Monday 13 May 2024

Bad Blood - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4

Bad Blood
The Naturals Book 4
ISBN 9780316540865
eISBN 9781484758540

Bad Blood - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4

I picked a copy of the first book a couple of years ago because my niece was reading it at the time. However, it got lost in the plethora of books on my kindle and I never got around to reading it. This year my youngest, 13, picked it to read in class for school reading and a book report. She has to read the physical copy and read it in class. She debated between this and the Inheritance Games series, both had come highly recommended, but a few other girls in her class were doing Inheritance. While picking it up for my daughter I read the prologue and was hooked. My daughter is a little mad that I read it in 1 day and she has to wait and read it in class, but oh well! And she is even madder that I have now read the four novels and she has still not finished book 1, and is not allowed past chapter 26 yet. (I had told her on March break to read book 1 and do the report on book 2. But she held out.)

The description of this volume states:

“When Cassie Hobbes joined the FBI's Naturals program, she had one goal: uncover the truth about her mother's murder. But now, everything Cassie thought she knew about what happened that night has been called into question. Her mother is alive, and the people holding her captive are more powerful -- and dangerous -- than anything the Naturals have faced so far. As Cassie and the team work to uncover the secrets of a group that has been killing in secret for generations, they find themselves racing a ticking clock. New victims. New betrayals. New secrets.

When the bodies begin piling up, it soon becomes apparent that this time, the Naturals aren't just hunting serial killers.

They're being hunted.”

I will start this fourth review with this same preamble, this series started just a year after Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers series which I read as they were releasing. I absolutely loved killers. The two series share a lot of tropes, and have some similar events, I believe both are worth reading. This series has a somewhat similar feel, except it is a team of ‘naturals’ young adults with special abilities, such as: human lie detector, ability to read emotions and feelings almost exactly and of course natural profilers. Cassie’s is brought in as the newest member of the team. This story is set a while after the last victim. But based on the information they gathered in the last volume they are watching the dates very closely. The last story concluded with events that  are being worked out in this volume. 

Things have changed a lot since book one. Book 1 was about Cassie’s recruitment and the team was mainly supposed to work on cold cases, until a killer starts sending them gifts. Book 2 has a copycat and is a case that hits close to home. And again they are working on an active investigation. Book three starts right after most of the team has been home for Christmas break. They immediately are taken to Vegas and set up to assist with this active investigation. In this one they finally have a clue to chase down and soon Cassie’s memories are being unlocked and the whole team is committed to seeing this through. But the stakes are higher, and soon bodies for the new apprentice killer are piling up, and they are hitting close to home.

This story and series are very well written. I think this is the best book in the series, yet. The characters are masterfully written, both our key team of Naturals, Judd, the 2 agents, and a friend of the one of the Naturals with a very specific talent. Cassie and the team must work together and against a clock, and against clear danger. This story moves at a great pace, with the whole story taking place over a few days. 

This novel does a great job of wrapping up this story arch. There is a novella in this world that is called book 4.5 called Twelve. But I cannot but hope that at some point Barnes picks up the pen again and gives us a new story featuring these people or goes back and gives us the Night Shade Killer Stories or others we find out about that predate this series. 

Overall, I am very impressed with this story and the series. The end of the story has come and it was a well written climax and conclusion. I am still surprised it took me almost a decade to hear about this series. Especially since when it released, I was reading and reviewing a lot of Young Adult books. This story is a great final novel in a series. But it does leaves you hoping for more. I will state again, because of the serial killer investigations absolutely not for all readers, one student in my daughter’s class read a few pages and passed on the series, for now at least. A great read for mature teens and young adults, or even some of us older folks.

p.s. both my niece and daughter really prefer the original covers. And I admit I lean that way as well. Fortunately, the eBooks I have still have the original covers for the first three still.

Books by Jennifer Lynn Barnes:
The Lovely and the Lost (2019)
Nobody (2013)
Every Other Day (2011)

The Naturals Series:
All In (2015)
Bad Blood (2016)
Twelve (2017)

The Inheritance Games Series:
The Inheritance Games (2020)
The Hawthorne Legacy (2021)
The Final Gambit (2022)
The Brothers Hawthorne (2023)

Debutantes Series:
Little White Lies (2018)
Deadly Little Scandals (2019)

The Fixer Series:
The Fixer (2015)
The Long Game (2016)

Raised by Wolves Series:
Raised by Wolves (2010)
Sweet Sixteen (2015)
Trial by Fire (2011)
Taken by Storm (2012)

The Squad Series:
Perfect Cover (2008)
Killer Spirit (2008)

Tattoo Series:
Tattoo (2007)
Fate (2009)

Golden Series:
Golden (2006)
Platinum (2007)

The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 1

Killer Instinct - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 2

All In - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 3

Bad Blood - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4

Twelve - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4.5

The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 1  Reprint Edition

Killer Instinct - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 2  Reprint Edition

All In - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 3

Bad Blood - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4  Reprint Edition

Twelve - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4.5  Reprint Edition

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