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Anna Dressed in Blood

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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.

316 pages, Hardcover

First published October 17, 2011

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About the author

Kendare Blake

42 books54.8k followers
So, I write books. The Anna Dressed in Blood duo is horror, The Goddess War trilogy is mythology, and Three Dark Crowns is fantasy, because the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some. Love to read, too. Fiction, philosophy, good books, bad books, because you take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have a stack of books and stuff. I mean, you've got to be adventurous. There's more to life that what you're living, so take a chance and face the wind.

There's more coming soon like ALL THESE BODIES and a new fantasy series, so don't waste another minute on your cryin. We're nowhere near the end.

My likes include animals, food, and nostalgia. I mean, whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV? Used to be everywhere you look, there's a heart, a hand to hold on to.

Anyway, I love to hear from readers so drop me a line here or at my website and we'll talk about friends to know, and ways to grow, and how if you threw a party you would see that the biggest gift would be from me and the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

We can also talk about all the sitcom theme songs in this bio. Sha la la la.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,420 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,979 reviews170k followers
June 23, 2018

a million stars for anna dressed in awesome.

i was so hoping to be scared by this book. the way i was hoping to cry reading a monster calls. and it is fine that i wasn't and that i didn't - apparently i have no discernible human emotional response except an ability to become enthusiastic over well-written prose. and that's enough, for a life.

i don't even care that this book wasn't scary - it was so fun, and that is usually all i need to be riveted. did it have flaws? sure! were there things in the book that occurred that made me pause? naturally. but overall, i found her voice so refreshing and her characters so likable, that none of it matters. this is a well-told story.

i thought this was more beautiful than scary. really, karen? even with all the ripped-up corpses and blood everywhere?? yup! i really did. i read it as a ghost who had a shitty life, and couldn't even get any peace after she was dead, and a boy who was missing out on his childhood because of an overdeveloped sense of justice and revenge. and of first love and first friendship and faith. secular faith. and there were so many genuinely funny moments (i do love this kid), and one terrible thing . definitely a well-executed book, and there are more to come?? sign me up right now.

a note on cursing. i am no lady, i am pretty comfortable with a wide range of salty talk. and sometimes, you can tell that some teen fiction is just dropping its f-bombs to shock or titillate its audience, all commiserating "oooh - don't tell the grownups!!" this was a book in full control of its potty mouth. a rainbow of expletives, masterfully handled. it brought a tear to the eye to see such a well-developed sense of vulgarity. again, not for shock value, but just the way kids curse. only funnier. and more elegantly. it is an art, after all. most kids use it as a weapon.

so between that, the maroon type (sucker for that), and the pathos and humor, this was an easy five-star book. i may never be scared of a book again, but at least i can still be entertained.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,576 reviews33.9k followers
September 15, 2011
Have you ever stood in your house, listening to a quiet, unfamiliar noise, and felt the hair rise on the back of your neck? Cas Lowood has, and the unholy hell of what he finds when he investigates will make you jump a little bit in your seat. He's a 17-year-old who kills the dead with a magic athame, just as his father did before him--and now he's faced with the task of killing Anna, a homicidal ghost who was murdered more than 60 years ago.

Cas is a fantastically strong and appealing protagonist, but it's really Anna who takes center stage. Imagine the visual of a pale girl with inky hair floating in a dark house, her beautiful white dress slowly drip-drip-dripping with blood. She's deadly dangerous and full of vengeful fury, however, because of the way she was killed. When you find out what really happened to Anna, it's hard not to feel terrible pity for her--and to understand why Cas has such a hard time killing her.

If you've been looking for a great YA horror novel, look no further. Anna Dressed in Blood is a stunning novel, full of atmospheric spookiness and unthinkable horrors. I cringed reading about ghosts with stones where their eyes should be, I yelped when Cas goes down into a basement full of...dreadful things, and my eyes got as big as saucers when the walls starting bleeding. But although the descriptions are full of vivid imagery and there's plenty of brutal action, what happens isn't at all gross. If anything, there's a dark beauty in the descriptions and an elegance in the writing that makes every scene a true pleasure to read. My reading status updates will give you a peek at some of the lines and scenes that particularly made me shiver, but I really had to restrain myself from posting one every couple of pages, as there's so much to savor, even in simple but humorous lines such as "She's wearing the same smile as her cat." I found just as much to love in the writing as I did the fantastic story, and the cheeky humor made me laugh even in dire and inappropriate circumstances.

This is the darker, more grown-up version of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, and it's much more violent and much more polished. Anna offers an unforgettable thrill of a ride--and it catapulted instantly to my favorites list for the year. I am so excited about this author and I can't wait for the sequel, Girl of Nightmares, to come out in 2012. Read it, read it, read it! I promise it will make you shudder, in the very best of ways.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden.
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.2k followers
January 9, 2012
I don't believe in ghosts. I don't believe in Ouji boards, aliens, loch ness monsters, abominable snowmen, poltergeists, republicans or any of that other stuff.

My little brother makes me watch those ghost hunter documentaries (I'm using that term lightly) and tries to show me the DARN FACTS, DAMNIT KATE! WHY CAN'T YOU SEE THAT THEY'RE REAL?

Funny how he believes in ghosts but not the continued statistical evidence that indicates women still suffer from inequality and, yes little brother, even in western society. *Cue eye roll*

So keep that in mind when I say that this book scared the shit out of me.

Nothing is less fun then getting up in the middle of a dark night to tend to your son. You're creeping through the halls thinking over and over in your head, "Ghosts aren't real. Ghosts aren't real. Fuck what was that?! Nothing, okay? That was nothing because ghosts aren't real. Ghosts aren't real."

It's not a perfect novel. Apart from the pants-shitting terror, there is Cas to deal with. A lot of other reviews cover how his head space is occasionally annoying to be in. For me, that just felt like realism because if I were a badass, devil-may-care, teenage ghost hunter (if they existed, little bro) then I'd probably be really smarmy and annoying too.

What I really enjoyed was Anna and her relationship with Cas. Anna was like the girl next door. If the girl next door tore livers out of people to play hackey sack with, that is. She's this really lovely, murdersome, complicated ghost character. Although, I have to wonder how much she has to complain about really. I mean, sure, she's a dead horror-monster stuck in a house filled with the spiritual husks of her victims - but she died in a really awesome dress! And it even changes colour from white to red depending on how sadistically evil and murdery she feels at that time. Downside? I can't think of one.

I enjoyed the writing, the cast of characters, the plot and the pacing. I enjoyed pretty much everything about this novel.

I mean, who wouldn't want to spend the next two weeks pondering why the interrobang ever managed to fall out of popular use while roaming the dark halls of their house?

"What the hell was that?!"
"Is it going to eat me?!"
"Will they hear me scream!?"
"Why'd I read that stupid, fucking book... shitamIgoingtodie!?"

"When is the next one coming out?!"

Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
February 28, 2012

Don't forget to check out the epic interview story with Kendare Blake over at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog!

Actual rating: 2.5 stars

Sometimes you read books that are visibly bad. So bad, in fact, that they make you want to throw yourself head first out a window, but you keep on reading and reading. You might even feel yourself losing your will to live about halfway through. But somehow, by the end of the book, you end up liking it anyway because it entertained you. The badness was just that entertaining. Then, there are other books that are really good books, but just do nothing for you. Anna Dressed in Blood was the latter for me. There was nothing wrong with this book. It's just that ghost books and I don't get along. I typically stay away from only two paranormal creatures: ghosts and zombies. I probably would have never picked this book up on my own, but I figured I'd give Anna Dressed in Blood a shot for two reasons: 1) It came highly recommended to me from several reviewers and 2) The last time I read a zombie book (The Forest of Hands and Teeth) I really enjoyed it. So I was hoping to have a similar experience. Unfortunately, I didn't.

The three biggest issues I had with the book:


For the most part I did like him, but in the beginning I found him to be a bit conceited. When he first arrives in Thunder Bay, Ontario he walks around the school like he's way too cool to be there. To his credit, I guess he really is. I mean, he kills ghosts for a living. But the way those girls just fawned over him, like he was some Grecian god, was just a little over the top.
I make my way to her table, seeing eyes growing wider as I do. Ten or so other girls probably just developed instantaneous crushes on me, because they see that Carmel likes me.
Then there was the issue with him being the only one able to kill ghosts. He kept repeating, "I'm the only one who can do this" and I kept asking, "Oh, yeah? Why? Why, Cas? What makes you so speshul?" Yes, I realize he comes from a long line of ghost busters hunters, but why his family? What makes his bloodline different from anyone else? I needed background info and I never got it.


