Reviews: Killing November and Hunting November

Posted May 20, 2020 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Reviews: Killing November and Hunting NovemberKilling November by Adriana Mather
Series: Killing November #1
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Published by Knopf Doubleday on March 26, 2019
Also by this author: How to Hang a Witch
Format: eBook (368 pages) • Source: Library
GoodreadsAmazon Barnes & Noble

It’s a school completely off the grid, hidden by dense forest and surrounded by traps. There’s no electricity, no internet, and an eye-for-an-eye punishment system. Classes include everything from Knife-Throwing and Poisons to the Art of Deception and Historical Analysis. And all of the students are children of the world’s most elite strategists—training to become assassins, counselors, spies, and master impersonators. Into this world walks November Adley, who quickly discovers that friends are few in a school where personal revelations are discouraged and competition is everything. When another student is murdered, all eyes turn to November, who must figure out exactly how she fits into the school’s bizarre strategy games before she is found guilty of the crime…or becomes the killer’s next victim.

I have to say, Dahlia’s review on Goodreads is what really made me make sure to push KILLING NOVEMBER up on my TBR. To be fair, I haven’t read THE CONSPIRACY OF US (yet) but the PRIVATE part? Yes please. I miss that series and continue to put off reading it for various reasons. I decided to dive into this one when I saw my library had a digital copy coming available soonish, and it was ready at the end of January. I thought I would lump my review in with the sequel, which was due to come out a few months after I read book one. So here we are!

I was intrigued and confused SO much at the beginning of this novel – it was completely fascinating to try to figure out what the hell was going on. No electricity, so much secrecy about everything… damn. I would have run for the hills the moment I arrived there (although it sounds like that would’ve been impossible)! The main character, November, ends up at this boarding school and is told by her ex-CIA father that she’ll be there for a few weeks while he goes to “help” her Aunt Jo with something. The place has no electricity and technology, is shrouded in secrets (the location is literally like Hogwarts and hidden somehow in the mountains), and has the sketchiest teenagers I’ve ever read about. Her roommate, Layla, is one of the oddest ones initially and it was so wild to try to figure out what the hell she was talking about.

The first half of the book was super mysterious and the reader was trying to find out what the heck was going on, along with the MC, and the second half got even wilder. November was an interesting character and it was fascinating to learn more about her life. I feel like if I say much more about what she learns, the magic will go away. No spoilers 😉

I loved the flashbacks she had to her old life, especially because its set in small town Connecticut! The book itself was definitely not set there but there were so many references to it… loved that! Without spoiling anything, it sounds like CT will be even more present in book two! I didn’t love the direction the book took toward the end but I’m still really excited to read more when the next installment comes out.

I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

Reviews: Killing November and Hunting NovemberHunting November by Adriana Mather
Series: Killing November #2
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Published by Knopf Doubleday on May 5, 2020
Also by this author: How to Hang a Witch
Format: eARC (368 pages) • Source: Publisher
GoodreadsAmazon Barnes & Noble

Surviving a few weeks at the world's most lethal boarding school was one thing. But now comes the real test: Can November Adley find her missing father before her enemies find her? Subterfuge is the name of the game in this thrilling sequel to Killing November, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Hang a Witch.
After surviving a crash course in espionage at the mysterious Academy Absconditi, November has only one purpose: finding her missing father. Along with fellow student (and heartthrob) Ash, November follows the clues that her father left, embarking on the deadliest treasure hunt of her life. The first clue is in her hometown, where old friends beckon and unexpected enemies lurk around every corner. The second clue is in Europe, where revelations about her family's history will plunge her into an international web of deception, lies, and intrigue. The third clue is deep in enemy territory, surrounded by the most skilled assassins and master strategists, and where everyone wants her and her father dead. Can one girl with limited training infiltrate a centuries-old organization that is powerful enough to topple empires? November only knows that she'll do whatever it takes to save her father . . . or die trying.

I’m so impressed by this little duo – it’s such a fascinating world! I don’t want to get too much into spoiler territory, but don’t read this review if you haven’t read book one.

When November learns what the Academy really is and all about the Strategia (very fancy families called Lion, Fox, Jaguar, and Bear), she is off on a quest to save her dad and remove the ~evil leader~ from power. Her family was in hiding forever because a Lion married a Bear (something very much not allowed in the Strategia) and her mom’s car accident death was really no accident at all.

This book had them heading to her hometown in Connecticut to start, which I obviously loved. There were definitely some incorrect Connecticut facts about Hartford, the capital, but I don’t think anyone will care about that but me lol). Their journey took them to Europe next and I don’t really want to say more.

Like I said in my review of the first book, it’s fascinating to me that Mather came up with all of this. There were so many deep strategic moves and philosophies – how did she research all of this?! I would absolutely love to read more books in this world somehow, even just following another character at the Academy to spend more time there.

I was struggling to read this month and my one complaint about this book is that it didn’t fully grab me and keep me reading. I do think this is more about MY reading slump and issues with the quarantine like many others, but I can’t give this one a higher rating because I have been able to read other addicting books quickly during this time, if that makes sense? I do highly recommend checking these books out if the synopses intrigued you because honestly they were so fun and fascinating!

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