Saturday, February 28, 2015

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think the last good YA book I read was The Monstrumologist, and I'm still not sure if that one is indeed a YA book, since it was way too gory for a typical teenager to like it and it was far too philosophical for, again, a typical teenager to like it. Why am I saying this? Because Anna Dressed in Blood was awesome.

I like it that the romance is not a central point on the story. Sure, it made me roll my eyes, but it was completely in the background. The story was there and it never fed on the romance to work out. And it was great that it was not a stupid insta-love, because trust me: If it had been an insta-love, I wouldn't have rated this book with 4.5 stars.

I didn't quite find this book scary as I thought it would be. The first 30% on the book was scary as hell, but then, the other part of the book was merely suspense, but well, I did give me very creepy surprises at many moments. And it was very very gory at times (and with a very beautiful writing).

Cas was a great narrator. He was brave, kick-ass, and also funny. What else could I ask from a narrator? Besides, he was a boy. In most YA novels, the narrator is a clumsy, mary-sue girl; I needed a change. You know, maybe this is a coincidence, but the last good YA novel I read, that is, The Monstrumologist, had a boy-narrator too, which I also loved, by the way.

But as much as I loved Cas, I don't think he was the best character in the book. The best one was the goddess of nightmares: Anna. Anna Korlov. Anna dressed in blood.

Cas had been accustomed to killing ghosts, but Anna is different. She has a God-all-mighty strength, she's intelligent and she knows she's dead. Her past and the way she died are both horrible, and something unknown gives her that supernatural strength. I felt really bad for her when I got to know how (and by whom) she was murdered.

Also, this is not a novel with a single plot. There were two big issues to solve in it. The first one is the obvious one: The hunt for Anna; and the second one is not that obvious. When you get to the 45% of the book, you can have a guess about what it was. I guessed it halfway through the book.

What a creepy beast! At first, it reminded me of the Anthropophagi because it ate human flesh, but then, when they told that it actually was an Obeahman, I felt more scared. You see, precisely this semester at the university, I (and my group) was assigned to investigate about african-caribbean alternative religions, and within them were Voodoo, Obeah, Revival and Pocomiah, so I knew something about it. Yikes.

Anyway, Anna Dressed in Blood was a pleasant surprise. I loved it and I will certainly read the sequel, Girl of Nightmares. Luckily enough, I'll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed this one.

Read it, please. You will not be disappointed.

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