Anna Dressed in Blood. I was told to read this book with the lights on. Usually, I scare very easily. I wasn't scared one bit while reading. At first, when Cas "runs into" Anna, I was thinking, "Uh, oh. It's about to go down." And for a minute it did. I was shocked and even more shocked that I liked it. I was starting to think that everyone who recommended me this book was on to something. Anna. Oh, Anna. Why couldn't you remain scary?

This is what I wanted from you:

I wanted you to run around angry, strike some fear in people's hearts, make me afraid of the dark for a few nights, tear some shit up.

But this is what I got instead:

For some odd reason you didn't have the urge to hurt Cas, which is never explained. Again, why is this kid so speshul?

The Romance

This is honestly where the book started to lose me. Killer vindictive girl running around killing people? I can handle that. Cas going all "goo-goo eyes" over a dead girl? Yeah, um...it didn't work for me. But who am I to judge? If Cas likes it when Anna makes her eyes go black, her veins crawl up her arms, her deep, neck wound opening up to create her flowing blood dress, calling her "My Anna", then that is totally his business. I just didn't see where that relationship was supposed to be headed. It was different, I'll give Blake that, but it just didn't work for me.

Other things that bothered me:

I did not understand the mythology behind Cas' knife and the villain. It went straight over my head. I felt maybe that part could have been explained better. However, I suppose it's entirely possible that my little, simple brain could not grasp the complex explanation given. Maybe.

Cas' mother being so accepting of her son's profession. If your husband is killed while ghost hunting, wouldn't you try everything you could to have him not go down the same road?

Thomas' grandfather says he wanted Cas originally to kill Anna because she was acting different. I thought that was going to be significant to the plot, but we never found out why her behavior had initially changed.

I took issue how the kids in the story had so little empathy for their friends who were killed. When dies, Will makes up a some half-assed story about him walking home alone (bold is mine):
“We tell the cops that we drove around for a while. Then...got mad about Carmel and Cas and got out of the truck. None of us could stop him. He said he was going to walk home, and since it wasn’t that far away, we didn’t think anything of it. When he didn’t show at school today, we figured that he was hung over.”
But then when the police question Cas and Carmel a few days later (I've taken his name out due to spoilers)...
You are aware that...lived at least ten miles from the area you’re talking about,” Officer Roebuck said.
“No, I didn’t know,” I reply.
“We tried to stop him,” Carmel pipes up.
Now, I'm not sure if that inconsistency was on purpose, but Will is supposed to be this guy's best friend. He wouldn't notice that the story he made up was off? Most of the time in the book it felt like the kids were too busy about getting blamed for a crime that they never took time to care that someone was murdered.

Last but not least: That part really made me angry.

Things I liked:

1. I thought Carmel and Cas were going to end up together. I was happy to see Blake didn't go for that very easy trope.

2. Anna's story was very sad and made it easy to be sympathetic towards her.

3. Never saw the villain coming. He was confusing, but unpredictable.

All in all, I would still recommend this book to other people because the biggest reason why I didn't love it was because I just don't like ghosts. *shrug*

More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for MischaS_.
785 reviews1,344 followers
July 25, 2020
This book started all for me. This is the turning moment when I started to read the majority of my books in English. I was in Berlin for a couple of weeks and finished all my books. So, I went into a bookstore. And there it was in the English section, right next to the Fifty Shades of Grey (don't ask me about the logic behind that).
I was so scared because I never read a "normal" book in English but wow. I ended up loving the book so much.
I remember reading it the whole train ride from Berlin to Prague, I was totally immersed by the story.
I just enjoyed everything about it. I loved Cas. I adored Anna in her demonical moments. The basement scene was the best in the whole book.
And the ending? I need more of that!
Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 10 books7,522 followers
April 15, 2018

I picked this up for one reason and one reason alone.

This past week, I had the plague - given to me by a yet unidentified coworker. During my many days off, I decided to distract myself from the threat of exorcist-style spray painting my bedroom by binge-watching Supernatural.

Best. Decision. Ever.


And that's exactly what I was hoping to find in this book. It didn't disappoint. Let me set the scene for you: A dark road. A classic car. A young badass with an "I don't give a shit" attitude who hunts ghosts. Oh, and his name is Cas, his father is dead, and he's hell bent on avenging him.

Hmmmm…this all seems very familiar.

So be warned, Supernatural fanatics, some of this strikes quite close to home. At least in the beginning. I still recommend giving it a try, because once the story gets rolling, the plot truly stands on its own.

And if you're worried that it might be too scary for you, think again. I'm a wuss, and I only got creeped out twice. Blake's haunting prose makes this much more atmospheric than frightening.

"We're driving close to the lake now, and I can hear Superior whisper to me in waves about all of the dead things she hides beneath her surface, staring through the depths with murky eyes and fish-bitten cheeks."

The one thing that keeps this from being a five star read for me are the tropes. Insta-love chief among them. Look, I get it, teenagers are blinded by hormones, blah, blah, blah. But how the ever-loving fuck can you fall in love with a psychotic, rampaging murder-ghost? And you're telling me

Okay, so tropes aside, this was a solid read. I quickly found myself invested in Cas's story, the pacing had an organic momentum that never felt forced, I didn't see the plot twists coming, and as soon as I set it down I wanted to pick up the next. Which I'm about to do. So if you'll excuse me, I'll leave you with this:

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Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11k followers
December 31, 2011
Oh Anna…you strong, saucy, serial-killing, ripping-bodies-in-two “ghostess with the mostess”…where have you been all my life?

This book is a few menu items to the right of my normal literary diet and so I want extend a warm thank you to my YA sommeliers, Emily May, Wendy Darling and Maja, for turning me on to this. You took right and proper care of me with this recommendation, and while I couldn’t quite bring myself to give away the 4th star, I did find mucho to enjoy about this novel plan to grab the sequel when it comes out (after it's been properly vetted and cleared by the YA Triumvirate).


With all of the wonderful reviews already committed to GR for this novel, I'll keep this portion fairly sweet. Meet young Dean Winchester Cas Lowood:

Cas travels around the country with his Wiccan Mother killing (so to speak) ghosts.
…Dammit, where were you when we needed you.

Cas comes from a long line of ghost exterminators and took over from his father when daddy got murdered by a particularly nasty apparition. Now, armed with his family’s special ghost-killing knife called an athame, Cas and his mom have arrived in Thunder Bay, Ontario to dispose of a particularly nasty ghost known as Anna Dressed in Blood. It seems Anna has been butchering, and I mean slicing, dicing, mincing and tearing to chunky shreds of human jerky, anyone stupid enough to venture inside the house in which she resides.


Things I loved:

** The Mythology: I thought the author did a stellar job of developing a mythology that was familiar and instantly comfortable for the reader and yet was also accented with enough unique frills and imaginative flavor to make the fantasy/horror elements feel daisy fresh and original. I also thought there was a depth to the world that the author did a great job of creating without resorting to a lot of info dumpiness. The author kept the focus on telling the story and deftly spiced in info goodies from time to time as a happy seasoning.

** The Daddy Factor: As a dad, one metric I use to judge a story like this is to ask myself the following the two questions:

(1) Are the leading female characters people that I would want my girls to either befriend, emulate and/or identify with?

(2) Are the main male characters guys that I would want my daughters to associate with or fall for… (eventually I mean…when they are in their 30s and have completed Med School, traveled the world and written their first best seller)?

For both (1) and (2), with a few minor pickies, this book gets gold stars and a resounding YES from me. I thought each of Anna (supernatural beastliness aside), Carmel and Cas’ mother were richly drawn characters that I really came to appreciate over the course of the story. Despite some minor Cas-bashing below, I thought he was a good guy and his “talented” friend Thomas was terrific.

Of course, there were the usual suspects of stereotypical ass jacking jocks that I thought was a smidgen too easy and a few of the supporting females were a tinkle too googly-eyed over Cas for my gag reflex…but again, that’s dad talking. Overall, Ms. Blake gets an “A��� on characters.

