By Kendare Blake
This book title jumped out at me in the library months ago (for obvious reasons), but then we started the marathon of reading Atlas Shrugged, so I back-burned it for a while, knowing it was going to be my palette cleanser after Rand. At the worst parts of Atlas Shrugged, I just pictured Anna Dressed in Blood waiting for me. And I couldn’t have asked for a better palette cleanser!
It is cheesy and spooky and just awesome! It reminds me a bit of Twilight, actually, if a better writer had written the characters and situations in a way that makes more sense in a rational world. Also with some gender turnaround: Cas moves to a small town in Ontario with his single mother, starting a new school in his senior year and is immediately popular. Sound familiar? He’s also brooding and rude and immediately drawn to the titular female character. He’s kind of both Bella and Edward, but everything he says and does actually makes sense.
Cas is a ghost hunter, a talent and career that he inherited from his now-deceased father. He and his mother travel to new towns that have killer ghosts, settle there long enough for Cas to draw out and dispatch the ghost, and then move on to the next town. He is immediately popular at his new school because he makes an effort to be; he needs access to the gossip mill as quickly as possible in order to do his job. He knows that by being brooding and a little rude, he’ll be considered even more attractive, so he does that on purpose as well. I just love rational characters who have a goal and then follow logical steps toward it!
I felt like the plot got a bit scattered toward the end; I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the pacing just felt kind of odd to me. Even with that, though, this was a very satisfying book with which to recover from Atlas Shrugged. I would be somewhat cautious about recommending it for young readers: there was a fair amount of violence, and I can’t attest to fear factor because I have already described how I completely unfrightening I find ghosts.