When I read this title I knew I had to read this book. I mean how can you pass by something called Anna Dressed in Blood? How? How? You can't people. It is impossible.
Let's just cut to the chase and I'll tell you that I am crazy about this book. It is everything a horror book should be.
Cas is a talented dude, if you can call killing the dead a talent. He goes from town to town killing the ghosts who for whatever reason won't stay dead. He gets tips from here and there from a vast network of people quietly living in the know and when he gets a tip for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in blood he figures this will be the same old, same old. Only it isn't. Not at all. Anna Dressed in Blood has a reputation. If you come into her house she'll kill you. And she has, in fact, killed everyone who has entered her house for the last 50 years. Only when Cas enters, he exits the same way he came in. Alive.
We meet our lone-wolf hero, we get an introduction and learn some backstory, and then we go to a new place for a routine job which, of course, turns out to be anything but routine. What makes this book great is not because it reinvents the genre, but because it is really strongly written and manages to avoid falling into teen paranormal fiction cliches. Thankfully, no love triangle seems to be involved with our main character so we'll be spared people picking "teams" (gah!). Cas also doesn't fight against any developing talent. He has one. He knows about it. He's all about getting down to business.
I particularly loved how local lore (like Anna's story) were used. You get the teen horror flick feel woven into a larger plot of ghost-hunting, friendship, and love. We've got some great characters who promise to continue to develop, much needed humor, and the timing is fantastic. It is the first entry into what I'm thinking is going to be a kick-ass series. I can't wait to read the next installment.
This is a super fun, super gross, extremely well-written book (way to go debut author!). And it is in Thunder Bay. So you can Canuck it up a little while you read. My favorite 2011 book so far.
Book Source = Tayshas committee copy