Book Review: Killing November by Adriana Mather

Date of Publishing: March 26th, 2019

Author: Adriana Mather

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

This is book 1 in the series by the same name and follows November who’s father enrolls her in a school known as Academy Absconditi, a boarding school full of secrets and hidden agendas. For a girl who’s lived a normal life, Academy Absconditi is a completely new world and something she has a hard time navigating. But when your very existence is threatened and you realize that your entire life has been a lie, November has no choice but to fight for her survival and show the other students that she’s no underdog. 

I don’t have words for this book. This book blew my mind away. It kept me hooked from the first word till the last. The pacing, the storyline, the characters, and the climax everything was just perfectly executed. 

Academy Absconditi is a school I wished existed in real life. An academy that educates you in knife throwing and espionage is my kind of a school and I would love to be a student there. Learning the ways of the Strategia and following complicated bloodlines, this book is colored with intrigue. I actually wish I was a character in this book. 

Dark academia is a genre I’ve been wanting to get into for some time now and I’m so glad that I started with this book because now I’m now even more excited to dive deeper into this genre and get a better understanding of it so I can finally work on writing my own dark academia novel. 

The characters in this book were fleshed out to perfection. I loved each and everyone, with their complicated flaws and thirst for power, it really gives you an idea of just how crazy people can be. I loved Ash and Laila and how despite wanting to stay away they still help November battle through the onslaught of allegations and murder attempts. And in a place like Academy Absconditi one needs allies. However, what I liked about these characters is how morally gray they were. I love gray characters and Adriana Mather has done a stunning job of fleshing them out as such. These students do questionable things for the right reasons—at least they’re right according to them and that’s what makes them so exciting to read about. 

Moreover, the importance given to family and your lineage is an intriguing element in this series. The school might be for a particular age group, but your bloodline really spans generations and really has an impact on a student’s position in the school. So I like how the author has included this flavor, which is the perfect way to induce rivalry and enmity among the students. 

The climax was brutal and packed a punch. I kind of had a hunch who the villain was but wasn’t entirely sure, however, when the culprit did come to light I was excited and blown away at the same time; especially when his reasons for doing what he did were revealed, it just made me want to go back and read the book all over again. And the climax made way for the perfect ending with November wanting to go to her father and find out the truth about the events of her past and the past of the Strategia. 

Adriana Mather really knows how to portray relationships and with Ash and November, the relationship really is a challenge as they have to navigate through the history of their respective bloodlines and figure out if they really should be together. Loyalty is hard to come by when your own family can be out to kill you, so reading about their relationship was a roller coaster in itself. 

I am really excited to read the second book in the series. The only thing I’m sad about is that there are only two books in this series instead of seven or eight. I feel like no matter how much I read about this world of the Strategia I’ll never get enough, so it’s sad that I’d have to say goodbye to these character and this exciting world in the next book. I wish the author writes more books like this and I hope I can write as well as she does. And of course I would be reading the rest of the books written by Adriana Mather in the future. 

As for recommending this book to people, I literally want everybody to go and pick this book up. Everybody should read this book at least once in their life if not again and again. So pick up your copy of Killing November if you haven’t already and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. 

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