There's an ever growing pile of books I want to read…
A Week of Reviews – Friday
Anna Dressed in Blood was a book that taunted me whenever I visited a particular part of my store. As I was making tables look nice, it would be there waiting for me to pick it up. The cover leapt out at me from the shelves as I put other books into their proper places. I read a blog post describing how eagerly the blogger was awaiting the next part. I finally gave in to temptation and bought it right before Christmas and then picked it up again to actually read a couple of weeks ago when I needed something completely different to Embassytown.
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Anna Dressed in Blood is a ghost. Not a friendly ghost but one about whom teenagers tell horror stories; one who tears any who see her limb from limb. Theseus Cassio or, as he prefers to be called, Cas, is in town to kill her for good. He doesn’t intend to stay long enough to make friends and he definitely doesn’t intend to start sympathising with her but something strange happens and Anna doesn’t feel compelled to hurt him the way she has everyone else who trespassed in her house.
I bought this book because of the cover, which I think is beautiful, but I was not disappointed in the story. It took me a while to get into it but, once I did, it got very good very fast. It was just the right blend of romantic and creepy. Really, really creepy. At one point, while reading, I was very glad that I had someone else in the room because I would have otherwise completely freaked out. Anna is genuinely frightening and does some terrible things and the mystery of what happened to her definitely compelling.
Although I loved the cover, I’m not a huge fan of that thing where publishers fill the front of the book with praise and positive reviews. I don’t mind one or two, but this had an overwhelming number. I don’t know why it bothers me…
I also found Cas a bit annoying to start with, but I suspect that you are supposed to. At the start of the book, he’s an arrogant monster hunter, filled with a false sense of his own ability. By the end of the story, he had grown up and grown on me. I was rooting for him.
There was an element of shallowness to some of the minor characters too – Cas was too focussed on Anna for them to be anything but blurry character sketches. For most of the book, I didn’t know enough about them to care whether Anna eviscerated them or not. It’s a shame because they were actually awesome characters: The popular girl who can’t help but get involved and the weird kid who wants to prove himself. I hope that in the next book, they’ll have a little more chance to shine.
Despite these things, I’d definitely recommend the story to you. I don’t want to give away too many of the twists and turns but it definitely keeps you reading. I can’t wait to read the second part, Girl of Nightmares. Its cover is already taunting me from the shelves of our teen department.