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.
Bad Bloods, #1
Clean Teen Publishing
Publication Date: July 18th, 2016
Get a copy here!
Quick Reasons: intricate, interesting world-building; this is a bit reminiscent of The Darkest Minds series; I wish I knew more about the rules and limitations of the “blood” disease; awesome, strong characters; no romance for the win
Huge thanks to Shannon A. Thompson and Clean Teen Publishing for sending me a digital copy of this title free in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
Okay. So, this book starts us literally off RIGHT in the middle of the action, and that’s great because readers are thrown in and expected to keep their heads above water while the world of our characters is falling apart. But I sort of wish, having finished this first part, that we’d gotten a few more answers along the way. For instance… I feel like I know very little about how the “blood disease” (not quite what it is, but that’s the best way I can think to describe it) works. I guess I wish I knew more of the rules and limitations; it seems like a lot of kids have this affliction, but I’m not sure if it’s ALL the kids. It mentions something about a gene being the cause of it, but it doesn’t say WHO carries that gene or how it’s passed down. And it seems like there are varying degrees of “powers”….but again, it’s not clear how this works. Is it a product of the gene–the more prominent the gene is, the “stronger” your powers? I don’t know, and I wish I did.
The plot, though, is action-packed, and I really appreciated how intricate and complex Shannon A. Thompson made the world-building. It’s not made clear WHY these people are being rounded up and executed, apart from their “differences.” It’s mentioned several times that there are people who support and fight for them, and there are people who turn them in…but it’s unclear if this is a requirement (i.e. if families are required by the law to turn in relatives who begin showing powers) or if they do it out of fear. Actually, I feel like I know very little about the law of this world in general. I know this is set just before election day, and it’s between a man who is willing to fight for and protect the “blooded”…and a man who is willing to kill them all. But beyond that, I’m not sure what the laws are or how they effect the different groups of people–the “blooded,” the normals, etc. So while the world-building seems complex, I suppose I am a bit disappointed in the things I don’t currently know; hopefully book two will help to clear some of my confusion up.
Regardless, these characters are unique and fun. This is a two person POV, split equally between Serena and Daniel, which I appreciated–it allowed me to see from both POVs, even when the two characters weren’t together, which they weren’t for a large portion of this book. There also seemed to be very little romance between the two main characters. While I think it COULD go that direction, eventually, there is no romance in this first book–instead, the plot is focused on the politics (sort of), the drama of the world around them, and their individual struggles. At this point in the read, while I realize that it *could* happen that Serena and Daniel form a romantic attachment…. I don’t see it happening, which I sort of enjoy about this book. With the pressure of chemistry and “believable romance” taken off the table, Shannon A. Thompson was allowed to better focus on the world-building and the action.
Overall, this was a super intriguing and fun read. The world-building seems intricate and complex, though I’m a bit disappointed in how little we actually KNOW about the politics and rules surrounding the “blooded.” I definitely recommend to lovers of dystopian novels, fast-paced and action-packed plots, and strongly defiant characters. I cannot WAIT to pick up book two; hopefully, it’ll help clear up some of my lingering confusion!