November Rain (Bad Bloods, # 1)
By: Shannon A Thompson
Published: July 18th 2016 by Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, SciFi, Dystopian
Source: Author for review (Thank you!!) (also a freebie on Amazon)
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Goodreads description--Seventeen-year-old Serena isn’t human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces imminent death, a prison guard aids her escape and sparks a revolt. Back on the streets determined to destroy her kind, Serena is spared by a fellow bad blood named Daniel. His past tragedies are as equally mysterious as her connection to them.
Unbeknownst to the two, this connection is the key to winning the election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote. Now, Daniel must unite with her before all hope is lost and bad bloods are eradicated, even if it means exposing secrets worse than death itself. United or not, a city will fight, rain will fall, and all will be threatened by star-crossed love and political corruption.
I finished November Rain three weeks before typing this review. I usually never wait this long to write a review. I have a self-imposed 48-hour limit under normal circumstances. But I've had the hardest time deciding what to say about November Rain. November Rain and November Snow are essentially "one book broken into two parts due to length" (per Shannon A Thompson). As such, November Rain really did feel incomplete. It started out great. I was pretty hooked into the characters and the story, but the story really doesn't feel like it stands on it's own as an individual book. The conflict for the two books is set up in November Rain, but I didn't feel like November Rain had enough individual conflict to justify the split in the books.
Part of my difficulty deciding what to say is because after I finished it I jumped right into November Snow. Where I read November Rain quickly, I was getting stalled on November Snow. And since the two books are essentially one story that seemed to hinder my ability to process and analyze. However, since these books are being released separately I'm going to do my best to review them separately without being influenced by the other piece of the puzzle.
Serena and Daniel both felt like strong characters with fleshed out backgrounds. Their intentions and motivations felt genuine. They had a spark from their first encounter, but trust and romance were a bit slower to build even though looking back I can't remember how much time actually passes in the first book. Both were likeable, and I think that was in large part due to their deep love for those they consider their family. Serena and Daniel are both willing to put themselves on the line for the kids in their flocks.
That leads me to two different points. The side characters are a bit overwhelming at first. There are twelve members to each flock. And that's not all of the side characters. Twenty-four+ characters...that's a lot of characters to try to keep straight. It was a bit overwhelming.
My second point is the world building. It was clear to me that Shannon A Thompson spent a lot time creating this world, the politics behind it, the characters. But up I'm not sure that enough of the world was conveyed to the reader. Her writing is done so in a way that is an attempt to maintain a bit of suspense and intrigue, but November Rain ends before you got any real answers. I did enjoy the diversity in the Bad Bloods' powers. That part reminded me of X-men if you like that sort of supernatural aspect.
I feel like my review has come off more negative than I really feel. I read November Rain really quickly. I wanted to keep reading. I wanted to come back to it. I wanted to know more about the characters and the world of the Bad Bloods. I enjoyed the characters and wanted to know what was going to happen next when the book came to an end. But I did have a few issues and my biggest problem revolved around the split in the books. November Rain gets 3.5 Stars from me. Have you read November Rain? What did you think? Let me know!
This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.