** Anna: Anna gets her own special mention because I thought she was slathered in special sauce and I was smitten from the moment she ripped that shit sack in two. However, what truly raised the bar for me from cool character to mega memorable was Anna’s heart-wrenching story and the origin of her current predicament. All that strength and power and yet saddled by loss, longing and an almost unimaginable load of grief. She tugged on my heart strings like a lawn mower chain.

**The Villain: I don’t want to say more and spoil the fun but…nicely done.

**The Opening Scene: What a superb beginning to the book. The intro to Cas and his first job that we tag along for is outstanding. Grabbed me right away.

**Anna and Cas: The romance/friendship was perfectly done. No over the top melodrama or swoon-filled heart-palpitations, but a strong, believable bond based on mutual respect and soul-mateness.

**Cas: I’m going to end with Cas as he has the distinctly dubious honor of being on both my pro and my faux list. Overall, I really like Cas and I think he was a positive aspect of the book. At both the beginning and the end, I thought he performed admirably.


Things that irked me:

**Cas as James Dean Winchester: The Cas as the dark, brooding loner who knows he’s just a little too cool and grown up for the rest of his piers…nails on a chalkboard to me. A few teeth-gritting examples:

“Still, people’s eyes tend to linger on me longer, because even though I’m new, I don’t move like it.”

“Or Maybe I’m just damn easy on the eyes.”

“Queen bees are just part of the job. Sometimes that’s hard to remember.”

“I’m too proud to turn around – I’ve been through too much scary shit to be put off by any human attacker.”

In a word…BARF!! I really struggled with this I'm so battitude and the whole causeless rebel posturing. Still, to his credit, nothing Cas actually did ever rated him anywhere on the asshole scale and he turned out, as I mentioned above, to be a great guy and an excellent character. Thus, I'm going to chalk the above up to Ms. Blake having a difficult time finding her “guy” voice.


Overall, the positives significantly outweighed the relatively minor gripes and I thought this was a terrific story. I am not the typical target audience for this and so my thorough enjoyment of this is high praise indeed. The writing was good and the story-telling was excellent with nice pacing, interesting info nuggets and some well placed chills.

3.5 Stars. Recommended!
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
August 15, 2017
Dear Kendare Blake,


A girl who never sleeps with the lights off.

Before I jump into raving about this deliciously creepy book, I have to give you some backround details. I don't do horror. The only exception to my stay-away-from-things-that-will-disturb-your-beauty-sleep rule is the summer I spent binge-watching Supernatural, and let's just say that my motivations to start this series were far from noble.

Yes, I am that shallow. But the thing is, after the first few nights I couldn't look at the ceiling without imagining a dead woman hanging and bursting into flames, I became seriously addicted to the story of the gorgeous and badass ghost/vampire/demon-hunting brothers. And Anna Dressed in Blood took me back to those wonderful, spooky days.
“Move, hunt, kill. Like lather, rinse, and repeat.”

Theseus Cassio 'Cas' Lowood is a ghost hunter, just like his father before him, and his grandfather before him. Each kill, each time he sends a restless dead to the other side, is one step closer to his secret mission; to face the ghost that brutally murdered his father. When he gets a tip about a gloomy Canadian city inhabited by a dead girl that mutilates her victims, he knows he has to investigate her. Anna. Anna Dressed in Blood, a girl who died under mysterious circumstances that turned her into a ghost somehow different. More aware. More ruthless. More savage. After getting beaten and witnessing a classmate torn from limb to limb, he knows he can't simply kill her with his mystical blade. And so he dwelves into her secrets and the story of her death, only to find out that the Evil he's up against is more terrifying that he could possibly imagine. And that the dead girl is the only one to make him feel alive.
“Anna, my strong, terrifying Anna.”

Anna Dressed in Blood is a bone-chilling paranormal story laced with tragedies and gruesome murders. It holds your interest from the first page to the last, and frantically claws its way to your heart until it smothers it in a bleeding embrace. Kendare Blake makes you face some vivid images you can't get out of your head, and leaves you pondering on the unfairness of it all, and the horrible realization that the living are worse than the dead. Behind every spirit on a killing spree and massacres that twist your insides, there is a living and breathing human, who, driven by his passions, inflicted pain and triggered the series of unnecessary murders. Because it is common knowledge that the ones who don't cross the other side are those who met a violent ending, those with unfinished business. And I commend Kendare Blake for highlighting this terrible truth amidst the blood and gore.
“But hey, at least we’ll have this strange story to tell, love and death and blood and daddy-issues. And holy crap, I’m a psychiatrist’s wet dream.”

There was something bitter and sarcastic in the narration of Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas is a superbly depicted character, whose fear and frustration and longing become your own. He doesn't elaborate much on details, but he paints the city of Thunder Bay clearly, and you can't help but smell the rosemary and the herbs in his wiccan mother's kitchen, feel Tybalt the cat rubbing his head on your feet, hear the leaves rustling and step into Anna's haunted house, only to gag on the decay and despair. Cas doesn't spare us the awful sight of the victims he encounters. But he also doesn't stay there more than necessary. The story of him finding Anna, and friends, and a place he doesn't wish to leave for the first time, is his story of becoming an adult. Of coming across new and frightening feelings, of finally facing the demons of his past, accepting help when he needs it and giving help, even if it is to a dead girl trapped in her violent nature. Anna is a tragic figure. A victim and a killer. Horrible and fascinating. Beneath her murderous rampage hides a girl who didn't have a chance to live her life the way she wanted it. You cry at the unfairness. Your stomach churns and your hands turn clammy before the horror. Your heart threatens to burst from your chest. Yet you wouldn't trade this ghastly and eerie atmosphere with anything in the world.
“You make me want things I can't have.”

Anna Dressed in Blood was a stunning read, and if you're into paranormal and forbidden love stories soaked in blood and coated in smoke, you'll definitely love it!

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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
March 30, 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood was a surprisingly good read. I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting, something typical of young adult urban fantasy perhaps... same old characters, lots of romancing, maybe even an interesting little mystery to give the book some semblance of plot if we're lucky. I was really quite pleased with this exciting, slightly spooky, and wholly entertaining start to the series.

I cannot stress highly enough how glad I am that Kendare Blake wrote a romance that was gradually introduced as the story moved along and the characters developed. It would have been so easy - and not at all unexpected - for the author to just create an insta-loving, destiny bound pair, completely devoid of all chemistry and certain to be walking off into the sunset holding hands and singing folk songs at the novel's close. But no. I was able to see how the relationship changed and developed and it was not unclear to me why these two would fall for one another.

Also, I had been unaware that the protagonist was male, just assuming that the book would be told from Anna's point of view. I will say of Cas what I said of another Cas(tiel) who I enjoyed reading about: he was easy to relate to, but at the same time he was believably male. Something which appears to be rather difficult if books like Tempest are anything to go by. In this case, Cas is a ghost hunter just like his father was before him and he travels around the world attempting to rid it of spirits that are left with enough supernatural energy to be able to physically harm humans. Someday he hopes to avenge his father's death at the hands of a particularly vicious ghost. But before that, he has one final test. A spook to rival all spooks, a powerful and wicked goddess of death... Anna Korlov. Anna dressed in blood.

The story had me interested from the very first chapter and kept me glued to the pages throughout. The book actually has two big mysteries to solve and an interesting twist towards the end so I remained thoroughly mystified. Some people found this book scary, others not so much, I would say that there's one part which you wouldn't want to read when you're alone in your house at night but other than that it's more gory and gross than actually frightening. So beware if you're squeamish but expect a wild and exciting ride.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,468 reviews9,630 followers
October 11, 2020
UPDATE: $2.99 Kindle US Today 10/11/20



Theseus Cassio Lowood (Cas) is a ghost hunter just like his father. His father unfortunately was killed by a ghost so Cas has made it his mission to walk in his father's footsteps. Right off the bat he kills a ghost people called the Hiker because this ghost is killing people because he himself was murdered. Since this can't be happening, Cas kills them with his father's athame knife.


Cas and his mom move all over the place when they get tips on ghosts that need to be taken out. They have moved once again so Cas can take out the ghost of Anna Korlov who has murdered many people that come into her house.


Cas doesn't usually make friends at school because he is just there to do one thing. This time though he meets some characters. Carmel, who got on my nerves for a bit and then she settled down and I liked her. Thomas and his dad who are really cool. Some side characters that are in Carmel's group that are mostly jerks.

These said jerks take Cas to Anna's house and attempt to kill him. That doesn't go over too good for one of the guys as Anna comes out and protects Cas. So sweet :)

Later on...

