Wednesday, December 14, 2011

ARC Review: The Gathering Storm

Title: The Gathering Storm (The Katerina Trilogy)
Author: Robin Bridges
Genre: YA Fantasy, Paranormal
Release Date: January 10, 2012

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? --Goodreads

I hate having to write bad reviews. Really, I do. But I’m not going to be dishonest either when it comes to something I just didn’t like.
And it wasn’t the fact that it was just terrible-- The Gathering Storm was written beautifully, in an elegant style with such an intriguing premise and crafty characters. Not only that, I adore Russia: the literature, the history and the legends.

So, what was my problem?

It was just too much and all over the place. There were too many people to try and keep up with… it was slow and drawn out, and often I felt really disconnected. I got lost and twisted around so much that a few times, I even had to reread some parts-- and that just annoyed me beyond words. There seemed to be way too much telling for my liking and not enough “showing” if you can understand my meaning on this. I felt overwhelmed and disappointed, despite the beautiful style of writing and unique premise. This review is genuinely hard to write because The Gathering Storm just didn’t impress me personally. Yet it doesn’t fall into the category of “bad reads” either.

Of course, these are only my own opinions. Many others so far seem to be enjoying it quite well and I can certainly see the appeal. Unfortunately, I didn’t find is as great as I had hoped.

2 stars!



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