Tuesday 20 December 2011

Book Review- The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

The Gathering Storm (Katerina Alexandrovna, #1)Title: The Gathering Storm
 Author: Robin Bridges
Series:  The Katerina Trilogy #1
To be published:  January 10 2012 by Delacorte Press
Length: 400 pages
Warnings: a little violence, romance
Source: Netgalley
Other info: This is Robin Bridge’s debut novel.
Summary : 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?
Review: This is set in 1880s Russia, and centres around Katerina, a young necromancer. As well as the dead being brought back to life, this Russia also contains many different types of vampires, faeries, witches and many paranormal creatures connected somehow to Russian folkore. And with all the mystery going on at court, various things happen and Katerina is the only one who can really do anything about it.
I don’t normally read things involving Russia, mainly because there’s not that many YA books set in Russia. Or maybe they are, and I’ve not heard of them. But anyway, this was a new culture for me. The way the faerie and vampire and other paranormal races were woven into the Nobility was very interesting, and done in a way that I love.d. Really, the actual nobility were the creatures. Fun. 
Katerina is a great lead character, she’s strong, not afraid to voice her opinions and dreams of being a doctor, something almost unheard of for women in those days. I don’t think the other characters were quite as well done, possibly excepting her mother, who was strong and interesting in her own way. The romance, while not being particularly amazing, didn’t detract from enjoying the book either, and was just there.  The biggest drawback in this is the names. All very similar, as per Russian tradition, but hard to remember and distinguish.
The mystery and the part of the plot that was interesting didn’t really pick up until later on in the novel. Until then, it was fairly repetitive. And then when it did all pick up, I was hooked until the end.
I loved the rich mythology and the whole variety of things used. It was very interesting to read about the set up of the nobility, and also the set up of the Faerie and Vampire courts and so and so.
We're kept guessing throughout the second half, partly due to the stuff that's happening and the ways it could go, and partly because of the way things are easily mixed up (at least for me).
Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a very original book with a strong heroine that I want to see more of.
Links: Goodreads |

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Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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