Bad Bloods: July Thunder by Shannon A Thompson Review

Sometimes we just need a smaller, more grounded story to remind us that conflicts aren’t always about saving the world from a big bad, but are sometimes more subtle.

Fourteen-year-old Violet has been called many things: a bad blood, a survivor, an immortal…now she has a new name—citizen. But adjusting to a lawful life is not easy, especially when she must live under the rule of the same officers who justified the killings of her flock only eight months earlier.

Segregation of bad bloods and humans is still in effect, and rebellious Violet steps into a school where she is not allowed. When the police get involved, things deteriorate quickly, sparking a new revolution at the wall separating the Highlands from the outskirts.

That's when Caleb steps in. He might appear to be an average sixteen-year-old bad blood, but he has secrets, and Violet is determined to figure them out. Caleb knows who's attacking the wall and why, but his true identity remains a mystery—and how he relates to Violet could shake the threatened city to its very core.

Together or not, a storm will form, a rally will start, and shocking truths will be revealed. – summary

“I’d learned two rules since President Henderson declared bad bloods had the right to live again.
1. Freedom came with rules attached.
2. Breaking rules was in my blood.”

I have to begin by thanking Shannon A. Thompson for giving me the chance to read and review Bad Bloods: July Thunder. She has lots of great novels (including this one) that you should check out!

I really like the anthological duology style that Shannon Thompson has decided to go for with these Bad Bloods novels. Instead of having a very long series all centered around two characters, Bad Bloods switches POV and takes a small jump in time every two books. Not only does this mean you get the chance to fall in love with more characters, but you also get a broader view of the world she has built. To demonstrate this, July Thunder brought a human POV as well as a bad blood’s. Caleb brings new opinions, secrets, and information to this world we thought we knew. Through his character we are able to see parts of the city we hadn’t previously explored and get more of a grasp on the setting.

Speaking of characters, not only does Shannon Thompson introduce great new ones, she also allows older ones play a role into the story. Daniel and Serena both play a smaller role in the novel but they show up a good bit and Caleb even has a mysterious grudge against Daniel. I have a hunch that Daniel and Serena will play a larger role in July Lightning, so I’m excited to see that.

Before going into July Thunder, one should understand that it is centered much more on the small struggles between characters, rather than fighting some crazy overlord. This really give Shannon Thompson the time to flesh out many different characters causing you to fall in love with them, hoping for the best in their future. I LOVE this! I am a sucker for great characters, and July Thunder has no short of them. It almost feels like a contemporary novel set in a post-dystopian world. I say this because, in the last novel many things were resolved and we are now left with characters attempting to clean up the societal mess in the first duology. Now we are left with mostly minor character struggles, which can sound dull, but I promise is really intriguing.

Overall, Bad Bloods: July Thunder is a unique story with a strong focus on the brilliant characters rather than a world changing plot. Characters are truly given a chance to shine and the world a chance to be explored. I highly recommend the Bad Bloods novels for everyone but especially for someone who wants a smaller and more grounded narrative.

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