Book Review: Killing November (Book #1) by Adriana Mather

Title: Killing November
Author: Adriana Mather
Series: Killing November, Book 1
Page Count: 411 pages
Genre: YA, Academy Thriller
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 26, 2019

Publisher’s Summary: November is as good as dead. She just doesn’t know it yet.

At the international Academy Absconditi, there’s no electricity, no internet, and an archaic eye-for-an-eye punishment system. Classes range from knife throwing and poisons to the art of deception. And the students? All silver-spoon descendants of the world’s most elite strategists–training to become assassins, spies, and master impersonators.

One is a virtuoso of accents–and never to be trusted. Another is a vicious fighter determined to exploit November’s weaknesses. And then there’s the boy with the mesmerizing eyes and a secret agenda.

November doesn’t know how an ordinary girl like her fits into the school’s complicated legacy. But when a student is murdered, she’ll need to separate her enemies from her allies before the crime gets pinned on her . . . or she becomes the killer’s next victim.

My Thoughts: Killing November is a fast-paced, high-stakes YA academy-style thriller featuring secret societies, a deadly boarding school, and a diverse cast of characters with assassin-like skills. I love Adriana Mather’s previous two titles, How to Hang a Witch and Haunting the Deep. While I was entertained by November, I didn’t connect with her as closely as I did with Sam in Mather’s other series. It might’ve been because of the setting; a neighborhood and high school in Salem, Massachusetts is a little more relatable than an academy in an unknown location that teaches teenagers how to be assassins. One memorable character was an antagonist named Arya who could speak in any accent so perfectly, November has no way of knowing where she’s really from. I did try to read the sequel (Hunting November) when it was released a year later, but had forgotten so much from Book 1, I fell off the wagon after a few chapters. I’m eagerly looking forward though to Mather’s next release, and hope she puts out a new How to Hang a Witch series book soon!

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