Oct 6, 2011


Author: Kendare Blake
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
My Rating: 5/5--Incredible! I loved it!
Plot in One Word: Ghostbuster
Good if...you want something spooky, fresh, and utterly captivating.
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.
My Thoughts...Hold your breath! I was completely enthralled by this novel.  From beginning to end it was a wild ride of mystery, suspense, and originality  It was spooky, gory even, suspenseful, and perfect for the month of October.
So, why did I buy this novel to begin with?  The pretty cover.  The cool title.  The interesting ghost hunter synopsis.  And especially the male narrator (you don't see too many of them in YA).  With all those factors, why not right?  But what I hardly expected was how much I loved it.  Each character added a different flavor to the story--from Cas, to his witch mother, to his frantic mangy black cat, to Carmel the "queen bee", to Thomas the telepath, to Anna the murdering ghost.  I read another review that complained of the lack of characterization.  As if!  The characters made this story great.
 5 stars easy!

I guess the only area it kind of was lacking in was the romance.  The focus was mainly on the mystery and solving the mystery.  So, any romance was just kind of on the side, extra.  I wished it would have been developed more.  Still, that didn't take away from me loving this story and thinking that perhaps in future novels it will be.

Also, not for younger adults?  Yes and no.  This book had plenty of f-bombs, gore, murders, and intense situations, but I'm pretty sure your average 14-year-old can handle it.  An 8-year-old, no.


Natalie said...

I keep seeing a lot of reviews pop up for this one on Blogger but it has never really caught my attention until now....It definitely sounds like the perfect book to get me into the Halloween mood! I usually prefer a book with a romance plot....but your review has intrigued me nevertheless and I think I'm going to have to see if my library has got a copy! Great review:)

Sarah Darlington said...

Natalie--I'm glad I caught your attention. It was really good!

Andie Z said...

Great review! I absolutely love this book. And I definitely understand what you're saying about the romance, but I actually kind of liked how understated it was (which is weird for me, because I'm a huge sucker for love stories). I'm soooo intrigued to see what happens in the sequel.

New follower. :)

Sarah Darlington said...

Andie--I know what you mean about understating the romance. It was a nice change and then you were able to focus on the mystery/story more.