Cas goes back to the house to talk to Anna. Yep, talk to the evil ghost that kills everything. But Cas knows there is something else going on with Anna, she doesn't really want to be a killer.


Cas admits to Anna that he has to kill her because she has murdered so many people, but he just can't seem to bring himself to do it.

With the help of Cas's new friends they get Anna bound in a circle so they can see why she is so strong and what really happened to her. Anna has to watch all of this over again, she's angry and then very sad. I was very sad for her. I can't believe that is what happened to her..and.. I'm not going to tell you!

After this little shindig something happens and it sets Anna free. She's no longer bound to the house. Hmmmm.. is this a good thing or a bad thing.

Come to find out, the thing that killed Cas father has been following him around! He has to go to battle with his friends and Anna against this evil, evil creature. Good things and bad things happen.. and where is Anna?


I thought the book was so very good! I love reading ghost stories and yes this had a little gore, but not too much. It was just a great ghost story about people that got the short end of the stick in real life!

In Memory of Tybolt....

Profile Image for Penny.
215 reviews1,360 followers
November 21, 2011
First off, I feel I should discuss the cover art: I know, I know--everyone loves this cover. Unfortunately it doesn't do anything for me. Look, I stopped being fooled wowed by cover art after reading Fallen. That's a lie--the cover for the third Paranormalcy book makes me ridiculously happy, but at least I'm fairly certain I'll like that book since I like the first two books in the series.

In my opinion the following would have made a better cover for Anna Dressed In Blood:

Carrie,Prom Queen,Anna Dressed in Blood,They're All Gonna Laugh
Infinitely better, don't you think? I mean, at least she's actually dressed in blood.

Moving on...

You know how Cake Pops are the newest, coolest thing in baked goods? And everyone's all "O mai, it'ss teh caaaaaaaake popssssssss!"? And you're standing there thinking, sure they're cute but they're just little glorified cupcakes on sticks? Well, let me start by saying: Anna Dressed in Blood is the Cake Pop of the publishing industry. Sure it's cute(-ish) but I fail to see what the big deal is.

Ghostly Cake Pops
Seriously, what's the big deal?

I've read several reviews that claim this book is hilarious and disgusting and terrifying. Plus! Awesome Characters! Weird Romance! I was under the impression Anna Dressed in Blood was the YA version of Fargo, except with a Very Murdery Ghost instead of a woodchipper. And I was all, sign me up!

My mistake was falling for the hype & actually believing the rumors.

It's not laugh-out-loud funny

"Hey" he says, pulling up a chair. "Aren't you going to eat your Jell-o?"
"I effing hate green Jell-o," I reply, and push it his way.
"I hate it too. I was just asking."
I laugh. "Don't make me hurt my ribs, you dick."

Bahahahahaha. So funny, right?

Kidding! I'm not sure which parts were supposed to be funny, actually. Even during the 30% of this book I did enjoy I never laughed, not even in my head. I'd have settled for a "that's what she said" joke. I'm not too picky when it comes to humor.

It's not terrifying. (Not even a little.)

I keep reading reviews that claim this book is scary. It isn't. Yeah, there's a ghost (a couple, actually). Yeah, Anna likes to make it look like her dress is dripping with blood. Yeah, she murders people. But it just so happens that none of that scared me. If there was a demonic clown in this book then I might have been a little frightened. But, alas, no demonic clowns.

It's not a paranormal romance

As far as I'm concerned it's not PNR unless the romance is a major part of the story. Believe me when I say this: the romance is hardly even present. What little romance there is between Cas and Anna is forced and awkward. I only knew they were in love because I was told as much. There was no flirting. No longing glances. No blushing and looking away. No showing off. Now I can't even remember if there is any kissing. I think there might be a kissing scene, but the romance is so minor I just don't remember. The only things Cas and Anna had in common is both their fathers are dead and . Other than that, I can't think of anything else they might have in common. I would have loved to hear that they both liked the same subjects in school, read the same books, or even that they shared a deep passion for pie, but that never happened. Their conversations consisted of Cas questioning Anna about who killed her, the people she killed and how she feels about it, ghost killing, nightmares, and how to stop the gruesome murders happening in Thunder Bay.

I don't know, maybe that's what passes for romance in Canada these days.

The other romance is more interesting, in that it's an unconventional human pairing. I loves me an unconventional love story. That said, it's still another romance that's only present because we're told as much. Sure, Thomas the Nerd is crushing hard-core on Carmel, the hottest girl in school, but I fail to see why she might return his feelings. He's described as looking like a 12-year-old with unkempt orangey-red hair. He dresses ugly, he's awkward and he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder (which, by the way, conveniently disappears early on in the story). Yes, Thomas is nice to Carmel and worships the ground she walks on, but that's pretty much how everyone treats her. She's the hot girl, remember? So...what's in it for Carmel? I want to know that she finds him attractive on an intellectual level, or that it's his sense of humor and confidence that she finds irresistibly sexy (by the way, he's not funny but he needs to be because he is the plucky side-kick), or that she loves him because he really wants to be with her for her personality and not just her looks.

It's not disgusting

I'm not going to lie to you. All the gory details are vague at best. So if you're not into that sort of thing, don't worry, you're pretty safe. That said, I feel I should warn you: yes, there is some dismemberment, and, yes, it is a little abrupt when it happens the first time, but other than that... *shrug* I've actually seen worse (on tv).

The Walking Dead gif
That. Just. Happened. Now please excuse me as I dry-heave for the next 30 seconds.

Which brings me to my next point:

I need the characters to show some genuine emotion

Look, I know I just said that I've seen worse and that's why the gory descriptions didn't affect me. It's just that, had I seen someone dismembered IN REAL LIFE, I'd: 1) vomit 2) vomit some more 3) run away screaming 4) cry 5) dry-heave just thinking about it 6) have nightmares for the rest of my life 7) work it out in therapy.

And that's what I'd do if I never even knew the person.

These kids? Have never seen any real (read: not hallucinations) dismembered bodies, ever. So when they see it happen to people they actually know, I want them to do at least one of the following: 1) run away screaming 2) go into hysterics while standing there 3) go into shock 4) huddle in a corner 5) vomit 6) dry-heave 7) cry about it for more then a paragraph 8) have nightmares 9) call the cops 10) feel survivor guilt.

None of that happened, which is why these teens seem so robotic.

Also? I have a problem with the amount of time these kids spent on getting their stories straight. They spent more time working on alibis then they did thinking about the kids that died horrible, painful deaths. It's seriously disturbing how little they spent thinking about the dead kids or the dead kids' families. And don't tell me it doesn't really matter how they felt about the dead kids because they were bullies who deserved to die.

It's called empathy. Look it up.

(I have so much more to say but I don't know if I'll be able to finish this review before next week. I'm posting it now as a sort of early Thanksgiving present for everyone. You're welcome.

Happy Thanksgiving!)


You can bet I have a lot to say about this book. I'll start working on a full review soon. Until then I feel I should mention that I am in the minority with this one. If you're thinking about reading this, go ahead and do so. Chances are you'll probably like it.

If you also don't like this book leave a comment below so we can trash this book together. 1.5 stars.
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,890 followers
September 7, 2011
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story.
4.5 stars

Not many authors can scare you to death by eliciting vivid, gruesome imagery and, at the same time, take your breath away with sheer beauty of their prose. I never expected Kendare Blake to be one of those authors – that’s why her book took me completely by surprise. It was very different from what I thought it would be. When I choose a book based on a beautiful cover and an intriguing title (and yes, I really AM that shallow), especially one that none of my friends have read, I usually end up disappointed. Anna Dressed in Blood undoubtedly looks amazing and has a memorable title, but the most interesting part is right where it should be – between the covers.

Cassius Theseus Lowood grew up in an unconventional family. His mother is a white witch and his father was in the business of killing the dead for the second time, at least until one of the ghosts he was hunting murdered him in the most gruesome way. In Cas’s world, dead people often don’t want to leave the place where they died, especially if they were victims of a violent crime. Instead, they stay behind as monstrous echoes of their former selves – most of them seeking revenge for the horrors they experienced.
When Cas’s father died, Cas inherited his duties and his powerful athame. He’s been moving all over the country and killing ghosts since he was 14 years old. But he’s never run into a ghost as powerful as Anna nor did he ever try so hard to understand what drives a dead person to murder innocent people.
Anna is different in every way. She was killed in 1958. while walking to the prom in her beautiful white dress. When her throat was slit, blood covered her entirely, thus earning her the name Anna Dressed in Blood.
Someone cut her throat, but that’s an understatement. Someone nearly cut her head clean off. They say she was wearing a white party dress, and when they found her, the whole thing was stained red. That’s why they call her Anna Dressed in Blood.

