28 setembro 2011

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood

Publisher: Tor Teen (2011)
Format:  Hardcover | 316 pages
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Horror
Description (Goodreads): "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."
WARNING: Contains minor SPOILERS!
"Anna Dressed in Blood" is one of those books that are ridiculously difficult to review. Mainly because I not only had high expectations but I actually liked it. But that doesn't mean I didn't notice some problems with plot and character development. And so I am a bit at a loss on how to give an opinion.

This book tells the story of Cas Lowood, a young ghost hunter. These ghosts, however can do a lot more than just rattle chains; they can take some kind of corporeal form and actually interfere with the living. So, since Cal has a special gift that allows him to "kill the dead" (or more accurately send them somewhere else) he travels around seeking ghosts who mean harm to people. When one of his contacts tells him about a particularly vicious ghost, Cal just knows he has to take the job.

As he encounters Anna, dubbed "Anna Dressed in Blood" by the locals, he understands that she's no ordinary ghost. His journey will bring answers about his past but also more questions about who he really is, about his powers and about the righteousness of his work.

If anyone asked me for a quick opinion on this book I'd say that it was good. Pretty good, actually. It has great pace, most of the time, it has some horror (it is rather creepy sometimes) and interesting protagonists. So would I recommend it? Sure. If you like action, mystery and a bit of Supernatural-style horror, "Anna Dressed in Blood" is the book for you.

But is it very good? Like "Chime" good? Not really. Oh, the story is definitely engaging. It makes you want to keep reading, it keeps you on the edge of your seat and Anna is a very intriguing and multi-layered character. However... Blake wasn't completely able to step away from the usual cliches that plague the genre [of YA supernatural fiction].
The romance was badly developed and unrealistic (it bordered on insta-romance, yuck) and there were some inconsistency problems. The one that bugged me the most was the fact that Cas' mother seemed perfectly okay with her son following in his father's footsteps when it was exactly his father's job that got him killed. It just didn't make sense to me. I can see why the author wrote it like that, sure, but I still don't feel like it was very realistic behavior.

Cal himself was another problem. He isn't particularly stereotyped as far as male protagonists go; but he didn't read like a boy. Probably because the book was written by a woman. Always a risk, writing a male character and frankly I don't think the author pulled it off very well.

Overall: "Anna Dressed in Blood" does stand out in this genre (which is praise-worthy indeed) and I really enjoyed reading it. But it was not without flaws. Recommended to fans of supernatural stories who aren't afraid of a few (seriously) creepy scenes.

6 comentários:

Joana Neto Lima disse...

Ora bem, Este vai saltar para o topo da pilha! :)

Depois de ler a tua opinião ainda fico com mais vontade de o ler! ;)

Ana C. Nunes disse...

Não estava muito interessada em ler este livro, mas a tua opinião teve o estranho efeito de me dar vontade de o ler, mesmo tendo em conta as 'falhas' que mencionas, no final acabaste por gostar.
São poucos os livros 'perfeitos' por isso é de esperara algumas coisas menos boas e desde que estas não se sobreponham ao bom, então uma leitura já não será perda de tempo. :)

Laura disse...

Já tinha lido algumas reviews sobre este livro e também fiquei com a sensação de que seria bom :) Hei-de lê-lo.

Já agora aproveito para dizer bem dos resumos que realizas no fim de todas as reviews, o tall "overrall", porque é sempre spoiler free e permite-me perceber o que achaste do livro sem que eu tenha de ler spoilers :D

slayra disse...

Joana: Foi muito bom, um dos melhor do género que já li este ano! Lê, lê! *nudges* :D

Ana: É mesmo... não existem livros perfeitos. Dentro do género em que se insere este livro está bem acima da maioria. :)

Laura: Eu gostei imenso, é mesmo uma leitura compulsiva.
Lol, obrigada. Estão lá para isso, que eu às vezes divago um bocado no texto por isso acho melhor fazer o tal resumo para as pessoas que não têm paciência para estar a ler as minhas "rants". :)

Joana Neto Lima disse...

Slayra: és terrível, a minha carteira manda-te uma luva branca e diz k é na proxima lua cheia e k te dá o prazer de escolher as armas! :P Já vem a caminho... ai k desgraça! :P

slayra disse...

*shivers* Acho que vai ter de se pôr na fila... primeiro ainda está a minha carteira. O_o