Reviews: Anna Dressed In Blood

Good. Surprisingly, good.

I'm not really sure what I was doing, getting into Anna Dressed in Blood. I think I was still reeling from the high I got from finishing the Coldfire Trilogy. I don't read horror that often, and I gave up on YA fiction after reading just one book of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. (Thank God they didn't put a recommendation from her on the book, otherwise I would've dropped this book faster than a man off a bridge.) And the book's cover just screams of pretentious goth kid aesthetics.

But surprisingly, Anna Dressed in Blood was good. Much better than I thought it would be.

The scares are okay, just enough to be interesting, occasionally tipping off into the tingling goosebumps angle, but not enough to make me put the book down and walk away for a bit. It's all of the same familiar supernatural, ghosty horror anyway. The real charm the book had for me was the characters.

Well, I did start the book suspicious of all of the characters, worried that they would end up too whiny and... well, adolescent. The first person perspective—through Cas Lowood's eyes—worried me the most. At the book's start his character hovered somewhere between a funny, Deadpan Snarker Jerk Ass to a, yeah, whiny, better-than-you, teenager Jerk Ass. Then somewhere along the line character development kicked in, and the book just got better from there.

I still get a pleasant, happy feeling when the True Companions moment comes and the odd band of misfits really start working together. Anna Dressed in Blood has that moment, and it comes after believable changes in character. The relationships in the book are also well-balanced: the romance doesn't overwhelm the friendships, and vice versa.

Anna Dressed in Blood is definitely worth a read if you're into some YA fiction. I'm looking forward to reading the second book and I'm hoping for the best.