Okay, I bought Anna Dressed in Blood off a recommendation from BookTube. However, I don’t remember who recommended it. Sorry, but I’ve watch so many BookTube videos that it’s all a blur! Anyway, I am so glad I decided to buy this book and I’ll tell you why in my review below.
Theseus Cassius Lowood, who prefers to be called Cas, is about to embark on a ghost hunt for Anna Dressed in Blood, a particularly vicious entity that kills anyone who enters her home. Of course what he discovers is a bit more multi-layered than a vengeful spirit and as he delves into this case, he soon discovers that Anna might play a bigger role in defeating another malicious apparition that is out to kill Cas.
Yes, this story hooked me from the beginning and it became the book I wanted to reach for whenever I had a bit of reading time available.
The book opens up with Cas hunting down a hitchhiking ghost and it is during this case we learn a bit about our main character and what he does. We also find out enough about his past to connect with him – at least for me – and it is after this assignment that our second main character, Anna, is introduced. Her case is presented in a fun way by one of Cas’s contacts and we are giving the minimal amount of information on Anna, although it’s enough to intrigue our imagination. It’s when Cas arrives in Thunderbay that the real adventure begins!
When I started reading this book I felt it was going to be a very dark tale about a fearsome ghost and although the story started that way, it didn’t persist throughout the rest of the tale. About a fourth way into the book the mood changed and I think it’s because we learned more about Anna. Learning about her past gave her a personality we could connect with and that made her more likable – which in turn made her less evil and dark. So if you are looking for a true horror book, I don’t believe this one is it. But, that doesn’t detract from the wonderfully creative story Kendare Blake created.
And speaking of the author, she did a fantastic job of creating a multi-level paranormal adventure. There was enough mystery to keep you wondering and I think the characters were well developed. I’ve heard a few reviews mention a dislike for Cas and his over confidence, but I think being over confident fit well into his personality; he’s been hunting for years and knows how to achieve his goals to the point of being a bit arrogant.
Even though this book wasn’t a true horror novel, I liked the bits and pieces it included that provided some shock factor. Like when you first meet Anna…that scene which unfolded reminded me of a horror film and it stunned me to the point of having to read it again! Then we find ourselves reading a few more gruesome scenes when the Obeahman is introduced. There are some creepy concepts presented in this book.
Aside from horror, Anna Dressed in Blood is also full of friendship (a new concept for Cas), romance, and personal discoveries involving both of our main characters. I think there is enough there to entertain a wide variety of readers. If you enjoy mystery, this book has it and if you enjoy romance, this book has that too. Those looking for horror will get that and those who just want to read about urban folklore will get a bit of that too.
I’m glad I picked up this book and liked it enough to give it 4.5 stars on Goodreads. It’s a book I would recommend and it’s another delightful tale told by Kendare Blake whom is becoming one of my favorite authors. That being said, if you haven’t read Anna Dressed in Blood, you just might want to add that to your TBR!