Ever since her murder, Anna’s been tied to the house she grew up in. Twenty seven people have tried to enter, and none of them came out alive.

Nothing is black and white in Anna's story: she is both a killer and a victim, a horrible monster and an innocent girl �� and just when you think you figured her out, she turns around and does something completely unexpected! Her entire personality changes as quickly as her appearance which forces Cas to doubt every single choice he made since the beginning of his hunt.

I don’t usually watch horror movies and I always do my best to avoid horror novels, , but black witches, white witches, people trapped in walls, Voodoo, athames, ghost hunting, cursed objects, a strong male protagonist and unexpected developments made me very happy that I decided to read this book. I really hope it gets the attention it deserves.
Profile Image for Era ➴.
215 reviews526 followers
May 10, 2022
2.5 stars. I don’t like doing half stars. But that’s okay because I didn’t like this book either.

I was actually excited to start this book, even though my experience with the horror genre has been both very limited and very unpleasant. We do not stan creepy things breaking into people's houses.

I found this book a few years ago, and as always, I found the first two chapters online. And I actually liked the first two chapters because again, that always happens.

Anyway, it’s safe to say that the rest of the book was not as likeable.

The plot was kind of stupid. Based on the synopsis and what I knew from the sample, this book was about a ghost killer (named Theseus Cassio, because he just needed a stupid name) called Cas, who moved to Canada to track down and kill a ghost. Pretty standard.

But of course, he can’t kill her. And of course they end up falling in love.

This was barely a horror. This was a romance with paranormal aspects.

For example. The word “horror” creates the idea of a dark and creepy atmosphere, plus some unsolved killing and lots of tension and danger and stuff. The words “Anna Dressed In Blood” create the idea of a demonic, badass bloody ghost bitch. The words “ghost killer” create the idea of a strong, seasoned main character.

And I did not get that. What I got was this:

“She's my purpose and we're going to save each other. We're going to save everyone. And then I'm going to convince her that she's supposed to stay here. With me.”

And this:

“Anna, my strong, terrifying Anna.”

We get it, you’re obsessed with her.

Anna is supposed to be a badass threat. She’s described as a “death-goddess” more times than I want to count. Cas knows that she’s ~insanely strong~ and ~dangerous~ and ~bloody~ and she kills anyone who enters her house. But when Cas enters her house - gasp!
Anna can’t kill him!

Why not?

I have no idea, and that's a problem. That's also what we call a plot hole, kids. We do our best to avoid plot holes.

I was expecting something creepy and intense, not clichéd matchmaking.

Speaking of matchmaking, Cas and Anna are not a good pair. At all. They don’t have any chemistry, mostly because neither of them have enough of a personality to do anything with people, and they have no traits that complement each other, because they have basically no traits in general. The only ones that they do have are unlikeable and pathetic. I get the whole unlikeable-heroes thing where there are less Mary-Sue characters and more complex tropes, but this is just another level.

Cas, AKA Thesus Cassio Lowood is a stuck-up arrogant little bitch who spends all his time obsessing over ~ghosts~ and ~vengeance~ because his dad’s “line” has been ghost-killers for generations. His dad was also murdered by a ghost. So Cas thinks it’s his ~duty~ to kill all the ghosts and get vengeance for his dad.

“Just let me kill you,” I mutter in frustration.”

She has already been killed, you idiot. Violently. It’s a little insensitive to bring this up.

Cas also thinks that he is the shit. Spoiler, he’s not. He’s crass and stupid and he thinks he’s such a badass because he has a speshul ghost-killing knife. Oh, and he kills ghosts. Did I mention that? Because yeah, he’s a ghost slayer. He’s seasoned. He absolutely knows what he’s doing. Ghosts aren’t a challenge to him. He even brings some of his school friends to a haunted hospital to demonstrate that he can kill ghosts because he’s so badass that he feels the need to prove himself to a group of idiots.

“Girls, on the other hand, have always come easy. I don't know why that is, exactly. Maybe it's the outsider vibe and a well-placed brooding look. Maybe it's something I think I see sometimes in the mirror, something that reminds me of my father. Or maybe I'm just damn easy on the eyes.”

Bitch listen I don’t give a fuck how shredded you are because your personality is about the equivalent of the sound a microwave makes.

Cas is basically the antisocial-highschooler version of Jace from City of Bones - stuck-up, stupid, has no sense of humor or sarcasm, annoying, useless, apparently is good with girls but also has no personality other than half a brain cell and a knife.

“... the cupboards start opening and closing by themselves, drawers slamming shut and the walls start to bleed. Slamming doors and smashing plates. Anna is acting like a common poltergeist. How embarrassing.”

Considering that she had already knocked him out and thrown him into a wall, he should have been the one feeling embarrassed. But that’s how it is with idiots sometimes.

Speaking of Anna’s power, let’s talk about the ghost bitch. Anna is, unfortunately, a ruined character. She had a lot of potential to be something really interesting, and she just...wasn’t. She could have been multidimensional and layered, and what I got was something more like split-personality disorder.

When she first appeared to Cas, she was what he describes as a “death-goddess”, because obviously we all know what that looks like. And then she murders a jock with her bare hands. And then, because for no explainable reason she just can’t kill Cas, she goes back to “normal” and appears like a regular ghost of a girl.

Basically, Anna rockets between the two sides of Kendare Blake’s other ghost bitch, Queen Katharine. She ping-pongs between the psycho murderous demonic ghost side, to the sweet and timid and depressed little-girl side. Either she is “the death-goddess”, or she is “my Anna, my sweet Anna”.

Oh, and Anna is ~not like other ghosts~.


Literally. I don’t remember the exact quote and I don’t really feel like looking for it, but I remember something like
“Unlike other ghosts, she’s not wearing her death wounds.”
Yeah. Anna is also speshul. Her throat was slit when she died, but now as a ghost she doesn’t have a slit throat. Wow.

“She’s like Bruce Lee, the Hulk and Neo from The Matrix all rolled into one.”

I did not understand those references at all but I’m going to assume they mean “undeveloped, two-faced and useless” because that was the vibe that I was getting.

Then there were the clichés.

There was Carmel (more awful names), the popular girl who Cas meets and instantly snares to help him because he tried to flirt. She’s blonde, because of course she is. She’s also super smart and has a jerk ex-boyfriend. Thomas is the psychic that annoys Cas, who could have been something good if he had been developed past “useless annoying geek friend who can sometimes read thoughts”. Then Will, who was a jerk jock because we just needed more stupidity.

Speaking of which - the writing grated on my nerves. Maybe it was just Cas’ idiotic perspective, but literally how many times does he have to repeat the words “Anna Dressed In Blood”? We get it, you’re creepily obsessed with her to the point where you force her to relive her worst memories.

“But somewhere out there is the one that matters. Somewhere out there is the one that I came for, one who is strong enough to squeeze the breath out of living throats.
I think of her again. Anna. Anna Dressed in Blood.”

“I think of her again. Anna. Anna Dressed in Blood. I wonder what tricks she'll try. I wonder if she'll be clever. Will she float? Will she laugh or scream?
How will she try to kill me?”

How many times?

I think of her again. Anna. Anna Dressed In Blood.

I get that it’s supposed to sound profound when he repeats it, but what the actual fuck? It’s not profound, it’s annoying. He’s thinking of her and she’s dressed in blood, that’s happened forty times already. What next? It’s like Kendare Blake took that line and copy-pasted it in whenever she ran out of things to say in the narrative.

The plot twist at the end wasn’t actually a twist, it was just one of those moments where the author goes “guess what?!”, pulls out something random, jams it into the story like it actually fits, and calls it done.

It’s like that moment when you have a puzzle piece that looks like it should fit, but you just can’t get it to join with the rest of the puzzle properly.

My analogy is more profound than Cas’ repetition of Anna’s name.

