Killing November, by Adriana Mather, is a thrilling story of a secret boarding school for the children of the world’s most powerful families. The curriculum is tailored to produce assassins and spies, and creates maximum tension and conflict between students.
From the publisher:
November is as good as dead. She just doesn’t know it yet.
At the 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? Silver-spoon descendants of the world’s most elite strategists–all training to become asassins, spies, and master imporsonators.
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 or her…or she becomes the killer’s next victim.
Killing November drops readers right in to the action and doesn’t stop. November wakes up at the Academy Absconditi with no idea why her father enrolled her, year after most students begin their education there. She doesn’t think she has anything in common with the children of power families, and can’t understand why so many students seem to hate her.
As November learns more about the origins of the boarding school and the backgrounds of the other students, she begins to realize there’s a lot she doesn’t know about her family. While other students are already quite adept at hand-to-hand combat, fighting with swords and knives, and the art of deception, November is forced to catch up in a hurry.
It’s unclear who November can trust. Any offer of help from a classmate could be a cleverly-disguised double-cross. Everyone has an agenda, and as the bodycount climbs, November realizes she may be next.
I really enjoyed Killing November. It’s a fast-paced read with a lot of suspense. It’s never really clear who November’s true friends and foes are, which adds tension to nearly every scene. I look forward to reading the sequel, Hunting November, which came out last month.