Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thumping Thursdays: Anna Dressed in Blood

If you've ever read Anne of Green Gables then you know what I mean when I talk about Kindred Spirits. Yes, the title of this post is Anna Dressed in Blood and I realize its a big jump from Anne Shirley to Anna, whose dress literally drips blood all over the floor. But my journey to Anna started with a Kindred Spirit, because it's not a book I would have picked up on my own. I typically don't read horror. When I read a few of the Goodreads reviews, I shivered at the thought of not sleeping for a decade or two.

I had to plow forward, though. I've always wanted to be in a book club, but my complete lack of time has thwarted that dream again and again. This is where the Kindred Spirits come in. If you haven't read my all time favorite Anne, I'll just say she has a great imagination and is always looking for those few folks that just click with her right away. Folks like my new lunchtime book club mates, who were once simply coworkers.

When the three of us stumbled upon a love for YA fiction, the book club was born over lunch. This is our first book and I wanted to get it right. Could there be anything worse then reading a book, brimming with anticipation to discuss it only to reach the blessed day and find your mates had not read it? Gasp. It was not to be considered. Jen picked this book and if she picked it, she must see something in it beyond the horror factor.

So, I picked the thing up. And, I didn't put it down until I was through. Cas, the narrator and hero, captured my heart right away. He's a ghost-hunter by birth, a loner by circumstance and a grief-stricken son in the shadow of his father's long past murder. It's Anna, though, who steals the story. By turns ruthless, crazed and out of control, she's also a victim in her own right. There's a spark that's gentle, loving and wistful in her, although not so much in evidence when she's tearing someone in two.

The gore factor was much less than expected, which for me was good, because I have a hard time reading Stephen King and the like. Kendare Blake, the author, balances the right amount of teen angst, humor, gore and suspense with a romance in the mix. The book takes an unexpected twist in the last quarter that might have been better served in a sequel, but overall I'd still give it five stars.

Check out the book trailer below or pick it up here.