There were a few parts that I thought were supposed to be plot twists but I actually already knew them because it was so fucking obvious that you could only call it a confirmation. *not at all shooketh*

Overall, I enjoyed the paranormal aspect and I liked the concept of the book, but the book itself didn’t do it for me.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
November 19, 2020
Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1), Kendare Blake

Kendare Blake is a contemporary author of young adult novels. Her works include Anna Dressed in Blood, Antigoddess and Three Dark Crowns.

Cas Lowood is no ordinary guy - he hunts dead people. People like Anna. Anna Dressed in Blood. A beautiful, murderous ghost entangled in curses and rage.

Cas knows he must destroy her, but as her tragic past is revealed, he starts to understand why Anna has killed everyone who's ever dared to enter her spooky home. Everyone, that is, except Cas...

عنوانها: «آنا با لباسی سرخ از خون»؛ «آنای خونین»؛ «آنای خون‌آلود»؛ نویسنده: کندرا (کندر) بلیک‏‫؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز هفتم ماه مارس سال 2019میلادی

عنوان: آنا با لباسی سرخ از خون؛ نویسنده: کندرا (کندر) بلیک‏‫؛ مترجم: محسن رادمرد؛ تهران: فروزان، 1396؛ در 217ص؛ شابک 9789647374156؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان کره ی جنوبی - سده 21م

عنوان: آنای خونین؛ نوشته: كندارا بلیک؛ برگردان: محمدصالح نورانی‌زاده؛‌ دبیر مجموعه نيما كهندانی؛ تهران:‌ نشر باژ‏‫، 1396؛ در 500ص؛ شابک 9786008941460؛

عنوان: آنای خون‌آلود؛ نویسنده: كندر بليک ؛ مترجم: سهيل محمديان؛ ویراستار مجید بالداران؛ قزوین سایه گستر‏‫، 1397؛ در 368ص؛ شابک 9786003745261؛

‬کاس، یک آدم معمولی نیست؛ او مردگان را شکار میکند؛ افرادی همانند «آنا» را، که یک روح، و لباسش نیز، پر از خون است؛ چرا «آنا» همه ی کسانی را، که تا به حال جرات ورود، به خانه های شبح وار او را داشته اند، کشته است؟ همه را، به جز «کاس»؛ ...؛ «آنا» شخصیتی دوست داشتنی، و پیچیده داشت.؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 28/08/1388هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Sara.
198 reviews144 followers
November 8, 2019
Funny but also creepy, this would have been a perfect haloween read but you can read this whenever you feel like it, 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Profile Image for Shannon.
3,090 reviews2,360 followers
September 30, 2011
I'm the first to admit that when something is hyped I give it the ol' stink-eye, and I very rarely enjoy something that's popular or that everyone and their brother tells me I'll like. I pounced on this book before the "ZOMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!!1!" crazy train rolled into the station, and I'm really glad I did. This is one of those rare instances where everybody likes a book because it's actually good.

I guess I wasn't paying much attention at first glance, mostly to avoid spoilers, but I was surprised that the protagonist was actually male. I thought Anna was the main character, but even though she's not this is still very much her story. Anna is terrifying. She doesn't fuck around and she doesn't take shit from anyone. She makes you feel sorry for her though, which at first seems like an impossible feat, and yet it definitely happens. It's the sign of a capable author who makes you sympathize with a character who literally tears people apart.

Cas is the "ghost hunter" and reluctant hero of the story. He's definitely cocksure, but not annoyingly so. He doesn't whine, he doesn't act like an ass, and he doesn't make stupid decisions. Cas is one of the best young male protagonists I think I've ever come across. He's smart and knows his strengths and once he realizes he can't get his job done without the help of others, he accepts it and adapts.

The only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 was because the rhythm of the story stuttered a bit around the halfway point. We're essentially given two climaxes, and after the first one receded I knew it was just a matter of time before the other shoe dropped. There's a scene just before the villain emerges that was probably one of the scariest parts of a book I've ever read, but unfortunately after reading that bit, nothing else could compare. I expected something equally terrifying when Cas finally came face to face with his adversary, but it just didn't happen. Not that the ending and final fight were bad, just that I wanted something more.

Blake's writing is beautiful and incredibly lyrical. There were so many quotable passages that I wanted to type out almost a whole page for some of my updates. She writes realistic teenagers without relying on too many stereotypes and clichés, and her characters form believable bonds unlike a lot of stories where a group of kids just randomly band together to save the day. There were casualties along the way, and I liked that I didn't see some of them coming. I also enjoyed the gore and gruesome bits, and I don't think it ever got to the point where someone would be offended or disgusted by some of the graphic violence. It's over quickly, at least, and she does balance the spookier parts with some well-placed humor throughout.

I'm excited that she's writing a sequel to this story and I hope she writes other books and other series in the future. Anna and Cas are two of my favorite characters I've read about this year and I can't wait to see what's in store for them. It's so nice to finally read a paranormal young adult book that isn't absolute drivel. Bravo, Blake. Bravo.
Profile Image for Megs ♥.
160 reviews1,284 followers
March 10, 2012

Ughh. The first half of this book I would say was a solid 4/5. The second half, unfortunately, put me to sleep. 3/5 stars I guess to balance it out, but right now I feel that is even generous.

When I went into this book I had zero expectations. I think ghosts are cool, and I was really just looking for something super creepy, because that was what I was in the mood for. I didn't even really have anything to compare this to, because I haven't read very many ghost books and have never watched any kind of t.v. shows involving them either.

Cas is a ghost hunter and he hates to be called a ghostbuster. lol He wants to avenge his father's death as he was killed by a ghost he was trying to hunt. First, though, he must kill Anna. Anna is a ghost of a girl who was brutally murdered in the 1950s. Anna is epic in my opinion. Cas has some friends to help him with Anna, but as he gets closer to killing her he finds himself starting to like her (wtf?) For me this is when the story just gets ridiculous.

Some things I loved in this book were Cas and Anna. Not together. Cas was a pretty cool guy for the most part and I really liked him. Anna was awesome, and at some point I found myself really bored with the story and I was skipping ahead and reading only the parts with Cas and Anna talking. The rest of the school kids weren't that interesting at all.

I really enjoyed Anna's back story. It reminded me of being 13 and telling ghost stories when I went camping with my friends, and sure it would have creeped me out for more back then, but it was still a great story. I felt really bad for her, and when everything was revealed about her death I was pretty shocked and pissed off.

The bad thing here is that once Anna's story was revealed there were still lots of pages left in this book. Lots of boring pages if you ask me. I didn't really care to read much more about it, and I certainly did not want to read about the romance. It just seemed so silly. This book didn't have any good plot twists or anything intense you would normally expect from a book like this. Even the ending just kind of happened and left no impression on me. I think this book will be forgettable.

This is book one of a series, and I can't say I'm excited to start book two as soon as it comes out. I might give it a try, because based on the beginning of the book the story has potential. I'm just afraid the rest is going to be a really bad paranormal romance and that would be disappointing. In short I wish she would have stuck with the horror aspect instead of trying to turn it into paranormal romance at the end. Had I known that was how it would be I would have passed on this book in the first place.

I probably won't recommend this book to my friends, but I would tell anyone interested in it to give it a try, because there are lots of people who enjoyed this book. It just wasn't for me.
Profile Image for Michelle.
147 reviews235 followers
October 3, 2018
I was set to be scared but as I turned every page, I had a stupid smile on my face! I expected horror and dread. What I got, instead, were sunshine, lemondrops, and rainbows... sigh! Darn it!
I still can't shake off the stupid smile on my face!!! Well played, Miss Blake...
Profile Image for Mario.
Author 1 book190 followers
September 15, 2015
But hey, at least we’ll have this strange story to tell, love and death and blood and daddy-issues. And holy crap, I’m a psychiatrist’s wet dream.

This book was so much better than I expected it to be. I expected a classic YA romance ghost story, but I got so much more. Surprisingly, romance played a small part in this novel, and that was refreshing to read. And none of the main characters annoyed me (especially the main character, Cas). And for a YA novel, that surprised me.

Also, this book was scary. One scene, right at the beginning, even gave me nightmares. If that doesn't make you want to pick up and read this book I don't know what will.

One more thing I want to mention is that for some reason (I don't even know why), sometimes I felt like I was reading The Dresden Files novel. They kind of had similar vibes. Also, main character reminded me a lot of Harry Dresden.

