November Snow (Bad Bloods, # 2)
By: Shannon A Thompson
Published: September 19th 2016 by Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, SciFi, Dystopian
Source: Author for review (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--When Daniel and Serena unite, their accidental relationship becomes the catalyst for a twelve-year war to continue. Exposing the twisted past of a corrupt city, Daniel, Serena, and everyone they know will come together to fight. But Serena has another battle.
After a political rumor threatens their lives, Serena must leave her family and join the political front against her will. To survive apart, Daniel has to separate his love from his hatred and join forces with his worst memory to secure Vendona’s war. But very few of them will survive to see the last day. Bad blood or human, a city will burn, snow will fall, and all will be united by catastrophic secrets and irrevocable tragedy.
I had a hard time deciding what to say about November Rain and I think that's going to be the same thing for November Snow as well. Let's recap though. In November Rain we find out that bad bloods are people with supernatural abilities. As far as the characters we meet no one has the same ability. And in Vendona, bad bloods are hunted and killed because people are scared of them. Serena escapes from a blood camp and runs into Daniel who helps her by providing a temporary place for her to recover. But Daniel and Serena* come from different flocks (groups of bad blood kids that have found each other and created their own families helping each other to survive). Daniel is the leader of the Northern flock and Serena is essentially second of the Southern flock. And we don't know why, but Daniel and Robert (the leader of the Southern flock) hate each other. There's history there, but we don't know what. Daniel and Serena begin to develop feelings for each other, and of course that doesn't sit well with Robert. On top of that, there's an election coming up that will determine whether bad bloods will continue to be hunted down or if society will begin to accept them.
It's hard for me to remember the exact point when November Rain ended and November Snow began because once I finished November Rain I started reading November Snow immediately. The break in the stories felt off to me because they didn't feel like complete, separate books. Usually even if a book ends in a cliffhanger, the book itself still feels like a complete work. But that wasn't really the case for these two, and I discuss that in my review of November Rain because that was more of an issue with that book since this one did essentially complete the story.
I also mentioned in my review of November Rain that while I blew through it quickly, I got stalled in reading November Snow at about the 60% mark and put it down for about a month and a half before picking it up to finally finish it. Funnily enough, I finished the last 35ish% in a single night...even staying up late to finish it. The reason I stalled was because I'd essentially read a book and a half and felt like there was still so much going on that I didn't know about. But answers finally started rolling in. Even though I still felt like there was an unpolished feel to all of the events. I can't really discuss the details of what I mean without spoilers though. I can say that I think from a writing standpoint there was a little too much "telling" and not enough "showing." What I mean is that the description was just too much at times. I mean there was an entire paragraph at one point describing where each character was sitting at a table (and there were 24ish characters to describe). It was just too much at times.
The political aspects of Bad Bloods revolved around whether or not the bad bloods would be accepted within society based upon which leader was elected president of Vendona. Considering we in America just had our own very controversial presidential election, some of this resonated. But also considering the way that our nation seems to evenly split down the middle right now and one half of which is protesting...the pretty bow that was put upon Vendona's election felt unrealistic. Of course, the protesting that we're having here is unprecedented and not the norm.
-"Don't count your faults more than your strengths"...
-"Love doesn't always require you to know someone for long, especially during difficult times"...
Ultimately, November Snow had some flaws. There was a bit too much description for my tastes. The number of side characters, their unique skills, and backstories was overwhelming. I couldn't keep them all straight no matter how hard I tried. The events and plot didn't always seem to make complete sense to me like why Selena went to the highlands and what she was trying to accomplish. But I read the first 30% fairly quickly, the next 30% was a bit slow. I ultimately stalled and November Snow down for a month and a half. But I read the last 30% in a night. I didn't hate it, but I felt like November Snow and the Bad Bloods series could use a bit more polishing. November Snow gets 3 Stars from me. Have you read November Snow? What did you think? Let me know!
*Also, I just finished watching Gossip Girl on Netflix where two of the main characters' names are Daniel and Serena.