Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Psycho Crazy Ghost Girl And The Boys Who Love Them

This week on Psycho Crazy Ghost Girls and The Boys Who Love Them is a charming tale that goes by the ever so descriptive name of Anna Dressed In Blood.  This lovely little tale is your typical story of a boy searching for himself, finding the love of his life, who then promptly tries to mutilate him and destroy everybody who comes in contact with her, you know typical love story :-)  Actually I really did enjoy this book, it is perfect for the Halloween season and has a very strong Supernatural vibe to it (man I love that show...total side note, I've gotten Hubbin into watching the series from the beginning with me, forgot how awesomely awesome it was in the start).
The story is this.  A teenage boy named Theseus Cassio Lowood (nickname Cas) is a ghost/zombie/things that go bump in the night hunter.  His father was also an undead hunter and was killed by some sort of vengeful ghost type thing when our hero was but a young lad of seven.  Ever since Cas has been using his fathers athame (which is a special knife) to hunt down the restless dead.  Cas only goes after ghosts who harm other people, usually because they were murdered or commited suicide and can't move on.  Most of the ghosts kill people the way they were killed which leads to some pretty interesting scenarios. Cas hears of a ghost called Anna Dressed In Blood in Thunder Bay Ontario (which is in Canada for those of us who are
not up to par on our geography).  This ghost is one of the most brutal around, killing by dismemberment anybody who enters the house where she was killed.  Her story is as always a tragic one, she was on the way to her school dance in 1958 in a simple white dress that she had made herself.  She was supposed to meet her date at the dance but she never showed.  Her body was found later with her throat slit ear to ear.  Cas and his mother (who happens to be a minor white witch) are used to moving every couple of months.  This gives Cas time to research and find the ghosts and take care of it then move on in search of the next one. Cas gets enrolled in school, and makes friends with Carmel the popular queen bee who invites him to a party.  Cas also meets a fellow student name Thomas who has minimal telepathic abilities and ends up becoming Cas's right hand man.  Cas and Carmel go to the party where he tries to get more info about Anna, but is interrupted by Mike and his jock buddies.  Mike and Carmel had just recently broken up and he was not happy about her spending time with any other guy.  Cas gets them to take him to the house that Anna supposedly haunts and Mike hits him in the head with a board.  When Cas comes to he sees Mike being literally ripped in half by a ghost with long writhing black hair, inky veins covering her white skin and a dress dripping with blood.  After the ghost is done with Mike she turns to Cas, but tells him to leave quickly because she can't control herself. Thomas (who had been following them) pulls him out of the house.  Cas finds himself drawn back to the house and returns there later intrigued by Anna.  Anna tries to scare him away, but eventually calms down enough to present herself like she was in life, just a girl. Anna cannot remember what happened to her, all she knows is that she is compelled to turn into the angry wraith Cas
encountered earlier and kill anyone who comes in the house.  For some reason though she can control it with Cas.  Eventually Cas and his friends find a spell to try and find out what happened to Anna, to try and weaken her so Cas can kill her and end the killings.  Her story when you find it out is a bit of a neat twist, I figured out the who about half-way through, but not the rest of the story so that was pretty cool, I won't ruin it for you though. Eventually Cas and Anna fall for each other, though not in a sickening lovey dovey way, but more in a tragic, you know we can never be together way, but we are both mature enough to attempt to deal with it.  Anyways all of this happens about 2/3 of the way through the book which leaves a whole other story to tell, but since I want you all to read it and I can't talk about the end of the book with out giving away all the good stuff I'm just gonna stop here.  Suffice to say I think it is worth the read.

I liked this book 'cause it wasn't your typical Young Adult novel of teenage angst with ghosts in it, I mean there was definitely some teenage angst, but more Buffy angst and less Twilight angst.  The romance that was in the book was suprising and not your typical boy and girl fall in insta-love.  Also the comic relief guy gets a possibility of girl in the end, which I love.  The story did not pull any punches, it is without a doubt a horror novel first and foremost and does kill people in the most gruesome of ways...very vividly...a lot.  I know horror is not for everyone and this is not a paranormal romance that uses the undead in a "aw gee there just misunderstood" type of way so be prepared to be scared, if you like sleeping at night don't read this before bed. There were a few downsides, mostly I thought the book could have been about 50 pages shorter, there was a lot of repetition, especially when it came to the main character and his feelings on stuff, we get it your a lone wolf, you don't need to remind us every 5 pages.  There was also the f-word used a lot, which I hate in young adult books, I see no reason for it to be in there when they can hear it from so many other sources, but that is a personal thing.  Also the last third of the book felt different, like it could have been a sequel or incorporated better into the first 2/3 of the story.  Over all I give it 8 out of 10 Zombie Cats from Tuscaloosa.
Do you like horror books, or do your prefer less wanton death and destruction in your stories?  Are these type of books only for Halloween or do you read them year round?  What is your favorite horror book?  What would your vengeful ghost name be?  How would you kill people?

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