Okay everyone, Chelsea from Books For Thought is here to write a guest post review! Enjoy!
Hey guys! I’m excited to be sharing a short review of The Gathering Storm (and maybe a few lines about the sequel, The Unfailing Light) by Robin Bridges.
The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
Published January 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
3 / 5 stars
Synopsis: St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.
An evil presence is growing within Europe’s royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina’s strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar’s standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina’s help to safeguard Russia, even if he’s repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.
The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?
Disappointment is the first thought that comes to mind as I start this review. The summary of the book makes it sound really cool! It’s not that the book wasn’t cool but I feel that the summary isn’t a fair summary of this book. The summary makes you think this is a paranormal book about a necromancer (and it is) but there’s SO MANY more paranormal creatures that I wasn’t expecting. I swear, each new character that we meet (and there’s too many of them) is a different type of creature. It was confusing and I was completely thrown off guard which I did not appreciate. Do you know what bothered me even more though? The fact that these paranormal creatures are mentioned so casually! “Hey I’m Joe and I’m a bloodsucking vampire.” “Oh but I’m Sally and I’m a faerie.” And then our main character is like “Oh great. Cool. Nice to meet you. I didn’t know vampires and faeries existed but if you say so.” It drove me crazy!
I was also crazy confused during this first book. I probably couldn’t recap what happened. There were too many characters and creatures and it took all my efforts to keep track of them so I couldn’t keep track of the story. It’s a shame really because the plot actually seemed decent.
One good thing I can talk about it how awesome it was to read a book about historical Russia. There were balls and royalty and politics, all things I don’t usually like but the setting made it so much more interesting for me. I definitely got a Russia vibe while reading this book which was why I picked it up in the first place!
I was trying to get all the negative out of the way because even though that’s what I’m ranting about, this book wasn’t horrible. The second one was better than the first in my opinion. While I didn’t really enjoy our main character that much (she was WAY too stupid for me) I did enjoy one of the male characters George. He’s the only character that seemed to know his role in the story. I actually only picked up the second book in hopes that we got to see more of him (we did!). I keep talking about all the little annoyances I had with this book but when it was finished I had actually enjoyed myself a little.
3 / 5 stars.