seen again. 27 victims of such instances are said to have been unfortunate enough to succumb to the fate.

Cas comes into town thinking he will get a low down on Anna, figure what holds her back, kill/banish her spirit and be once again on his merry way. That is until he actually meets Anna. Stronger than any ghost he has ever encountered, terrifying that most things he has seen; Anna is not what Cas imagined her to be. Sparing his life on their first encounter Anna piques Cas’ curiosity until he no longer has anyone or anything else on his mind, just her – the fearsome, aggressive, terrifying ghost who has killed just about everyone ever to cross the threshold of her home but not only does she spare him when he does the same, she saves him too.

Getting help with his newly formed Scooby gang, Cas discovers Anna’ story and is baffled to realize he is in love with a girl with whom he can never truly be. Helping to slay the demons that plague her Cas involuntarily raises a monster that is the stuff of his most terrifying dreams.

Hands down Blake I am delighted to say is the finest writer I have discovered in this genre so far. I am a fan now and will devour her books so long as they keep me hooked. I loved how Blake had given even the cat Tybalt so much character. Her prose was crisp and flowing and though the book was dealing with ghosts and death it was infused with a steady dose of humor.

I found myself liking Anna a lot even if she was initially painted as a bloodthirsty ghost who enjoyed breaking people limb from limb – literally !

It was so refreshing to not see the girl as this shallow idiotic wailing thing even when she was a ghost and a victim of her awful circumstances too. Another thing that actually appealed to me. I mostly came across YA romances dealing with Paranormal where the girl is portrayed as this naïve innocent stupid human who doesn’t realize what she is getting into until finally shit hits fan and she realizes OMG I am in love with a Vampire/Werewolf/Shapeshifter or whatever spooky creepy otherworldly demon or thing that came to be the hero of the book. ADIB as a breath of fresh air had the hero human and the girl as the otherworldly entity.

I am gonna read the sequel of this one asap to find what happens to Anna and Cas.

Though one thing that I would love more would be to find the story of Malvina – what happened to her and how can someone be so cruel. I get strict disciplinarian parents. But this is beyond the norm. For a mother to be such a hideous thing, its unimaginable. So it would be something if someday it would be possible to get in her head.

The most disgusting characters sometimes make the most fascinating leads – Hannibal for example. And oh it wouldn’t hurt to know what became of her leech of a fiance too.

Recommended for: anyone who enjoys a good ghost story

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2 thoughts on “Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake

    • Am hoping to read it soon too I am in love with Blake’ prose so am just hoping I can get some time soon enough

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