Monday, October 22, 2012

Library Book: Anna Dressed in Blood

It's been awhile since I've finished reading anything.  I went away a few weeks ago and read some magazines, but I haven't made it through any books lately.  But I got an email from Chapters which included Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake, which caught my interest.  I realized it was book two in a series, and the library had book one.  So I put Anna Dressed in Blood on hold and started reading it as soon as I got it (even though I'm in the middle of another book). 

Anna Dressed in Blood caught my attention immediately.  I was interested in the world of Cas, the ghost killer.  Especially since  Anna, the ghost he is hunting, lives in my hometown of Thunder Bay.

Of course I had fun reading all the references to places in Thunder Bay.  I laughed when Cas stole a newspaper article from an old library newspaper (that was really funny because I work at the library; we only have microfilm copies of old newspapers, so he wouldn't have been able to do that.  He would have just printed a copy out and that would be that).  If you've travelled from Duluth to Thunder Bay, you'd also know that the terrain doesn't suddenly become rolling hills and boreal forest at the US/Canada border (although there is quite a bit of farmland between the border and Thunder Bay).  I'm also not sure why, but when Cas got to town he didn't mention the Sleeping Giant, one of our most distinct geological features.  And I highly doubt the kids from Churchill highschool would go across town to the Sushi Bowl all the time when Wasabi is waaay closer.  Silly things like that really drove home how this was a fictional account of Thunder Bay, and not the real place.  They also kind of knocked me out of the narrative a bit, but I think that's just because I'm from Thunder Bay and know those details weren't quite right.

But other than the setting issues, the story is really good.  Cas, like his father before him, kills ghosts, stopping them from killing people by sending them onto the afterlife or wherever it is they go.  A friend of his has found a ghost in Thunder Bay known as Anna Dressed in Blood, and Cas is intrigued by her.  So he goes to Thunder Bay intending to learn her story and kill her.  But the Anna he meets is not the usual ghost.  Rather than a pale reflection of who she was, Anna is very much real and aware of herself.  Not only that, she is strong, much stronger than Cas anticipates.  And so he finds himself in Thunder Bay longer than expected as he tried to unravel exactly what Anna is.

When I took Anna Dressed in Blood out, I wasn't really planning on reading any more of the series.  But now that I've read it, I really am excited to continue reading.  I've got a hold on the next one, Girl of Nightmares, which the library currently has on order.  I hope it's as good as this first book was!

1 comment:

Shauna said...

I got five pages into Girl of Nightmares and I'm already annoyed with the setting. Once again, Kendare Blake's novel is set in Thunder Bay and the setting details are wrong. This time it's the weather: late May with freezing temperatures at night and crazy storms? To be fair that might happen during a freakishly cold May, but it's not normal for Thunder Bay at all. I'm probably more annoyed thanks to the temperatures now, in January, where it's been raining. But still, despite being beside Superior, we don't get a lot of storms. I think Sault Site. Marie gets more than us, so maybe she's thinking of there? But I don't know what their May temperatures are like.

Thanks to this, I've decided not to continue Girl of Nightmares. I don't like being pulled out of the narrative thanks to setting details and now too much time has passed from when I read Anna Dressed in Blood; I'm no longer invested in the story.