‘Anna Dressed in Blood’ is one of those books that I have heard nothing but good things about from people on Youtube and have only read a few negative things about even on Goodreads, yet I didn’t actually know anything about it really. I was aware that it was a scary read and that there were some romance aspects and that was it.
Going into this novel, the writing style hooked me in straight away. The first person narrative really puts you into Cas’ head, straight into the action, and although he can come across as arrogant at points, it makes him more believable as a teenage boy. The writing style was poetic and beautiful, making the gory scenes and the occasional swearing all the more impactful.
After reading ‘Familiar Territory’ last month, it was interesting to see how a different author introduced white and black magic to the story without making it seem too far-fetched, as Barry Durham did. Kendare Blake did a wonderful job of making it all seem completely real, and I think this was partly down to the way it seemed so brutally honest.
I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about the romance in this novel and to be honest, even at half way through the book, I didn’t see the relationship between Cas and Anna as a romance. Cas obviously had feelings for her but I wouldn’t say that they were romantic, more sympathetic, though towards the end, this definitely changed. I really didn’t like the romance aspect of this novel and I’m glad that it wasn’t the main part of the story.
Honestly this book was one of the creepiest I have ever read. It is so gruesome and horrifying but also strangely addictive. Although I found a few parts to be a bit slow, the action never stopped. I did however find that it was a little disconcerting that the gory parts were so constant, there was hardly any breathing space in between. This is definitely a Young Adult book for older readers, which swearing and disturbing scenes, but that might just be me being a wimp! I did find the gore to be a little excessive but maybe that is because it is something I’m not fond of in books so it stood out to me.
Overall, this was an amazing book that I finished in a day (though that’s because I needed to know what would happen next to stop myself being so scared!) but there were some flaws. The romance was completely weird and out of place to me, but disregarding that I would say that it is a really great book and although there is a sequel, I’m too chicken to check it out and think that ‘Anna Dressed in Blood’ would actually be a great stand-alone novel.