Tag Archives: ya horror

Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

anna dressed in blood

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a baby back bitch when it comes to scary movies. I can watch one heinous thing and it haunts me for years. Scary books on the other hand… I love. I guess it’s because I feel more in control. Nothing can jump and go RAWWWWRRR in my face, so I feel better about it. On the other hand, since books and words and stories are played out in your mind… they can have a much more all-encompassing effect when they’re creeptastic.

Hence why I was interested in Anna Dressed in Blood and its sequel, Girl of Nightmares. Our protagonist Theseus Cassio Lowood (or “Cas” for short) is a ghost hunter. And no, not the Discovery-Channel-night-vision-camera-*bump*-AHHHWHATWASTHAT?? kind either. After his ghost-hunting father’s untimely demise, Cas is handed the power and responsibility of the athame–a dagger that can “kill” the dead. Or at least send them back to wherever they came from.

Loner Cas gets more than he bargains for when he moves to Canada with his mom to find “Anna Dressed in Blood”–a 50 years slain girl who haunts her old house and has a very high body count. It’s up to him and his new pals to stop Anna before she goes too far. But Anna is not what she seems. And strange signs start to lead Cas to believe that his father’s murderer is somewhere nearby… OOooooOOOoooOOOooo

Girl of Nightmares brings us back to Cas and company, and this time his mission is to help save Anna. Hmm…

These were very disappointing books. You’d think that when a book cover says “Stephen King better start looking over his shoulder” it would mean something. I hear that statement and start gleefully rubbing my hands together. Nope. If you are looking for a wise-cracking and very trendy narrator (very similar to a teenage version of the Dresden Files but without the likeability) then look no further.

I’m not saying I hated Cas, but it’s strange to see Facebook and “pwned” referenced in a book. I think Blake’s attempt at casual teen speak was a little too casual, and it made me dislike the characters. Cas was too cocky. And (OF COURSE) there has got to be some love interest crap going on. I didn’t like how out-of-left-field and instantaneous Cas’ feelings were. I didn’t understand it at all. Blegh. The whole thing was just blegh.

Do you guys know of any good books that will actually scare me?

2 bloodstains of 5


Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough


I refuse to watch scary movies, because they ALWAYS give me nightmares (I’m a wimp, I know) but I really enjoyed creepy books. I guess because nothing can JUMP me, I don’t feel as scared. Long Lankin was the perfect combo of creep factor meets the real world. Set in the 1950’s, two small girls, Cora and Mimi, go to live with their Auntie Ida after their carefree father decides he can’t take care of them on his own. Their mother has been admitted to what we assume is a sanitarium.

But the girls’ presence in Aunt Ida’s creepy old house awakens an evil presence that has been lurking for years.

Said my lord to my lady, as he rode away:

“Beware of Long Lankin that lives in the hay.” “

Let the doors be all bolted and the windows all pinned,

And leave not a hole for a mouse to creep in.”

So he kissed his fair lady and he rode away,

And he was in fair London before the break of day.

The doors were all bolted and the windows all pinned,

Except one little window where Long Lankin crept in.

Based on a freaky folk song originating in Europe, Long Lankin is some sort of unholy monster that preys specifically on young children 2-4 years of age. Mimi’s presence is enough to attract the villan and it’s up to Cora and her new friend Robert to stop him. But how will they be able to break an age old curse? Dozens have children have been stolen and consumed by Long Lankin, what makes Mimi’s fate any different? Cora finds out some hard truths about her family history along the way.

Long Lankin didn’t really begin to pick up until about a hundred and fifty pages in, but then I could NOT put it down. It’s not scary at all until page 219–the imagery illustrated there seriously made me sleep with the light on. The creepy-crawly inhumanness of him is what really makes it so terrifying. He is a man, yet not a man. A monster. A baby-eating, roof-climbing, scritchy-scratchy, get-in-your-house-if-you-ever-dare-open-a-window thing. 

Good stuff. I highly recommend. Stick it out, it’s well worth the read.

If you’d like to hear the song Long Lankin performed, click here. 

4 long dirty nails of 5