My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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'm currently basking in the satisfying contented glow that comes from finishing the final page of a book, closing the cover, and thinking "wow- that was really good!"
I was hooked at the fantastic tagline-
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...and dying to see how a ghost hunter could fall in love with a ghost that was murdering people.
This book reminded me instantly of the awesome TV show Supernatural- Cas could well be one of the Winchester brothers! It has the same supernatural-things-are-real- surety about it and features a lonely ghost-hunter bent on revenge. This book is just cool as hell.
It's also completely and utterly gripping. Each chapter ends just when it is getting exciting, which left me with a constant sense of "just one more page"! And I loved that it was so vivid, but kept a sense of humour about it as well. It's refreshing to read about a male protagonist for a change- but even better when he is as snarky and sarcastic as Cas.
It's clever and creepy but not too scary, not really. Believe me when I tell you that I a real wuss, and never watch horror films or ghost films (mainly because I live on my own and I don't like giving myself creepy ideas), but I wasn't scared reading this book, any more than I would be reading about vampires or werewolves- just because I saw it as a good story and I loved the characters.
The teenage characters are smart and cool, and tough as hell, especially Cas, and I loved how he was drawn to Anna, how he was fascinated by her, and how he managed to glimpse another side to this murdered girl who brutally murders anyone who steps into her house.
Carmel and Thomas are Cas' new schoolmates and also inadvertently get caught up in Cas' ghost-hunting along with school bullies Mike and Will. But they make a great team and give us a sweet underlying popular girl falling for the geeky best friend subplot.
I loved Anna's cruel story, Cas' determined spirit, and Thomas' devotion, and the combination of eerie mystery, voodoo curses and plain old human nastiness. Just an engrossing YA ghost story and a must-read for fans of the genre. Beautiful, haunting, creepy and witty, and full of thrills and danger.
I want book 2 now!