Anna Dressed in Blood

It’s only a few days before Halloween, so it’s time for a creepy review redo! I originally read this tale in 2017 and it still stands out in my mind; therefore, I deemed it appropriate for 2019 as well!

With Halloween looming in 2017, I read this book expecting huge scares and a seriously frightening plot. I mean, just look at that cover and the title – a ghost covered in blood, yes, please! However, Kendare Blake’s book did not live up to my too lofty expectations…

What I Expected

  • To be scared out of my wits
  • An apparition literally dressed in blood
  • An awesome, page-turning, horror-filled book of gore
  • An interesting and absorbing story

What I Got

  • I didn’t get the creeps AT ALL – I did, however, get a lot of cheese
  • A silly and incredibly weird lovey story
  • A sequel I have zero desire to read
  • A stupid backstory

What I Thought

I wanted to love Anna Dressed in Blood by Blake SO bad. Unfortunately, I believe I set my expectations for the book WAY too high. Judging from its title and creepy cover, I anticipated being scared to death while reading. There are admittedly creepily gross parts, but there are very few.

Since I rarely read summaries prior to picking up a book, I was wrong about the premise of this tale. Once again judging by the cover and title, I assumed the story would be told from the perspective of Anna, the apparition. Turns out it’s told from the viewpoint of a ghost hunter, Cas, which was very disappointing and definitely unexciting.

The primary thing about this book that freaked me out – not in a good way – is that it’s a pseudo-love story – between the ghost and the hunter. It was just too weird for me. I understand characters having connections with each other, but the reason for the draw between Anna and Cas was never clear to me.

I thought the book should have ended halfway through the drawn out and mostly convoluted story. After a resolution regarding Anna, which would have sufficed as the novel’s wrap-up, the reader is taken on a reluctant journey, as Cas is hunted by the ghost who killed his father. That’s when I really lost interest in Cas, who doesn’t impress me as a character. As a matter of fact, none of the story’s players are well-developed, which is frustrating.

Blake has written a sequel, Girl of Nightmares, which focuses on Anna’s story, as well as the love Cas has for her, even though Anna is STILL DEAD. I’m certainly not interested in reading the follow-up, even though it is told from Anna’s point of view rather than that of Cas.

Honestly, the way in which she initially lost her life doesn’t seem gruesome enough to warrant her actions toward the living following her death.

This book just left me wanting more – more backstory, more explanation of the ghost ‘killing’ rituals utilized by Cas, more reasons for the intense chemistry between boy and ghost, more discussion about Anna’s state, more story revolving around living characters – every element an awesome book should possess.

Furthermore, Anna Dressed in Blood didn’t excite me enough to hold my attention – it almost became a chore, homework, to read it. I started the book for a Halloween read-a-thon and didn’t get to the last page until the end of November, making it obvious that I just wasn’t into the story.

I ultimately forced myself to finish Blake’s book, mainly so I could move forward to a more enjoyable read.

1 star*

Love, Maggie

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