Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...
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.
I love almost everything about this book. The title, the characters' names, the cover (from the tendrils of hairs to the haunted house to the blood-dripping dress, they are all accurate representation of the actual story).
I like how both of the male and female protagonists are supernatural in their own way because I'm so tired of this story of how an average Joe/Jane meets this feet-sweeping mysterious guy or girl.
Kendare Blake had undertaken a risky move by narrating the story from Cas, the male protagonist point of view. And armed with some killer moves and swear words (no kidding!), he is the new swoon-worthy bad boy from the block.
U JELLY, EDWARD?
But no! You wouldn't be jealous of Anna because she and Cas are totally made for each other. Anna is downright scary at first. She is, as quoted by Cas, the goddess of death. But yeah, you would expect that her death was a tragic one but just a friendly reminder, her tough exterior is for real as she is not the slightest bit weak emotionally.
There isn't much focus put on the other characters. Mike, Chase and Will were plain dumb. Thomas? Bo-ring! But I'm impressed with the characterization of Carmel. She is of course, the popular, prom queen (every young adult book set in high school must have one anyway) but she ain't stupid! (Thank God) She is indeed useful from time to time.
The true villain, Obeahman is portrayed as one absurdly mean ghost (he ate human flesh for God sake!) He was like the love child of Coraline's other mother and The Shadow Man from The Princess and the Frog movie. I silently hoped that his motive is much more personal than for power in general. I also hoped that the readers were being told of what fate had in store for Anna's cruel parents.
The cat! Urghh!! THE CAT! NO ONE, AND I MEAN NO ONE SHOULD WRITE ABOUT HOW A CAT DIED IN ANY BOOK! Especially when it died because a psychotic ghost with no gut ate it! Urghhh!!! I was so furious, I could buried that freaking ghost 'alive'.
[Urghh!! THE CAT! NO ONE, AND I MEAN NO ONE SHOULD WRITE ABOUT HOW A CAT DIED IN ANY BOOK! Especially when it died because a psychotic ghost with no gut ate it! Urghhh!!! I was so furious, I could buried that freaking ghost 'alive'. (hide spoiler)]
Anyhow, it was surely a good read. The first hundred pages or so started quite slowly. Indeed, there were a lot of swearing and gore, so if you are easily offended, stay away from this book. :)