Thursday, February 16, 2012
Book review: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
Sixteen-year-old Katerina Alexandrovna, who lives in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1888, wants nothing more than to become a doctor - which is completely unsuitable for a young woman in her position. Katerina is a duchess, related to the royal family of Russia, and so she must marry well, and can never have a career. Katerina also has a dark secret - she is a necromancer, and can raise the dead. She hates her secret power, and considers it a curse.
Katerina is forced to attend countless balls and social events by her mother, who wants her to marry well. Katerina's evil classmate at her finishing school, Princess Elena, wants Katerina to marry her older brother, Crown Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro. Elena is a witch, and Katerina suspects that she tried to kill several girls at their school. Against her will, because of her unwanted powers, Katerina is drawn into a war involving dark supernatural forces that threaten Russia.
The Gathering Storm is a book that I have mixed feelings about. There are several things that I absolutely loved about this book, and others that I wasn't that impressed with. First off, I absolutely *loved* the setting of Tsarist Russia in the late nineteenth century. The setting was very original for a young adult novel and was described really well by the author. It's obvious she did her research. I also loved the premise of the story, it's very different from any other young adult paranormal book out there. Now, on to the things I didn't like as much. This book seemed over the top with the many different kinds of supernatural creatures featured in the story. There's necromancers, fairies, vampires, witches and wizards, zombies, and werewolves. I think that's all of them! It's all a bit much for one book. Second, Katerina's character frustrated me at times. I loved that she wanted to be a doctor despite the fact that it wasn't proper for a girl of her position. However, sometimes she acted rather stupid. I wish she had asked for help rather than giving in to the bad guys because they threatened her family and friends, and she assumed that even with help she could not protect them. With all that said, I would still recommend this book to readers who are looking for something different in the young adult paranormal genre, and I still plan to read the rest of the books in the trilogy when they are published, as I want to see where the story goes.