Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake image

Anna Dressed in Blood was a surprisingly good read. I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting, something typical of young adult urban fantasy perhaps... same old characters, lots of romancing, maybe even an interesting little mystery to give the book some semblance of plot if we're lucky. I was really quite pleased with this exciting, slightly spooky, and wholly entertaining start to the series.

I cannot stress highly enough how glad I am that Kendare Blake wrote a romance that was gradually introduced as the story moved along and the characters developed. It would have been so easy - and not at all unexpected - for the author to just create an insta-loving, destiny bound pair, completely devoid of all chemistry and certain to be walking off into the sunset holding hands and singing folk songs at the novel's close. But no. I was able to see how the relationship changed and developed and it was not unclear to me why these two would fall for one another.

Also, I had been unaware that the protagonist was male, just assuming that the book would be told from Anna's point of view. I will say of Cas what I said of another Cas(tiel) who I enjoyed reading about: he was easy to relate to, but at the same time he was believably male. Something which appears to be rather difficult if books like Tempest are anything to go by. In this case, Cas is a ghost hunter just like his father was before him and he travels around the world attempting to rid it of spirits that are left with enough supernatural energy to be able to physically harm humans. Someday he hopes to avenge his father's death at the hands of a particularly vicious ghost. But before that, he has one final test. A spook to rival all spooks, a powerful and wicked goddess of death... Anna Korlov. Anna dressed in blood.

The story had me interested from the very first chapter and kept me glued to the pages throughout. The book actually has two big mysteries to solve and an interesting twist towards the end so I remained thoroughly mystified. Some people found this book scary, others not so much, I would say that there's one part which you wouldn't want to read when you're alone in your house at night but other than that it's more gory and gross than actually frightening. So beware if you're squeamish but expect a wild and exciting ride.