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  • Writer's pictureMahi Sheth

Killing November: Book Review

For fans of The Naturals by Jenniffer Lynn Barnes and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, you will love this fast-paced murder-mystery thriller!

OMG! I just finished the novel Killing November by Adriana Mather, and I just could not put this book down! It was essentially a crossover between The Hunger Games with the weapons and strategies in play, and The Naturals with the murders and crimes.

Synopsis: Killing November is about a girl, November, whose father, an ex-CIA agent, has sent her away to keep her safe. November boards the plane, and she wakes up all of a sudden already at the academy. The academy is completely off the grid in a forest, has no electricity, and is surrounded by traps. As November meets the headmistress and the student body, it becomes clear that this is not a typical academy with regular Math, Science, and English classes. Instead, there are eye-for-eye punishment systems, courses ranging from Poisons to Weapons Training, to the Art of Deception. This academy has students who are children of the world's most elite strategists. The students are training to be the world’s deadliest assassins, spies, master impersonators, and more. Sharing anything personal about you is discouraged as it can be used against you. Everything is a competition, friends are rare and alliances are everywhere. When November first starts her classes, she has a serious disadvantage, she doesn’t know any of the histories of the Families, who has an alliance with whom, or even how to mask her emotions and deflect questions. As she fumbles with the classes, all the students think that her confusion and innocence are just an act. When another murder happens, all fingers point to November. November must race against the clock and find out who the killer is before she becomes the next victim, all while trying to survive a school engulfed by betrayal and deceit everywhere.

I can say that Adriana Mather has just made it onto my favorite authors' list. I love how she made November the friendliest person at the Academy where the students are training to be assassins. Talk about the irony. In the Academy, one notable aspect was how the author had all the Families have names that represented who they are and their attributes. The Families are those who can and have been enrolled in the academy. They are hidden in the shadows, deep into the crime world while being rich citizens without anyone suspecting them. The Families are similar to the Hogwarts Houses, Gryffindor standing for courageous and daring, Hufflepuff being Loyalty, Ravenclaw as clever and witty, and Slytherin as cunning and ambitious. For example, in the novel, the Wolf Family represents intuition, loyalty, and diligence. The Bear Family’s attributes are inventiveness, protectiveness, and courage.

One thing I wish Adriana Mather would have done differently was to make November know the history, maybe by having her mother or father turn the history of the Families into stories that were told to her when she went to bed at night. I felt like November not knowing the history made her fumble like a fool every minute or so. If she had known the history, then maybe it would have made her attacks and defenses stronger, making the book more enjoyable.

Rating: Overall I would give this novel 4.5/5 stars and would recommend you to read it.

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