Series: Anna #1
Publisher: Tor Teen
Date Published: August 30, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Description: Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead, keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.
I really enjoyed this ghost story. I loved Anna. I loved Anna the scary monster ghost and Anna the sad girl ghost.
The descriptions in this book were so vivid and detailed. I really want to see a detailed illustration of what Anna looks like. The dress she wears that is constantly dripping blood and her eyes that are pools of oil – all of those descriptions made Anna seem an amazing and scary ghostess with the mostess.
I also really liked Cas. He works so hard to try to avenge his father and get himself ready to take on the monster that ate his dad. He doesn’t really have a life of his own but moves from town to town killing ghosts and sending them wherever it is they go. Then he takes the Anna case and suddenly he has friends, even though he tries to push them away. Then Anna turns out to be something so different than what he expected, and he can’t help but be fascinated by her. So Cas and his friends set out to find out Anna’s story and stop her from killing the people who come into her house. The way they got to learn about Anna’s murder was really interesting and the truth is quite devastating.
There are various types of “creatures” in this book – from simple ghosts to voodoo dudes to white witches and black witches. There’s even a cat who can detect the presence of ghosts. When we get introduced to the big bad of this story, he is quite creepy and intimidating, from his eyes that are sewn shut to his powers and what he can do (no spoilers here).
Toward the end though the story seemed a bit rushed and choppy. They were preparing to take out the big bad, and then just like that, something happened and it was all over. I’m seeing that a lot in YA these days and it is a bit annoying. But overall this is a great story and I’m curious to read what happens in the next book.