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. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: 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.
Yet she spares Cas’s life.
I picked this up for one reason and one reason alone.
This past week, I had the plague – given to me by a yet unidentified coworker (YOU BETTER HOPE I NEVER FIND YOU, MOTHER FUCKER).
During my many days off, I decided to distract myself from the threat of exorcist-style spray painting my bedroom by binge-watching Supernatural.
Best. Decision. Ever.
SO DO I, DEAN. SO DO I.
And that’s exactly what I was hoping to find in this book. It didn’t disappoint. Let me set the scene for you: A dark road. A classic car. A young badass with an “I don’t give a shit” attitude who hunts ghosts. Oh, and his name is Cas, his father is dead, and he’s hell bent on avenging him.
Hmmmm…this all seems very familiar.
So be warned, Supernatural fanatics, some of this strikes quite close to home. At least in the beginning. I still recommend giving it a try, because once the story gets rolling, the plot truly stands on its own.
And if you’re worried that it might be too scary for you, think again. I’m a wuss, and I only got creeped out twice. Blake’s haunting prose makes this much more atmospheric than frightening.
“We’re driving close to the lake now, and I can hear Superior whisper to me in waves about all of the dead things she hides beneath her surface, staring through the depths with murky eyes and fish-bitten cheeks.”
The one thing that keeps this from being a five star read for me are the tropes. Insta-love chief among them. Look, I get it, teenagers are blinded by hormones, blah, blah, blah. But how the ever-loving fuck can you fall in love with a psychotic, rampaging murder-ghost? And you’re telling me that after kissing a dead girl you start to think about your future with her? AS IF YOU HAVE ONE? You’re going to keep aging and she’ll be sixteen forever, dude.
*cue Dazed and Confused Matthew McConaughey flashback*
Too bad. I’m not spelling it out for you. Go watch the movie because it’s fucking awesome.
Okay, so tropes aside, this was a solid read. I quickly found myself invested in Cas’s story, the pacing had an organic momentum that never felt forced, I didn’t see the plot twists coming, and as soon as I set it down I wanted to pick up the next. Which I’m about to do. So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll leave you with this: