Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1) - Kendare Blake

Well color me surprised to see such a high rating for a book that until maybe 70% through I wasn't sure I really even liked. I was thinking this would be a 2-3 star for sure, and then the last third of the book changed all that.

Stephanie's review surmises exactly how I feel about this book, even though I've rated it higher than I expected.

It didn't bode well for me that I didn't understand the opening pun. The grease-slicked hair is a dead giveaway--no pun intended. What is the pun here?! Went right over my head. This is minor I know, but hey, someone feel free to clear this up for me, lol.

There are not many people who can do what I do, but there are a multitude of people who want me to do it, and they seek me out, asking those who are in the know and following my trail.

From the beginning I wasn't sure how much I liked him. He is arrogant and I just didn't like his face. He says many times how he is the only one who can kill ghosts, but we never find out the why of it!! That kind of detail should be explained if we are told, over and over...and over, that our boy is so special. Then there is the thing that went down at his first party at his new school. I still don't understand his attitude over Mike beating the shit out of him with a board, and Cas saying But they're harmless pranksters. I don't think they were trying to kill me. Really Cas?! What the hell do you think he was trying to do when he was ...holding a piece of broken board, aiming at my skull with his arms raised above his head... Those dern pranksters always being so silly! I just think that Cas for all his talk about being all wordly would know the difference between a damn prank and attempted murder. I didn't think that Mike needed the justice that he got necessarily, but I did think that everyone forgot what a bastard the guy was, especially Will and Chase. Dude, you guys were in on it, and you think that it was Cas's fault?! Later on he even makes a comment about owing Will for what happened to Mike. How does he owe him for something he had no control of, and Mike brought all of that on himself. Where does Will get off hating him for it? I mean, I can understand wanting a scapegoat, but c'mon! Of course I wasn't sad to see Chase and Will leave the book. During the scene at Will's house I don't understand one thing though. Cas stepped on Chase's thigh, The thing that my foot struck was Chase's thigh--or what's left of it-- and when Carmel is freaking out on them Thomas calms her down by saying they wore gloves so nobody would know they were there. Bloody footprints Thomas! I kept waiting and waiting for them to say something about how there would have to be bloody shoe prints, but it was never mentioned.

Then there's Cas's romance. I agree with Stephanie that the author could have gone traditional and set him up with the pretty queen bee, and I like that she didn't, but I do not get his thing with Anna. At all. Even though I knew it was just one of Daisy's cheap tricks, her name in blood looked beautiful. Really Cas? The blood in my ears sings so strongly that I'm forgetting to look for street signs, forgetting to map my way. This is all before he's met her, and we never get an explanation for why he has this insta-bond. Why in the name of all that is holy do we not get to know why Anna didn't have to kill him?! It wouldn't have been all that difficult to explain that.

Cas does have some humor I appreciated though. And holy crap, I'm a psychiatrists wet dream.~~What is this, some kind of twisted Stockholm Syndrome? Some funny bits helped me like him a bit better, and then he complains about Carmel comparing him to Buffy and suddenly his opinion of her is not all that high. Meanwhile he has no problems making out with a GHOST.

And then...and then I kind of liked the things he was saying about Anna. She's my purpose and we're going to save each other. We're going to save everyone. I could still feel my annoyance, but I no longer cared about it as much. The climax was great, very engaging, and I was impressed with the way everything went down. I think that Blake wrote a wonderful story, and I will read the next one in the series, and probably the next after that.