Sunday, April 22, 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood

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

Anna Dressed in Blood is the beginning of a series by author Kendare Blake. The main character of the novel, Theseus Cassio or Cas, travels across the U.S. and Canada seeking and destroying dangerous spirits. He has just finished slaying a phantom hitchhiker and has decided to go to Thunder Bay, Ontario to find Anna Korlov, or as the locals call her Anna dressed in blood. Cas has led a fairly solitary life; his mother is a practicing white witch who travels with him and is surprisingly supportive of what her son does. This is probably due to Cas inheriting his job from his deceased father. When Cas enrolls in school, he unexpectedly begins to make friends. He has never bothered with a typical social life because he knows that he will soon head off to the next town. Luckily for him, his new friends are not easily dissuaded, because Anna is not a typical ghost and he will need their help.

I truly enjoyed reading this book. The characters were interesting and well developed. The action built as the story progressed, and at the end I could not stop reading. I believe that this book would be an excellent pic for reluctant readers. It is easy to understand, the plot moves quickly and the story is exciting. The sequel to this novel, Girl of Nightmares, is scheduled to be released this August. This book is similar to the show Supernatural, which provides an easy way to recommend it to teens. I also enjoyed how the characters sometimes seem like stereotypical teens, but manage to break free of their designated social roles. The author is also an excellent role model for teens who may be interested in becoming writers. She blogs regularly and encourages teens to think about writing and reading.  I think this will be an excellent addition to any classroom independent reading library, although I do not think that it would be appropriate for assigned reading. This is clearly a book that is mean to be read for pleasure, and justifying classroom time for novel of this type would be difficult.

5 comments:

BookPaige12 said...

Judging from the link to her blog you supplied, the author has a very interesting writing style. It's not quite as formal as most so I'm guessing young adults would like that. Does she write this way in the book? I think that is a great technique to get teens reading. I also loved how she talked about the experience of writing; as you said, that would be great for young adults who are interested in that career path.

cstephens said...

I don't want to say that her writing is informal in the book, but it does feel very natural. The dialogue between the teens does not feel fake or forced. It was very easy to read and the writing was smooth. I didn't even really think about the style because I was too busy getting into the story. I agree with you that her style will definitely make it easier to interest teens in this novel.

Demitra said...

On first look, this book does not seem like anything I would pick up to read in my spare time. However, you review has made me think otherwise. It sounds like this book has just the right amount of creepy, supernatural, and teen angst to make a great read. My only hesitancy is that this book is the first in a series. Oftentimes, the first book is fantastic while the rest of them flounder, seeming to have only been published to squeeze as much money as possible out of one idea. This sounds like it has promise to remain interesting and stay out of the formulaic trap that young adult series often fall into; I only hope that if I start, I won't become disappointed later.

Susan said...

This sounds right up my alley. I always like a book with a little darkness. I'm interested in reading what kind of character Cas is. I think it's always interesting to read main characters written by the opposite gender. I think it adds something special to the characters, like how John Green tends to write strong, no-nonsense female characters.

Anonymous said...

wow! this book is awesome. my friend told me to read it i thought it was going to be a stupid book but it was actually the best book ive ever read. you have to read anna dressed in blood!