Published August 30th, 2011 by Tor Teen
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...I've been hearing rave reviews for this book for months now, so I finally gave in and bought it. Our story follows the journey of Cas, a ghost-hunter/killer who is following in his father's footsteps. He's onto the biggest and most frightening ghost of his life - a mysterious and exceptionally deadly ghost nicknamed Anna Dressed in Blood. Anna holds a lot of pent up anger, killing everyone who steps foot into her fortress, with the exception of Cas.
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder 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: move, 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, but now stained red and dripping 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.
And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.
Cas was a strong character, foolish at times though. He listens to no one, often putting himself in dangerous situations he doesn't need to be in. He has chosen to shove normal life to the sidelines, instead carrying on the family legacy of banishes ghosts to who knows where. I liked hearing about his adventures, though I did feel sorry for him at times, not being able to lead a normal life and all.
Anna was an interesting character, very unique being a ghost and all! She had no remorse for the things she'd done in the beginning, but as the story progresses she gains some control over her anger, and even tells Cas and the others her story. She goes from being scary killer girl to sweet, but troubled dead woman.
The story wasn't super fast-paced until the end when a lot of things are at stake. The ending was a bit of a cliff-hanger and my next book purchase will likely include the second in the series.