Release Date: August 30, 2011 (Original)
Format: Audio MP3 (Go Audio, Released Oct 30, 2012)
Pages: 387 (Paperback) / Audio Length: Unknown (10+ hours)
Source: Overdrive via Sync YA Audio
Genre: YA Paranormal
Review Date: October 18, 2012
Rating: 3 bookmarks
Book synopsis: 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.
This book had tons of detailed description and a well rounded story. Our protagonist, Cas is cocky, intelligent, has a bit of a potty mouth and kills ghost. I enjoyed reading about him. I liked the fact that he's a ghost hunter following in his dad's shoes. I though it was a bit odd that his mom is so on board with this career choice, but hey, she's a good witch, so I guess it's okay.
Initially I though Anna was just horrible, and she is. She's one terrifying teenage ghost! But then we learn more about her past, and she doesn't seem so bad after that. I sort of wish Anna would have remained the scary and crazy ghost. Oh well. With that said, I did like the back story about Anna, I was hoping that Ms.Blake would have stuck with that story line a little longer. Regardless, her past was explained with a quickness and told us why she was a crazy homicidal psycho ghost. Then we promptly moved on and the villainous Anna was traded off for a even more evil villain.
As for the romance story line between Anna and Cas...I wasn't buying it. I just don't get it. In this type of book, I'm not even sure a romance angle is even needed for the main character. Although, not needed, I did like the blooming relationship between his friends Carmel and Thomas. That was cute.
Lastly, the real villain, was sneaky, dangerous, and sinister. I don't want to give everything away, so I won't get into the details. It was slightly hard to understand how he initially even got pulled into this whole scenario. Why did he pick Cas's dad? Why did he choose to attach himself to the "Athame" knife? All questions that I feel I missed.
Over all, this was a creepy story. Not very scary to me, but creepy enough. In my opinion, the narrator's voice was probably not the best choice for this story. I felt like all his different voices were a little weird and muffled. Listening to his voice took away from the story. I actually had to back up a few times to re-listen to several parts. I may have enjoyed this a bit more if I had read it. If I pick up the sequel, I will absolutely read it instead of listening to it.
A few of my favorite quotes from the book:
“You fuck - you ate my cat!”
“But hey, at least we’ll have this strange story to tell, love and death and blood and daddy-issues. And holy crap, I’m a psychiatrist’s wet dream.”
“I hit him with a board; of course he’s got a concussion. Don’t be an idiot.”