Set for July 18th release, the first book of Bad Bloods, November Rain was sent to me for an honest review by the author, Shannon A. Thompson.
For those of you who don’t know Shannon, I have reviewed her trilogy, The Timely Death Trilogy. You can find the review for it here:
Suffice to say that I’m a big fan of her work. The trilogy is done really well and she has some incredible imagination and ideas that I truly love reading. However, I believe my fave of her work goes to Take Me Tomorrow that I still hope will get a follow-up eventually. However, we’re here for her upcoming release and that is for her two part story, Bad Bloods. The first is November Rain that we will be looking at today. The follow-up, November Snow will be released a week later on July 25th and that review will be coming up fairly soon as well.
Let’s check out November Rain!
November Rain (Bad Bloods #1)
by: Shannon A. Thompson
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 an election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote.
When the two 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 every bad blood they know will come together to fight and win, but very few of them will survive to see the day. Bad blood or human, a city will burn, and all will be united by catastrophic secrets and irrevocable tragedy. –Goodreads
November Rain is part one of a two part story featured as Bad Bloods. It works on many levels. For one, the dystopian world here is imaginative because of its fantasy elements. While bad bloods are a species kind of like mutants in X-Men, they aren’t too different except that they have special abilities and its our main character’s Serena’s abilities that make her special. However, we will look at characters a little later. November Rain takes a alternating two voice narrative between Serena and Daniel. It seems to be a signature approach for Shannon A Thompson. The Timely Death Trilogy also took this approach. There is nothing wrong with it however because she manages to keep her timeline and the events of both characters very well. It helps us see a part of the story on either side but still have surprises in our discoveries as the story unfolds.
The story builds its characters and lets us feel the relationships between them carefully. It takes the time especially through the two voices to better understand the motives of our characters and their personality. While both of them have different instincts and backgrounds, especially when they also different in the group they are associated with in the bad blood community, there is also a bigger issue that pushes the story along with the bad bloods having issues with the groups at the desperate time when humans are trying to wipe them off completely. There is a mystery connection between Serena and our male main character, Daniel and it works successfully at keeping the readers guessing on what they feel. However, it does apply to the fact that Serena, while seemingly weaker in personality and much more trusting, she still has a strong character that follows a lot of her feelings. Daniel is a little different in a way that he seems to be more planned but also carry a lot of pain in him that he struggles to let go of.
However, November Rain is only half of a complete story. It stops at a good point but does beg its readers to keep going on the adventure in November Snow. With a double narrative and a good pace to the story, November Rain delivers on building mysterious and intriguing characters in a world that has a lot of dangers for the bad bloods who are being executed, however also hoping for the upcoming election that could change everything. The secret is Serena but no one quite knows how and why she has the connection with Daniel. It drops us off with a lot of questions in the end and promises many more secrets to reveal. I can’t yet place judgement on whether this would be just better as one book or as two until I read the next one but that is something that has been on my mind. While November Rain is a fun read and very much a page turner, I can’t help but feel that I was not as impressed as from some of her previous works that I’ve read. There are a lot of imaginative ideas here and the approach is done well, however, there are some parts that remain to be answered. I wonder if it will all clear up after the next book.
You can find the books here upon their release: