Thursday, December 15, 2011

Epic Reading List Updated: Anna Dressed In Blood

List Update as of December 15th

1. 'The Hunger Games' -Suzanne Collins
2. 'Alanna the First Adventure' -Tamora Pierce
3. 'Anna Dressed in Blood' -Kendare Blake

4. 'In the Hand of the Goddess' -Tamora Pierce
5. 'Graceling' -Kristin Cashore
6. 'The Woman Who Rides Like a Man' -Tamora Pierce
7. 'The Name of the Star' -Maureen Johnson
8. 'Lioness Rampant' -Tamora Pierce
9. 'Tale of Two Cities' -Charles Dickens
10. 'Wild Magic' -Tamora Pierce
11. 'Catching Fire' -Suzanne Collins
12. 'Wolf Speaker' -Tamora Pierce
13. 'Matched' -Ally Condie
14. 'Emperor Mage' -Tamora Pierce
15. 'Divergent' -Veronica Roth
16. 'The Realm of the Gods' -Tamora Pierce

It took a little bit for me to get into the fairly epic 'Anna Dressed in Blood.' As a matter of fact I just spent five minutes staring at the star rating on Goodreads, bouncing the arrow back and forth from three to four stars.

Don't get me wrong, I liked to book and look forward to reading 'Girl of Nightmares' when it comes out in August. My favorite part of the book is its dashing hero Theseus Cassio Lowood. I mean, how could you not love a boy with a name like that? His dry wit, his calm analytical affection for the realm of the dead, and his reckless heroism. He thinks realistically, swearing, scolding himself, getting confused, and always being the last person to see things about himself that everyone else has already noticed.

Cas' blunt and cynical view of death kept the book entertaining. The character of Anna is also beautifully imagined and described with such clarity that I got chills. She's a great character and (seeing as how she's on the front of the second book) I look forward to seeing more of her personality develop should we be given the opportunity.

What I did struggle with was the pacing. The beginning did a great job of setting the book up to be about Anna and Cas and I was totally okay with that. The addition of the Obeahman felt distinctly rushed to me. I am not going to say just yet that we've seen the last of him, he's crafty. While it appears a more heart-string tugging approach was attempted with the end of the book I feel it would have benefited more from a cliffhanger. Just barely introducing the Obeahman would have worked a little bit better. It's a plot that deserves more attention and more reaction from Cas.

That being said I really enjoyed how Blake managed to speed everything up as the showdown with the Obeahman approached. She showed great skill with suspenseful pacing and edge of the seat writing.

Overall, I did enjoy 'Anna Dressed in Blood.' The writing is fantastic. Cas is glorious. It just felt a little like Blake wasn't sure she was going to get another book. Perhaps that was the case but she needn't have feared she's crafted a beautiful story.

Up next is the second in my Epic Tamora Pierce reread: 'In the Hand of the Goddess.'


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