Title: Killing November by Adriana Mather
Reviewer: Phoebe S.
Rating: 3 Stars
Killing November, by Adriana Mather, was an okay book. It wasn’t what I thought the book would be about and it didn’t have a very unique storyline. It is about teen named November, who was sent to a secret spy school by her father. The location is a secret to everyone, there is no way to contact the outside world, and you aren’t allowed to tell anyone anything from your personal life. I read this book thinking it would be about a spy school because I really enjoy those kinds of books. Although it was about that, it wasn’t the focus of the plot. In the end, it was a murder mystery, which wasn’t a bad thing but it wasn’t what I originally thought the book was going to be about.
One of the things that I love about spy and thriller books is the suspense. For example, the suspense of the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown is so excitingl; even though his books can be 500-700 pages long, I get through it so fast because I can’t put it down. Unfortunately, this book didn’t have that same kind of suspense. Especially when the story was reaching the climax and the murderer was being revealed, it didn’t get me very excited. Even though I didn’t know who the murderer was until it was revealed, the book didn’t get me excited enough to really want to figure it out. And even when it was revealed, I was still waiting for something to happen to really get me into the book.
Although the plot wasn’t very good, the characters were interesting. Each character had one thing that they were best at in the school. One character named Aarya could perfectly switch to any accent, making it almost unknown to the rest of the students were she was from. The main character was very good with word origins. Whenever she would meet a new student or teacher at the school, she would mentally go through what their name meant, and that was interesting.
I probably wouldn’t recommend this book. Even though my first complaint about the book was that it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be about, even if I had known it was going to be a murder mystery, it still wasn’t a very good murder mystery.
Even though our reviewer didn't enjoy Killing November, we know of some excellent titles that fall under the spy thriller genre. See below for our list of potentially more enjoyable readalikes, available from the York County Public Library.
- I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You by Aly Carter
Summary: As a sophomore at a secret spy school and the daughter of a former CIA operative, Cammie is sheltered from "normal teenage life" until she meets a local boy while on a class surveillance mission.
- Desert Dark by Sonja Stone
Summary: At Desert Mountain Academy, sixteen-year-old Nadia Riley begins a punishing routine to become an undercover CIA agent, but when a double-agent is reported on campus, she is the top suspect.
- The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson
Summary: Hardened by years of being hunted each St. Stephen's Day in tiny Kilshamble, Ireland, seventeen-year-old Wren, an Augur, is sent as a spy to the home of the most powerful Judge to try to regain control of the ancient, powerful magic her people once held.