Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Rating: 2 stars

Series: Anna #1

The cover was beautiful and creepy. The title was intriguing. And the book left a lot to be desired. It felt like a bad rip off of Supernatural because Cas was raised in a family where he was intended to hunt ghosts and other supernatural creatures. It also reminded me of The Vampire Diaries in the sense that a bunch of teenage kids ran around solving all kinds of supernatural problems with virtually no supervision from their parents.

The world building was horrible. Nothing was ever really explained. What was special about Cas’s bloodline? Why was his bloodline attached to the knife? Why does he hunt ghosts? Why didn’t Anna kill Cas? I just read the whole book and I don’t have a clue. By the end of the book I was left with way more questions than answers about how the world works, but I do not intend on reading more in the series to find out.

None of the characters had any emotional depth. The plot was decent, but it didn’t matter since I didn’t care about the fate of any of the characters. A few characters were killed, and the friends of the victims barely had a response. They were briefly shocked and moved on like it never happened. None of the characters had any personality. Absolutely nothing distinguished one character from the next with the exception of Anna.

Cas was a weak main character. It was mentioned that he was a professional ghost hunter. Supposedly he had experience, but he stumbled through this book like an idiot. He made numerous mistakes some of which lead to other people’s deaths. He didn’t do actual research to find anything out about the ghosts he was hunting. He preferred to get the local gossip, which didn’t make sense to me. Both are useful but having actual facts helps too. Aside from that he wasn’t likeable. He thought he was better than everyone else. He didn’t even have respect for his mother who lugged his ass all over North America for him to hunt.

First person POV was used to tell the story, and it was poorly done. The word I was used too much especially in the first third of the book. Sometimes the situations could have been described in ways other than I saw, I felt, etc. The writing felt like it was done by an amateur. I’m not big on lengthy descriptions, but they were practically nonexistent. At least getting a brief description of the characters is nice, but the only character whose looks were described at any length were Anna’s.

The horror was missing from this horror novel. Some gruesome deaths happened but were glossed over. Nothing about this was even remotely cringe worthy. The evil spirits lurking around this town weren’t scary. Unfortunately romance was thrown into the mix, but it just happened out of nowhere without explanation. Nothing sexual happened, but after a few brief interactions these two characters realized it was love. It definitely wasn’t the worst novel I’ve ever read but far from the best either.

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