Don't say Beetlejuice three times.
.Dreaming of Wonderland : Living in reality.
"Anna was on her way to a school dance when she was killed. Someone cut her throat. They say she was wearing a white party dress, and when they found her, the whole thing was stained red. That's why they call her Anna Dressed in Blood."
I devoured this book. I threw caution to the wind and read something I wouldn't normally. How I loved this book!! First off this isn't that scary or gory, trust me with this. I don't do that sort of thing, so I decided this would be my daytime book and that way I wouldn't have the poop completely scared out of me.
Where to begin, I guess with Cas. This is the first book I've read since Harry Potter from a male POV, from the title and cover alone you'd assume it would be about Anna. I'm glad I've found something guy orientated. The book begins by chucking you straight into his world, on a hunt. No slowly introducing you to what he does and what his father did before him, oh no it's straight to it. Due to the type of life he leads he is used to having to adapt all the time, moving from school to school following the latest job. Via this we see how he works, how he gathers info on the ghost and if it's just town legend or something more. Cas is witty and funny, and knows how to work people to get what he wants. You'd expect to see someone like Cas who's moved around so much to have very little social skills and have to think outside the box to get what he wants, but in fact he's the total opposite.
Due to Cas's upbringing he doesn't really do friends or help, and this job proves to be unlike any other. Sure he has his contacts who he can call on for help, advise and research, but Carmel and Thomas prove to actually be friends, people you would trust to help you. Cas doesn't let his pride stand in the way, he takes them out and shows them what his world is really like before tackling Anna. One of the biggest challenges Cas faces is trying to shake off Thomas and Carmel, actually accepting friendship.
At first I thought the introduction of queen bee Carmel would be as a throw away character, or that person who appears and ruins everything. I must admit I am rather fond of Carmel, I was preparing myself for awful human being you hope gets torn to bits as soon as you meet her, but she's actually the opposite. She is our human voice, the person who has no connections to the supernatural, Carmel sees what is really going and gets on with it. At one point she takes things into her own hands, she follows Cas to see what he's really up to and is up front with him that she wants to help. Although at one point she questions what she is doing there, as after all she has no talents when it comes to this sort of thing, Carmel can hold her own. When it comes to it she is not afraid to get in there and swing a baseball bat at Anna.
Anna. At heart she is just a vulnerable child with a lot of power, but she is unlike anything he has ever faced. Not just power wise. She challenges everything he has ever known and thought when it came to the supernatural world. I would love to have read this from her POV, how it feels when the power takes over and she kills, what it's like to try and control it and not hurt Cas. Realising it is going to tougher to despatch Anna than he thought Cas has to try a different route, finding out what's made her so strong. But his takes time, which means he is free to visit Anna, get to know her and fall for her. Before now he never considered where he sent them once he 'killed' them.
One thing I am happy about is that is that it wasn't them falling in love and being about that, Cas doesn't really realise his feelings for her, he's more wigged out by the fact he doesn't want to hurt her, to find another way. It really wasn't your typical romance novel. Hurrah!! But there is a bigger force at work, with the killing of his father still fresh things are coming to a head quicker than Cas can be prepared for.
This was utterly a fantastic read, I struggled to put it down whilst on holiday. I cannot wait to devour the sequel. Blake has a real talent at bringing the house and the dead to life. Let's not discuss the basement.