3 out of 5 stars
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.
My Review (no spoilers):
I was sent November Rain from the author in exchange for an honest review. November Rain is the first novel in the duology, Bad Bloods, by Shannon A. Thompson but it’s more of the a book being split in two and falls under the genre of dystopian. In this first novel we follow the main character, Serena, getting prepared to be executed because she’s a bad blood but at the last moment she is set free. Along the way, she is saved by a boy named Daniel. There’s an instant connection between the two even though they are not supposed to being even talking to each other for specific reasons. A bad blood is someone who has extraordinary abilities, and are targeted by the government from the moment they are born. Each bad blood has a different ability, so far there has been no indication of there being two or more people with the same ability. Some people might have similar powers but they are never quite the same. This was one of my favorite parts of this book, seeing the different abilities that everyone had. Just a side note, this isn’t really a spoiler, but my favorite abilities were Vi’s, and Blake’s. For some characters I’m still not quite sure what their abilities are but hopefully that will be explained in the second book.
The world that November Rain takes place isn’t really explored much in this novel, but that’s okay but it’s not really the main premise of the novel. All that we learn about Vendona is enough, since we are given the right amount of information that we need to understand Vendona and it’s customs.
In this novel, we are introduced to A LOT of characters, all different ages, which kind of made it hard to remember who was who. For some people I easily remembered them, mainly because of their abilities, but others I kept thinking “who is this?” The problem with having such a large group of characters with different ages is remembering what they look like. Sometimes I’m thinking that some of these characters are really young but they are actually teenagers or vice versa. I can see the reason why there’s such a huge cast of characters because it’s essential as to why Serena and Daniel can’t hang out together but I just wish that all the characters weren’t introduced at once or randomly introduced. So that was probably my only problem with this novel. Ok, I literally just read over a email that was sent awhile ago from the author saying that there was a prequel novel, on Wattpad, explaining the origins of many of the characters, and I wish I read it that prequel before. I think it would’ve made me like the novel better and feel more connected to the characters. So now the problem I had with this book, is not the author’s fault but mine. However, for anyone who didn’t know about the prequel may have the same problems that I did.
This novel is in two different perspectives, because it mainly focuses on Serena and Daniel and their relationship. For some reason I kind of expected there to be insta-love because of their relationship problems but surprisingly there wasn’t. Their relationship was actually played out really well and was kind of slow burning but it wasn’t to the point where I found it frustrating. It let the readers know that these two characters do care for each other, even though they never admit it, and that the connection is there and it’s deep. I’m still not sure how I feel about Serena, I want to say she’s a strong character but she doesn’t show a lot of those attributes. She’s very indecisive and I’m not quite sure what is it she wants. Serena goes back and forth with herself, and constantly questions the things she does. Hopefully some character growth will be shown in the second novel. Daniel on the other hand, knows what he wants and doesn’t second guess himself often. He has a “family” to look after which keeps him in line. I think Daniel was my favorite, because he genuinely cares about everyone and takes the risks that are needed to protect those he loves and people he doesn’t even know, like Serena. Daniel and Serena have a long way to go but as long as they have each other then I think they’ll survive.
The author did make it clear to me that it’s not necessarily a duology but just a book being cut in half, but I think that this was unnecessary. There wasn’t a lot of action in this novel, I think that was for specific reasons. It’s possible that this book was really just setting up for the second one, such as explaining the current situation and introducing all the characters. There was definitely a cliff hanger at the end of the novel which I’m still a bit confused about, but if I’m correct in my assumption on what it means than I’m definitely excited to read the second novel because I have to know what comes next.
November Rain was thrilling and exciting and get’s readers excited for more. It really focuses on the attributes of family, friends and loyalty, which was really refreshing to see in a dystopian novel. This duology has a lot of potential to be good, and hopefully many themes that people love to see in dystopian novels, will be included in the second book. I will definitely be continuing on with this duology, because I still have a lot of unanswered questions that I know will be answered in the second installment, which makes me excited to read it. November Rain will be available to read on July 18, 2016.