Monday, March 21, 2016

ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD // Who Needs Sleep?


Rating: Five Stars—ajklsdflk (when words fail to describe how wonderful a book is)

I finished Kendare Blake's ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD way back in January, on the same day I finished ILLUMINAE, and now I’m finally getting around to reviewing it. Hold the applause, please. 

Admittedly, I was a little less sure what I was going to rate ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD. As stories go, it was a bit simpler, and a bit more predictable. Yet it was nonetheless beautiful, engaging, and atmospheric. (In fact, the eerie, brooding mood of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD reminded me somewhat of IMAGINARY GIRLS, which is never a bad thing.) So, in the end, I decided to give it five stars because four stars felt too low and I do feel a little awkward about giving half stars, even though I do from time to time. Another bonus is that ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD has grown on me even more in retrospect, and that's always a good sign. 

The Story. Like his father before him, Cas is a ghost hunter, and he has never forgotten his ultimate mission: to kill the spirit who murdered his father. But when a violent ghost known as Anna Dressed in Blood spares Cas’s life, he is forced to revisit his understanding of the spirit world. 

As a general rule, I don’t read books like this, but I had heard a lot of good things about ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD from readers I trust, so I decided to give it a go. (I can’t lie, the cover drew me in as well.) Obviously, I’m glad I read it. 

The Characters. While I loved all the characters, for various reasons, these four are my favorites: 

Cas. On Goodreads, I noticed several reviewers mentioning that they found Cas annoying, which surprised me. I really liked Cas. Yes, he sometimes comes across as arrogant, but only because he knows what he’s doing when it comes to killing ghosts and because he has learned to focus on his goals at all costs. In fact, that’s one of the aspects I liked most about his character. Granted, I’ve never been a ghost hunter myself (just haven’t had the time, really), but even when I was his age, I was super focused on writing. So I could relate to his willingness to enjoy a social life in small amounts while still remembering what his higher priorities are. He is incredibly driven and incredibly talented, and his voice was a refreshing break from what I normally find in YA. 

Thomas. I love Thomas so much. In many ways, his friendship with Cas reminds me a bit of Four and Sam’s relationship in I AM NUMBER FOUR, which I think is one of the most adorable friendships ever. He reminds me of a little puppy, wanting to follow his beloved person everywhere he goes. Ultimately, he is brave and caring and one of the best sidekicks to be found. Now the question is, where can I find somebody like him in real life? 

Anna. While Anna is super scary and mysterious, she is also extremely tragic, and I empathized with her. Though she is, in many respects, one of the main antagonists, she is also one of the main protagonists. And I’d tell you more about how amazing she is, but I don’t want to ruin the story for you. 

Carmel. Honestly, I was so impressed with Carmel. On the one hand, she’s popular and pretty and all that fun stuff, but on the other hand, she’s down-to-earth, brave, and kind. She’s in no way your stereotypical queen bee, so that was exciting. Hopefully the sequel will feature her just as much, if not more. 

The Ending. After shoving this book in your faces, I feel it’s only fair to warn you that it ends with a pretty bad cliffhanger. ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD is the first in a duology, and I have yet to get my hands on the conclusion, GIRL OF NIGHTMARES. On a completely unrelated note, I also have yet to sleep at night. 

Content Warning. Overall, the story is fairly clean, but there is some strong language and graphic violence. There is also some thematic material (ie. Voodoo). 

In Conclusion. I very much enjoyed ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, and I am hoping to get my hands on the sequel within the next few months. I highly recommend it, especially for those who like moody, atmospheric stories. 



What about you, my little coffee beans? Have you read ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD? What are your thoughts? What is your favorite scary story?

12 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great book! EXCEPT that I'm easily frightened and probably wouldn't react too well to this. I do like scary books, but they have to be hugely separated from the modern world (in time or location or SOMETHING) so that I can convince myself that nothing is coming to kill me in my sleep. Maybe I'll try this if I'm feeling particularly brave someday!

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    1. It is! :) But yeah, if these sorts of things bother you, then please don't feel pressured to read it, as it is a little scarier/more graphic than some of the other novels of its ilk that I read. But it's also cozy feeling, so I don't know if that helps. *shrugs*

      Thanks for commenting! :)

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  2. I loved this book - and still have yet to read the sequel! It's a great read a like for Supernatural. Great review!

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    1. I'm the same. I saw the sequel at my library and even checked it out, but I already own the first book and I'm already planning to buy the sequel at some point, so I figure I'll just wait till I buy it to read it, whenever that happens. It really is great for Supernatural fans. *nods*

      Thank you, and thanks for commenting! :)

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  3. This books sounds really good and engaging! I think I'll definitely give it a try. :)

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    1. It is! I hope you enjoy it too! :)

      Thanks for commenting! :)

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    1. *applauds you*

      Thanks for reading! :)

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  5. Sounds pretty good! Since watching the first few seasons of Supernatural, I've been more into this sort of thing, so I might have to give it a go. :)

    Also, SAM AND FOUR!!! YES. Sam is seriously so adorable, and their friendship is the best. Where are you in that series?


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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    1. And, bonus, Anna Dressed in Blood has a similar feel to Supernatural, so if you love Supernatural, you're probably going to love Anna Dressed in Blood as well. :)

      Sam is. Oh my goodness, he is. *hugs him* I've read the first three books, but I hope to finish the series eventually. :P

      Thanks for commenting! :)

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  6. I haven't read it, but if you have and enjoyed it, then I should :)

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    1. Aww, your faith in my reading taste is touching. :)

      Thanks for commenting! :)

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