And I'm so happy that this book have a sequel that I can immediately start. While I was reading, many times I've thought that this would make a great series, so I'm glad that it at least have one sequel. I just hope that it will be just as good as this one was, if not even better.
Profile Image for Jo.
268 reviews946 followers
September 26, 2011
“You do know what we’re dealing with here, don’t you?” I ask. “She’s not just a ghost. She’s a hurricane. Overkill is fine by me.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
I don’t know about something strange but there’s definitely somethingin this neighborhood.

High Points.
Cas. Anna. Telepathic Tagalongs. Girls with too much daylight about them. Bloody deaths. Ghosts. Ghostbustin'. Cool mamas. Daddy issues. Moody kitties. Attic Ladders. Hitchhikers. Prom dresses. Drip, drip, drip. Ghost stories. Small towns. Voodoo. Flashbacks. Basement lightshows. Things that go bump in the night.

Low Points.
OK, if there are lots of ghosts running around America and killing people… why haven’t people cottoned on yet? What are the police doing? Why aren’t there as many exorcists as there are Starbucks? Why isn’t this song blasted out from public buildings to make people aware that there is a 98% chance that a ghost is going to eat them whenever they leave their house?
….just a thought.
Also, I’m pretty sure even Demi Moore would have rolled her eyes at some bits...but I'll get to that.


I’m just going throw this out there… I. loved. Cas.
I adore reading YA books that are told from a male perspective because there are so few, it’s always refreshing.
The girls really do like getting their voices heard, don’t they?
Anyway back to Cas.
It seemingly doesn’t take much for me to fall in love with a fictional boy, but referring to yourself as Rorschach will always work. You’re funny, you’re a badass, you’re fit (but my gosh, don’t you just know it), you’re cynical, you’re smart and you have this great, easy way of narrating.
Also, I genuinely believed that you could kill a ghost with a BAMF knife and not cry afterwards.
Which, in your career, is important.
Also, you look after your mum. Which is just lovely.
But your taste in women… I won’t go into it.

Oh, who am I kidding? Of course, I’ll go into it.


Seriously, amazing. Halloween costume= sorted.
At the end: The true Anna would pluck my eyes out if she could see how often they were rolling in my skull. Let’s go back please?

Love Interest.

Ooooooooh myyyyyy loooooove, my darrrrrrlin’… I hunger for youuuuuuur touch
Yeah. I could have done without this whole business.
I mean even if it was physically possible… would it even be legal?!
The mind boggles. BOGGLES, I SAY.
I wouldn’t say it ruined the book for me… but it definitely stopped me from jumping on a plane and hotfooting it to Canada to sit on Cas’ doorstep to await instructions on his next adventure.
I hope the sequel kind of just forgets about this… because I have no idea what I’m going to do with the khaki jumpsuit with the Ghostbusters patch that I sewed onto the front pocket.
Make your mind up whether I’m kidding or not.

Theme Tune.

I'm Not Afraid by Howling Bells.

Girl Angst Level
Difficult to come up with a number here because Cas is, at the moment anyway, cool as a cucumber. I can't imagine him turning into a serious, moody, broody boyfriend who believes in undying love (HA, geddit?)... but I've been proven wrong before.
So please please please let Cas maintain his awesomeness in the sequel and steer clear of the angst.
Because at the end of the day GhostGirl Angst is still Girl Angst.

Sadness Scale.

8/10. Oh Anna. That bit… you know, that bit. So sad.
Also, Ms Blake, one of the most fascinating and original way of using a flashback in a book! Wow.
Also, I need to stop getting emotionally attached to fictional critters.
I’m really intrigued about Cas’ backstory, especially concerning his dad. I think we’re going to have an interesting ride in the sequel.
And when I say interesting I mean me sobbing into a pillow.

Jo’s Scaredy Cat Rating.

This was a genuinely creepy book, but I guess I was expecting more.

Recommended For.

People who don’t think twice picking up hitchhikers… even if they are dead. People who don’t mind sleeping with the light on. People who would always take Caspar’s side. People who hate it when magic gets so damn fruity. People who can’t wear white dresses without managing to spill something down them and staining them forever. Sigh.

You can find this review and other exciting things on my blog here.
Profile Image for Amelia.
173 reviews49 followers
March 18, 2018

I loved the storyline (I have nothing wrong with that) but there are a few things I have a problem with.

1) To start off, the beginning was slow. It made it hard to get into the book. After you get through the first say 100 pages it gets so much better!

2) *I don't know if you would count this as a spoiler but I'm just putting this here in case* Cas falls in love with Anna... like WHAT?! This annoyed me so much. They should make this a rule, a human should not be able to fall in love with a ghost!

3) Anna is a ghost, so why can she get cuts and bleed???? Come on... seriously?!
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,975 followers
February 9, 2017
This was pretty good.

It's perfect for people who want a light and easy paranormal read that happens to be a teen urban fantasy, rather than a teen urban fantasy that has paranormal elements.

For me, that focus is key. I like ghost stories, and while this one isn't particularly scary, it does manage to be fun, full of magic, a bit of mystery, and interesting characters. It's pretty popcorn and a pleasant way to spend a morning. :)

Nothing deep, just ghost hunting with high schoolers. :)
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
532 reviews34.5k followers
October 25, 2020
This is a book that gave me real „Supernatural“ vibes and I loved it! I mean we have an old Victorian house that’s haunted by a ghost named „Anna“ and we have Cas Lowood who makes sure the ghosts he comes across are sent where they belong. Anna’s story was so intriguing and boy did she leave a trail of blood. *lol* Not to mention that she’s one hell of a sight with her white dress all drenched in red blood. XD I really enjoyed this and Cas is such a sweet character you couldn’t help but root for him.
Profile Image for Micah Francis.
9 reviews26 followers
October 10, 2017
This book was AMAZING!! Action packed from the start. It’s a quick read and kept me hooked. Cas is a ghost hunter. Anna Dressed in Blood is a murderous ghost. Cas has never faced a ghost this strong. Awesome plot twists and surprising ending. Can’t wait to read the next one!
Profile Image for alittlelifeofmel.
884 reviews343 followers
February 25, 2017
This book was truly amazing. It was a one of a kind book with a unique plot. While reading this book, I couldn’t help thinking of Dean and Sam from Supernatural. Cas is a ghost killer who goes all over North America to kill harmful ghosts. When he seeks out Anna Korlov or “Anna Dressed In blood,” Cas encounters something different than he is used to.

The characters featured in this book are unique, well written, and are nothing typical. Blake was not afraid to break out of the norm having both tough and weak male characters, as well as female characters who are equally tough and weak. There are no minor characters. Everyone is equally important and none are more developed than others.

Another really good feature of this book was that there was almost no focus on a love interest, and no weird drama. Most books now have some sort of drama between main characters that creates some sort of tension, however Anna Dressed In Blood was entirely focused on the plot and not on the useless side stories.

Overall, I really loved the plot and concept of this book. A ghost, a tragic backstory, a haunted house and Canada as the main setting really sealed the deal on my love for this book. I definitely recommend it.
Profile Image for HeatherJay.
117 reviews128 followers
July 20, 2012
When I was 13, my best friend, I'll call her Evil Kristin, thought it would be funny to scare the living shit out of me. Unfortunately, she decided to make this a regular occurence as scaring me was so very entertaining.I remember at a sleepover her mother had recently bought the hardcover of the book "The Exorcist". She put it right next to my pillow so that when I woke up it would be staring at me. For those who have never seen the book, here you go:

The next morning I turned over and stared into the eyes of horror and screamed so loud her Siamese cat vaulted off the bed and face-planted into the closed bedroom door.

Good Times!

Evil Kristin continued on her "Pussification of Heather Tour" throughout our teens. Her most binding "prank" was forcing me to watch The Shining. I recall her telling me she had watched it with her brother and it had a "really sweet ending". Everytime I would get up to use the bathroom, she would screech "REDRUM, REDRUM!" and I would usually haul ass back to the bed either slamming my toe into the bedpost or kneeing the dresser at full speed.It was well into my thirties before I would go alone to fill the ice bucket at a hotel.
Anna Dressed in Blood regurgitated similar feelings in me but without the embarassing, teenage self-consciousness that always followed.
Our fearless leader, Cas Lowood kills the dead that cannot cross over. Cas and his mother move from place to place ridding the towns of whatever evil spirit is wreaking havoc on it's citizens.They move to Thunder Bay, Ontario where the ghost of Anna Korlov is rumored to have slaughtered countless trespassers who have dared to seek refuge in the dilapidated house that she resides in. What follows is a freaky, sweet, endearing and at times, scary as FUCK horror story. As Cas has spent his life moving around, he struggles with creating attachments to his highschool friends and to Anna as well, because Anna is different than the rest of the ghosts he has killed. In spite of my obvious squeamishness to anything scary, I had a blast with this book. The characters were likeable, the dialogue was witty and well-written and the plot moved along seamlessly. I'm glad there is a sequel in the works as I would hate to think I wouldn't be hearing from Cas again.
Profile Image for Beatriz.
831 reviews707 followers
December 7, 2020
Una lectura bastante entretenida. La caracterización de los personajes y los fantasmas que aparecen me recordaron las andanzas de los hermanos Winchester de la serie Supernatural, que van recorriendo el país en busca de casos paranormales que resolver.

