Author: Kendare Blake
Date of Publication: August 30, 2011
Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-Book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: Following in the footsteps of his deceased father Cas has an interesting calling, he is a ghost hunter. Armed with his fathers athame he searches for deadly ghosts, training to kill the ghost that murdered his father. When Cas hears of a ghost the locals have named "Anna Dressed in Blood" he knows he must kill her, he and his mother pack up their belongings and make the trip to Thunder Bay, Ontario. After Anna spares his life after killing one of his classmates Cas realizes Anna is different than other ghosts. Cas begins to question if he can kill Anna and soon discovers she may be the key to killing the ghost that murdered his father.
I can understand why this book has received such high ratings. It's a great book with an original story line, but it just didn't work for me. I had a hard time getting into it, its not that Cas wasn't a great hero, because he was, I just didn't find myself getting sucked into the story. I wasn't bored exactly but I felt removed from the characters, like I was watching the characters from a distance not living the experience with them.
The first half of the novel is mainly back story about Cas's father as well as Cas doing research on Anna and meeting her for the first time. Cas and his dirty mouth make an entertaining narrator so it moves quickly, I loved Cas as a main character. Its rare to find books that are written from a male perspective and Cas grows a lot as a person throughout the novel. True to all heroes Cas has a major flaw, pride. At the beginning of the novel Cas is completely unwilling to let anyone help him in his quest to kill Anna, however by the end he has accepted the help of his friends, learning that he doesn't need to do everything by himself.
Anna is terrifying yet vulnerable, in the end she does everything in her power to protect Cas and his friends despite everything that happened to her. However, I couldn't figure out why Cas couldn't kill Anna like he did other ghosts. Cas was constantly saying Anna was different but it was never explained what made her so different. I also didn't quite understand the ending, I don't want to give it away, but the resolution fell a little flat.
Blake is a good writer and I'm definitely interested in picking up the sequel to this book. Although I didn't love this novel I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good ghost story. With a strong plot and characters Blake is a new author to keep an eye on.