Wednesday 25 January 2012

Bite-Sized Book Review: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges.

Product details:
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 389 pages.
Release date: January 10th 2012.
Rating: DNF/1½ out of 5 for my partial read.
Source: Netgalley

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?

The Gathering Storm, the first in a trilogy from debut author Robin Bridges promised so much but failed to deliver on a number of counts. Unfortunately this one with which combines what should have been a glorious historical setting with what should have been an intoxicating paranormal twist, just fell flat for me. The story of Katerina, a Russian Duchess with a deadly secret, was slow moving and convoluted with clunky dialogue, a confusing amount of characters, many with similar names, and a plot and setting which fell completely flat. The Tsarist Russian setting of the book, which is what initially piqued my interest in relation to The Gathering Storm, just didn’t come to life for me on its pages, although I appreciated the inclusion of a number of actual figures from the history of the time, and the research that went into reimagining them for this story.

With its Imperial Russian setting and myriad of paranormal elements, The Gathering Storm sounded like just my kind of book.  The historical and paranormal aspects of the story though, don’t complement each other in this complex debut that I had to give up on.

Disclaimer: I read to approx. page 200 of this book and then skipped to the final chapters to see how things wrapped up.

Bite-Sized Book Reviews: A review in approx 200 words for when I need to play catch up on reviews!


  1. That's disappointing, this one looks like such a great premise;(

    And can I just say, I have been reading a book I just CAN'T seem to make it through (I'm on page 217), but want to see how it ends too.I may have to borrow on your idea and just skip to the very end! :)

    1. I struggled right to the end with a couple of books last year when I really wasn't enjoying them. I'm being a bit more ruthless with my reading this year. I rarely DNF, but I just couldn't get into this one.

  2. Yet I really enjoyed it.
    Fab honest review - we can't all love everything :D

  3. True! I was really looking forward to this one too. Just didn't work out for me.

  4. i really want to read this, but I've seen similar reviews to yours, so i'm a little wary. may still try it though.

  5. I have this on my wishlist but I've been very disappointed by all the reviews so far :( Oh well. Maybe I'll skip it.

    Xpresso Reads

  6. I actually put this book down about...75 pages in? And I haven't picked it up again since. I'm glad it's not just me! I might give it another go sometime, but the middling reviews I've seen, including yours, aren't too promising. :/ Thanks for your honesty.

    Bittersweet Review @ The Midnight Garden

  7. Really interesting to have read a positive and negative review of this in the same day. Love the sound of the setting, but the plot sounds really convoluted and I'm not a huge fan of historical novels, so I might give this one a miss (unless it gets published here) Great honest review Leanna

    The Cait Files

  8. oh, that's too bad .. I have a copy of this book on my shelves but have yet to read it !! I was looking forward to it but I've read a lot of negative reviews on it so I'm not planning on reading it any time soon !!
    Thanks for the honest review :) !

  9. If any of you guys do read it, I'll keep an eye out to see what you think. I've seen both very positive and very negative reviews for this one. It's certainly dividing opinion!

  10. Yeah, this one I liked but it's a forgettable story. I can't recall any solid details. Sucks, because I expected A LOT from this one.

  11. This is the third did not finish review I've read of this one this week, and since the bloggers writing them have been ones whose opinions I trust, I think I'm going to pass on it for now. I have too many other books that I need to read at the moment! Lol.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  12. Ugh, I just purchased this book. I wanted to give it a shot because the setting and historical time period really caught my interest. But I haven't read a single positive review! Thanks for your honest on this one!!

  13. "Slow moving and convoluted with clunky dialogue, a confusing amount of characters, many with similar names, and a plot and setting which fell completely flat." 100% agreed!

  14. I didn't like this one either, although I really wanted to! I liked the setting but that was about it--the Romanovs as vampires, etc. was just a bit over the top for me.

  15. I'm glad you decided to review it. I'm still disappointed about this book. I had such high hopes :(


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