Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Father's Quest: Anna Dressed in Blood

If your father dies doing something desperate and dangerous, it's unfortunate for your mother if you instantly dedicate your life to following in his footsteps. Luckily for Cas his mom is accommodating enough to accept his passion, to the extent of moving them around the country so he can find his next ghost hunting gig.  But this one is different, which is why Kendare Blake's Cybils YA Fantasy finalist Anna Dressed in Blood starts here.

The first person narrative gave me some of the same problems I had with Witch Eyes; I suspect most teen-aged boys will seem, um, stupid to me during their high school interactions and I prefer the distance of third person so I can give them more benefit of the doubt. But the gradual increase in the stakes -- how is Anna different from other ghosts? Why does Cas feel so strongly for her? And what has he really been doing all these years? These questions raise the book above the teen angst that threatened to trip me up. The end of the book sets up for sequels, but I have to set that this one didn't really grab me. The ended was powerful, but characters other than Cas (and maybe Anna) felt like characters sliding into slots on his team, not people in their own right.

I'll leave this out for my seventh grader, although I suspect the cover will be a hard sell to him. (Weeks have passed, and he's not nibbling. Darn.)

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