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Goodreads⎮Reviewed Sep. 2017
Narrator: Jonathan Johns
Length: 5 hours 15 minutes
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing⎮2017
Synopsis: 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 the election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote. Now, Daniel must unite with her before all hope is lost and bad bloods are eradicated, even if it means exposing secrets worse than death itself. United or not, a city will fight, rain will fall, and all will be threatened by star-crossed love and political corruption.
4.25★ Audiobook⎮ At first glance, November Rain probably looks familiar. A dystopian world that shuns youth with supernatural abilities sounds like it could be any number of other YA tales, some from big-name publishers. I was a bit cynical going into this one because of it. But what separates November Rain from those super hyped books is Shannon A. Thompson’s magnificent character development and overall writing ability. That’s why I’m calling November Rain a Hidden Gem.
November Rain was only a little over 5 hours long, but I would have sat through much more of it than that. I actually wish it would have been a couple of hours longer and not just because of the cliffhanger ending. Getting to know Thompson’s characters was like slowly lowering into a hot bath. Intense, but at the same time oh-so-enjoyable.
The story was fast-paced, but not action-packed. This installment was driven more by character development than plot. Thompson introduced the world through her characters. There’s political turmoil going on, but we only hear of it as it affects the characters. It’s clearly something that will come more into focus in future installments.
Daniel and Serena were equally compelling protagonists. Both with heartbreaking backstories, there’s still so much about them to be revealed. Even the secondary characters were intriguing and dynamic in their own rights.
November Rain is a series that I look forward to following. This installment was obviously only the tip of the iceberg and I’m practically salivating for more. Published by Clean Teen Publishing, it’s perfect for fans of all ages. It’s particularly well suited for those who’ve enjoyed work by Marie Lu, Victoria Schwab, Lauren Oliver, and Veronica Roth. I only wish it had been a bit longer or had provided a little more closure at the end. Still, I hope Thompson plans on expanding the series on audiobook soon!
Narration review: Jonathan Johns has a very distinct tone to his voice. It’s somehow simultaneously soothing and intense. He handled the characters’ wide range of emotions beautifully, showing just how dynamic his voice can be. I was particularly impressed with his interpretations of the secondary characters.
However, I do wish there had been a more significant distinction between the two primary characters’ voices, especially when reading prose. The story frequently switched POVs between Daniel and Serena. My only real struggle with the story came from my inability to consistently grasp which of them was speaking. This made listening somewhat frustrating at times, but I still completely recommend this audiobook. The production quality was fantastic and it made for an overall enjoyable listening experience. ♣︎
➜This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its narrator, Jonathan Johns, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Jonathan!
$ Available at Audible/Amazon