Cas Lowood, armed with his late father's athame knife, kills ghosts. In Thunder Bay, Anna, forever 16, drips blood on her white dress from throat slit in 1958, and rips apart anyone who enters her house - except Cas. He makes new friends - high school queen Carmel, jock Will, admiring nerd Thomas and Tom's voodoo grandpa Morfran - to fight this demon.
Cas Lowood, armed with his late father’s athame knife, kills ghosts. In Thunder Bay, Anna, forever 16, drips blood on her white dress from throat slit in 1958, and rips apart anyone who enters her house – except Cas. He makes new friends – high school queen Carmel, jock Will, admiring nerd Thomas and Tom’s voodoo grandpa Morfran – to fight this demon.
To start with, I love the title of this book. That is what made me interested in it to begin with. Secondly, I loved the cover. I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but in this case, I did.
Cas Lowood is a high school ghost hunter. He moves around a lot and goes to where the ghosts are. He finds the ghosts, and then releases them from being ghosts so they can go to wherever it is ghosts go when they “die.” He receives tips from all over the country about urban legends that he knows are real. Everyone has heard a story similar to the ghost hitchhiker. It is that type of story that he investigates.
When Cas receives a tip about a ghost named Anna that has been actually KILLING people, he knows he must do something about it fast. He is inexplicably drawn to her and to her story and quickly realized there is more to her than he first realizes. Every ghost has a story. Most are tragic in some way. Anna’s story is no different, but why is it that her interactions with humans so much more violent than the usual ghost encounter? She’s pissed, that’s why!! She really got screwed with life. I felt so sorry for her and wanted to defend her myself. It was so sad to read her story, I almost cried (don’t tell anyone, I don’t want to ruin my reputation of being a badass).
For the first time in his life, Cas has friends. It’s a good thing too, because he’s going to need their help to deal with Anna. I really like the dynamic between him, Carmel, and Thomas. They work well together. Carmel is your typical pretty girl, while Thomas is the stereotypical dork. The paranormal is nothing new to him, thanks to his sometimes being psychic. He apparently hasn’t quite developed it yet.
I feel kind of bad for his mom too. She’s a bit of a “kitchen witch.” She has to deal with her son going out night after night with the possibility of him not making it home safely. Just because she was ok with his dad doing it, doesn’t mean she should be ok with her son doing it. Especially since she knows he’s trying to avenge his dad and find whatever it was that killed him. As a parent she should probably have handled that differently. But this is fiction, not real life, so I guess if it works for her, that’s what counts.
This story really reminded me a lot of a house in one of the towns I used to live in. There was this big old house with a reputation of being haunted. The story was that some guy went crazy and killed his whole family. Supposedly he painted the walls with their blood or some such nonsense. If you drove past the house at night, when you turned around at the end of the road, as you drove back past it, the windows would glow red from the blood supposedly all over the walls. I swear if you drove by it really looked red at night, but when you went back during the day, there was no glass in the windows to reflect light to explain why it looked like that. During the day, the scariest part of “Red Room,” as it was called was the scary old man that lived next door with his shot gun waiting for teenagers to drive by and cause trouble. This is the house I pictured the ENTIRE time I was reading this book. I could totally see that house being the house that Anna was trapped in. It made me feel more connected to the story in ways I can’t even explain.
For me, Anna’s story was very emotional. The whole book was emotional for me and I felt every connection with the characters. I really wanted Cas to pay more attention to his cat. I wish my cat was more like that.
I really think this was a great book. It’s appropriate for adults and teenagers, and I’m actually trying to get my daughter to read it. It’s got all of the elements I look for in a good ghost story. I look forward to reading the second book in the series.
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About the Author:
I tire of writing these things in the third person. So. I write fiction, apparently mostly YA. I didn’t know this, but like Stephen King says, writers are the last ones to know what it is they’ve written. My first novel,Sleepwalk Society is a college story. I guess it falls into that no man’s land they call, “New Adult”. Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares are teen horror. My short fiction can be found online in numerous places