Tag: Kendare Blake

Book Reviews

Blogtober Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood Book Cover
Title: Anna Dressed in Blood Series: The Anna Dressed in Blood Duology Genre: Juvenile Fiction Publisher: Macmillan Format: Hardcover Pages: 316 Source: Library

For three years, seventeen-year-old Cas Lowood has carried on his father’s work of dispatching the murderous dead, traveling with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat, but everything changes when he meets Anna, a girl unlike any ghost he has faced before.


I’d had this book on my radar for a while, but couldn’t seem to find a copy of it. Then I happened to be at the library in the YA section the other day, and lo and behold, it was in a display of Halloween-worthy books. So I snagged it up. I started it the night I got it and finished it a couple of days later because I only had time to read late at night. This is the kind of ghost story that will keep you interested.

Kendare Blake has woven a tale that is unlike any other ghost story. First, you have Cas. He’s a ghost-hunter. Sort of. He doesn’t hunt ghosts like you see on TV. He isn’t just trying to figure out if a place is haunted. He’s trying to remove the ghosts. But only certain ghosts. Only those that are dangerous. Ghosts that are angry about being dead, have turned evil, and are trying to or succeeding in harming humans. He gets it from his father.

Cas’s mother is a Wiccan. She cleans Cas’s athame used to “kill” ghosts. She makes herbal remedies, herbal protection spells, and works with candle makers to make “spell candles”. She’s sweet, worried for her son, and one tough mother.

Cas’s father is dead. He lost his life while trying to “kill” a ghost. He’s the reason Cas is doing this – he wants revenge. Not much else is known about Cas’s father, other than the fact that he had a network of friends who could help him out, who now help Cas out.

Mike, Will, and Chase are the school jocks and local bully/jerk squad. They’re seriously obnoxious and quite rude. I’d say more but I’d spoil the book if I did.

Carmel is the sweet girl that everyone likes – including Cas. He quickly makes friends with her and she will play a very important part in the story. Trust me, you’ll like her as much as everyone else does.

Thomas and Morfran. Thomas is a classmate of Cas’s and becomes one of his best friends. Morfran is Thomas’s grandfather. They’re both integral parts of the story. They’re witches and that’s all you really need to know right now.

Now for our second main character – Anna herself. Anna is a beautiful sixteen year old girl, who happens to have been murdered in 1958. She’s not the nicest of ghosts and has a habit of killing anyone who comes into her house. Except for some reason, Cas. She lets him go. Now Cas has to figure out why she let him live – and how to stop her from killing. And just when he thinks he has it all figured out, including her tragic past, another wrench is thrown into the mix.

I loved the writing in this book. It wasn’t flowery or pretty and it flowed well. The book kept me wondering what was coming next and was pretty fast paced. I was enthralled from the beginning. It does start off a bit slow, but it’s not terribly slow.

This one is perfect for spooky Halloween reading! Grab your favorite thunderstorm sounds playlist if there isn’t a real one going on, grab your favorite hot drink, a blanket, and settle in. You’re going to love this one.

I gave it five out of five stars because I just couldn’t imagine this book not being a five star read when I was finished with it. Plus, there is a sequel. I’m waiting for it to become available at my library.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by Various Authors

Title: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys Book Cover
Title: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys Genre: Young Adult Fiction Publisher: Penguin Format: Hardcover Pages: 400 Source: Personal Collection

For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best thriller and horror writers in YA A host of the sharpest young adult authors come together in this collection of terrifying tales and psychological thrillers. Each author draws from a mix of literature, film, television, and music to create something new and fresh and unsettling. Clever readers will love teasing out the references and can satisfy their curiosity at the end of each tale, where the inspiration is revealed. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From blood horror, to the supernatural, to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for anyone looking for an absolute thrill. Stefan Bachmann Leigh Bardugo Kendare Blake A. G. Howard Jay Kristoff Marie Lu Jonathan Maberry Danielle Paige Carrie Ryan Megan Shepherd Nova Ren Suma McCormick Templeman April Genevieve Tucholke Cat Winters From the Hardcover edition.


I have to say, I’m not a big fan of anthologies for some reason. Maybe it’s the fact that a lot of anthologies I see are collections of stories that are in genres I’m not the biggest fan of – romance being a huge one, especially at Christmas time. So when I originally purchased Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, I didn’t think I’d particularly like it. And to be fair, I think I read two stories, put it down, and never picked it up again. In fact, my copy is in the garage, in a box.

But then I decided to do the All Hallows’ Read Challenge and I had to read an anthology and read a book that has been on my TBR for a while. So I picked this one. I didn’t have the get-up-and-go to try and find my copy, so I checked it out of the library. I’m glad I picked it. I really am.

I’d never noticed before that each story is inspired by books and movies. There are stories inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Stephen King’s Carrie, and movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Birds, and more.

While I enjoyed all of the stories, I think my favorite was In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan. This one was inspired by the 1951 Disney animated film Alice in Wonderland and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I also quite enjoyed the rest of the stories, but for some reason this one sticks out. Perhaps because I love Alice in Wonderland – to the point I own both the animated film and both Tim Burton adaptations, plus I have a digital copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland because I lost my physical one and haven’t replaced it yet.

All of these writers have an easy-to-read writing style… or perhaps I’ve read far too many Clive Barker, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, and other horror novelists so I don’t find it hard to read their writing style for horror. I will say that Jay Kristoff really likes that whole e-mail/chat style because that’s featured in his story, Sleepless. But otherwise, the writing styles are easy to read.

If you use Bookly PRO I suggest reading this and listening to “Distant Thunders” or if you use Spotify, finding a playlist of thunderstorms. It lends the perfect spooky atmosphere for reading this anthology.

I gave the anthology four stars because I do think that some of the stories started out a bit too slowly and that some of the stories could have been a bit better. But I will say, this book was pretty amazing and I wouldn’t be opposed to a “sequel” anthology from these authors.