Me sorprendió que los sucesos que otros autores normalmente guardan para capítulos finales, aquí se desataran casi desde el principio; el libro no da respiro y, por lo mismo, se avanza muy rápido. Respecto del estilo narrativo de la autora, nada destacable, lo típico en novelas YA, incluso encontré que le faltaba fluidez (aunque puede ser la traducción).

Me gustó la trama, bien armada y sin cabos sueltos, aunque no se profundiza mucho en algunos aspectos. También me gustó que ciertas acciones no quedaran sin escarmiento, pero lo que definitivamente destaca como punto alto de la novela es Anna, en los distintos estados por los que pasa durante el libro, fuerte, terrorífica… ella opaca a todos los demás personajes y por quien vale la pena leer la segunda parte de esta bilogía.

Reto #19 PopSugar 2020: Un libro ambientado en un país que empiece con “C” (Canadá)
Profile Image for Anzû.
548 reviews1,108 followers
September 19, 2011
I started this with very high expectations. Everyone kept giving it high ratings, most of my friends were already reading it and talking about it between each other. I felt left alone! So I said f*ck it I’ll drop my current to-read list and start it. Good call that was.

Now how can I review Anna Dressed in Blood without acting like a total fangirl? Oh how about some pretty pictures that reflect my experience?

A-f*cking-mazing!! I was having the time of my life while reading this!

A love story between a boy and a ghost… That was a new one for me. Am I wrong for finding it romantic and not gross? Their was the cutest thing ever! Cas is sooo badass, I developed a crush on him. I know I’m acting like a worked-up teenager over this book but I don’t care. I deserve this!!

I fell in love with the characters, fell in love with the town and fell in love with ghost stories again. It’s a wonderful feeling. And it got me searching for more books similar to this one (Hold Me Closer Necromancer is next on my list). Kendare Blake has such a brilliant mind. This won’t be the last book I read for her. And as for this series, I’m damn excited to read more. And btw 2012 is just cruel!

Oh, I think I found the perfect song for the book’s ending:
Wherever You Are by Stream of Passion [link]

Favorite quote:
“I’m not a superhero,” I say. It’s an awful tag. It’s egotistical, and it doesn’t fit. I don’t parade around in spandex. I don’t do what I do and receive accolades and keys to cities. I work in the dark, killing what should have stayed dead.

And relax, I haven’t forgotten about the surprised I promised. I did a little piece of fanart for my dear Anna. A three hour quickie, freehand, no references, Photoshop (as always). Hope you like!

(click to enlarge)
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,366 followers
September 14, 2011
Anna Dressed in Blood is YA meet Amityville Horror. It was creepy and ominous, but also funny. I didn't find it incredibly scary, just kind of spooky - well ok, a lot spooky. I did love it though, I absolutely did!

Firstly, it was refreshing to have a male protagonist. I wish there were more books as such. Theseus Cassio (Cas) is our main character in this novel and he's awesome! He has a great sense of humour and he's such a sweetheart. I adored his character. He's had a tough life being a ghost hunter, but he makes light of his situations. He's also great at interacting with others. Unlike your stereotypical egocentric teenage boy.

Cas receives information regarding Anna, a ghost who's been murdering anyone who enters her house. All 27 people of them… so far. Subsequently, they pack up and move to her home town where Cas plans on stopping her. I loved the Anna story, it was typical but not cliché. I also loved how the author went beyond the usual YA and made it more graphic; more horrific. It really gives you the creeps!

I love my horror, this was 100% a book for me, and the author did a great job. Kendare knows how to tell a story, and tell it well. I didn't think it was over the top, but I could still see myself getting nightmares from this story. She gives us enough details to make us experience it - which considerably adds to the creep factor. There were a few minor traits that bothered me though. Mostly, it's the reaction of the characters that were often unconvincing: Anna, who is scary as heck, attacks and almost kills Carmel, and all she says is "My god, she's awful".. yeah.. a little...

"You forgot about the bad part. You know, the part where we have to get Anna inside the circle and throw chicken feet at her."

Another noteworthy aspect in this novel is the humour that is mixed in with the horror. Cas is funny and witty even in the worst situations. He knows his stuff, but he also sounds his age. This makes it all very easy to get into the story.

Ultimately, this is pure horror it's its finest form. If this wasn't enough to convince you to read it, just look at that cover and title. What's not to love?

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
534 reviews654 followers
April 20, 2017
*3.8/5 hauuunting stars*

“Yes. Smashing. You’ll be just like those four chaps in the movie. You know the one, with the oversized marshmallow.”

Anna Dressed in Blood was such a deliciously creepy read which sends shivers down your back and makes you wary of walking dark hallways of your home at night. Yet, it wasn't the 'scared out of your mind' type of story like those damned horror movies, it's still YA after all.
Confession time: I HATE horror movies. I think they are stupid and drastic and I don't like to be scared out of my mind for days after. But I really enjoyed this book, it's more of a mix of paranormal with some horror aspects. It's very atmospheric story, haunting almost.

“Don’t be afraid of the dark, Cas. But don’t let them tell you that everything that’s there in the dark is also there in the light. It isn’t.”

The simple way this book was told makes it so easy to get through, you won't even notice and half of the book is already behind you. The storyline is greatly plotted and flows effortlesly. There are also some intriguing plot twist. Blake's storytelling simply pulls you in. At first, you might think that there's nothing impressive about the writing style, yet there's this quiet magic about it that can't be descibed. It's just so easy to read and pretty clever. Cas's voice actually sounds like a real teenage guy without him acting like an asshole.

“Over the course of my life I've been to lots of places. Shadowed places where things have gone wrong. Sinister places where things still are. I always hate the sunlit towns, full of newly built developments with double-car garages in shades of pale eggshell, surrounded by green lawns and dotted with laughing children. Those towns aren't any less haunted than the others. They're just better liars.”

The cast of characters was very likeable. (Including one incredibly realistic cat who, of course, thinks he's the master of the world.) I know some people didn't like Cas, the main character, because he's supposedly full of himself and thinks himself above normal teenagers and high school issues. But I disagree. I think he's realistic, flawed and the way he lives made him into the person he is now. And I don't think that he thinks of himself above normal teens, he's separating himself from them, because his life as a ghost hunter is just different and he constantly moves on from one place to another. That makes him independent, emotionally distanced, detached and brooding at times (and yes, maybe a bit of a misanthrope at the beginning).
I don't know why, but Cas, his imperfect voice and sarcastic humor resonated with me perfectly.

“But hey, at least we’ll have this strange story to tell, love and death and blood and daddy-issues. And holy crap, I’m a psychiatrist’s wet dream.”

✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨

“Smells like a Bob Marley concert in here.”

I was also quite fascinated with Anna. Her tortured character with dark past. Her self blame and hate. Uncontrollable fits of murderous rage yet certain delicacy. I feel like her character has even more potential than was shown to us and really hope that progression is made in the sequel. Truth be told, ghosts aren't really my idea of swoony love-interests, still Cas and Anna's relationship was slow and moving and made me hope for more.

“I can feel that photo of Anna staring at me from sixty years ago, and I can’t help myself from wanting to protect her, wanting to save her from becoming what she already is.”

✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨

“I watch this girl, struggling to escape, not just from Elias’s grip, but from everything, from this stifling house, from this life like a weight around her shoulders, dragging her down and planting her in dirt.”

The ending makes me desperate to dive headfirst into the finale. Highly recommended for Supernatural fans.

P.S. We need more YA books from male POVs asap.

“Anna, my strong, terrifying Anna.”
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