Summary via Goodreads:
"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."
This book has been on my TBR for a while, and when I finally got it on sale, it took me a longer than I wanted to get around to reading it. So many books so little time, right?
This is the first ghost story I have read. Well, I've read the Existence trilogy, but while that series is enjoyable and has an addicting quality to it that I just can't explain, it's kind of more of a fluffy ghost story. This one has some pretty dark moments to it that I wasn't quite expecting.
The characters were pretty fantastic as well. Cas Lowood (full name Theseus Cassius Lowood) is a very different character. He is confident with out being cocky, he is often very snarky, a loner by choice since he moves around a lot for his hobby/job of killing the dead. The ghost hunting business has been in his family for as long as he can remember, and ever since his father was murdered by a mysterious ghost, Cas has been on a mission of training and researching to get vengeance for his father's death.
That is until he meets Anna, Anna Dressed in Blood. There is something different about her, something more than just the challenge she represents but he feels that he is there for more than just ending her, but there to protect her. So many shenanigans! Lots of death, most is pretty gruesome if you have a vivid imagination. (I do but it doesn't bother me as much as it should. I blame it on seeing Chucky and Nightmare on Elm St. before I was in kindergarten)
The other characters, Thomas (the sometimes psychic) Morfin (his grandfather), Cas's mother (who's name I'm not sure was mentioned) is a White witch who sells candles and does palm readings, and Carmel (the girl who Cas uses for ghost information and Thomas's romantic interest).
Even though this book was on my TBR I was a little reluctant in reading it. I was equally excited and reluctant. The reason is, ghost stories are tricky. They can go more than one way. Cheesy, terribly, or really well. This book fell into the latter. The dialog was smooth, the story flowed nicely, Anna was both terrifying and tragic. And the ending was unexpected. I recommend this book to anyone that isn't bothered by gore.