Second Look Review * Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

October 29, 2012 Reviews 14 ★★★★★

Second Look Review * Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare BlakeAnna Dressed in Blood (2nd Review) by Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #1.1
Published by Tor Teen on August 30, 2011
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Pages: 316
Format: Audiobook
Source: BEA
Also in this series: Anna Dressed in Blood, Girl of Nightmares
Add to: Goodreads
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder 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. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, 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, but now stained red and dripping 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.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.


I’ve already read and reviewed Anna Dressed in Blood back in January. I listed to the audio version this time around for book club (clicking on the title will take you to that review).

What I Thought…

  • This was my second time with Anna Dressed in Blood. I was a bit surprised when I added it to my currently reading list on Goodreads to see that I only rated it 3 stars, because it’s definitely more than a 3 star book. Maybe it was because I was scared. I don’t know.
  • The audio version was narrated by August Ross. I have a hard time with a lot of audiobooks, they tend to give me headaches, but that was not the case here. I thought the narration was good, the only exception being Carmel’s voice. It’s the same whiny kind of voice that Jim Dale uses with Hermione in the Harry Potter books.
  • Even though I knew what was coming there were still times that Anna gave me chills. What happens in that house and what happens by and to Anna are just so creepy and unsettling.
  • Cas is still one of my all time favorite characters. I love that he is completely ok with the ghost hunting job, in fact he relishes it. Because he moves a lot he’s not very good at making friends, which made his friendship with Carmel and Thomas that much more fun, watching them as they pushed and pushed at him to become friends.
  • Carmel and Thomas are the most awesome sidekicks. Even though Carmel gets scared she’s unwilling to let Cas do things on his own, and Thomas is always willing to help. I especially liked that Carmel wasn’t the typical high school girl that you find so often.
  • Anna is special. She’s not good, but she’s not all bad either. The stuff she did as a ghost is awful, but her story of how she became a ghost is absolutely heart breaking. It brought some tears to mind my listening to the audio version. She’s one of the bad guys that you can root for.
  • The Obeahman was sooooo freaky. Seriously freaky. He could give anyone the heebie geebies
  • This was a really good reread, and I raised my rating from 3 to 5 stars. Though I’m not really sure why I only rated it 3 in the first place. I was really bummed that the other book club members didn’t like it as much. But that happens.

Notable Quotes

“You make me want things I can’t have.”

“I’ve seen most of what there is to be afraid of in this world, and to tell you the truth, the worst of them are the ones that make you afraid in the light. The things that your eyes see plainly and can’t forget are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination. Imagination has a poor memory; it slinks away and goes blurry. Eyes remember for much longer.”

I received a copy of the audio book from Audio Go at BEA. I was in no way compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


14 Responses to “Second Look Review * Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake”

  1. Bittner

    Sometimes I have to go back and change my ratings on books. Like I’ll rate them a 3 but if a week or so later I can’t stop thinking about it I’ll raise it up one because it takes a special book to stick with you for that long.
    I’m sorry the book clubbers didn’t go for it the way you and Kate did. I’m sure I’ll love it…if I can ever get around to it!

  2. Christina

    Oh cool, you got an audiobook at BEA! I’m learning to like audiobooks a lot, but they are very hit or miss. I’m glad you liked this better the second time around. I have some books I’m like that with, where I go back and wonder WTF did I rate that so low? I think that it generally happens with books that you need to think about and mull over a bit before you can know how you really feel about them. That happened to me with This Is Not a Test.

  3. fakesteph

    I don’t know why you rated it 3 stars the first time around either. :) Glad you liked the audio. Hermione’s voice never bothered me on the audio, but now that you mention it, I think I want to go listen to one of them. :)

  4. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    Wow… three stars is a bit harsh, Kim, but I’m so glad you took a second look! Me too, because I really liked it better the second time around. Love the new review feature!