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Posted March 13, 2013
Posted May 22, 2012
Really 4.5 stars This was one of my highly-anticipated debuts f
Really 4.5 starsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This was one of my highly-anticipated debuts for 2012, and thank goodness I didn't have to wait long into the year to read it! With an exotic Russian setting, an intriguing world of paranormal creatures in the royal court, and a boy worth swooning over, Robin Bridges created a fantastic debut novel and one that kept me up reading into the wee hours of the morning.
From her childhood, Katerina Alexandrovna has carried a dark secret with her: She is a necromancer and can reanimate the dead. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, she dreams of attending medical school and becoming a doctor. However, she is also a duchess and expected to behave in the royal court and to marry well. Yet when the tsar's son is in danger from a spell, Katerina cannot help but use her power to protect him. Soon she is caught up in a battle that has lasted for centuries, a battle spanning all of the nobility as well as the living and even the dead. Katerina must try to unravel the plot and stop it before it is too late. But to make matters even more complicated, there are boys. Both carry their own secrets, and being with either one would greatly affect the course of Katerina's life. Katerina will have to embrace who she is and to make a choice...a choice that could affect Russia as she knows it...
I think my love for books with foreign settings has been pretty well established, and the setting of The Gathering Storm is no exception. I enjoyed traveling back in time with Katerina to the late 1800s and being part of the Russian nobility, attending balls and witnessing an era when chivalry was very much alive. The addition of the paranormal elements to this world was nothing short of ingenious. There were a variety of paranormal creatures in this book, from faeries to vampires and beyond, yet rather than being overwhelming, all of these elements worked together to create a truly fascinating world. I found myself caught up in the mystery and intrigue of both the paranormal world and the two boys right along with Katerina. I loved that she looked for the reason behind things - in line with her desire to be a doctor - instead of being a "normal" debutante and only looking for a husband. And for those of you who read "two boys" in the summary and immediately thought "love triangle," let me assure you, it's not what you would expect. There are, however, definitely romance scenes in here that will leave you smiling.
There were only two things I wanted with this story - a better way to keep all of the nobility straight, because the amount of names was a bit overwhelming at first - and more. More of the brilliant writing, more of the world, more interaction between Katerina and George. After the ending of this book, I cannot wait to see how everything works out for Katerina.
Blending elements of historical fiction and the paranormal, The Gathering Storm is a fresh new story that will capture you from the very first pages. I will be eagerly anticipating the next book in this trilogy!
Posted May 11, 2012
The Gathering Storm is a wonderful and thoroughly entertaining s
The Gathering Storm is a wonderful and thoroughly entertaining start to what I'm sure will be a great series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Katerina, our protagonist was a character that I really liked. While she tries hard to keep her power to raise the dead a secret she unfortunately gets her secret found out by a few people. I did feel bad for Katerina because once her secret is known she manages to get herself into quite a mess. However, I do think Katerina was a strong character, she did what she had to do, she was very protective of the people she cared about, and she did the best she could to try to fix her mistakes.
One of the tsar's sons George is one of the people that becomes entangled with Katerina and her secret power. I didn't like George at first because he was rude to Katerina and blamed her for things that weren't her fault. Over time though, as they were around each other more and began to understand each other is when I really started to like him. I am very interested to see where the relationship between George and Katerina will go in the future.
Prince Danilo and his sisters were very sinister and ambitious. They are definitely the type of people who will do whatever is necessary to get what they want and they don't let anything or anybody stand in their way. Whenever they appeared in the book you knew something interesting was about to happen. While Prince Danilo and his sisters were pretty creepy I do have to say that I also found them intriguing as well and am interested to see what else we will learn about them in the future.
Anyone who knows me knows I love historical books so of course this one was no exception. The setting, Russia in the 1800s along with the supernatural element of the story made for a really fascinating story. Watching Katerina tying to deal with her powers and get herself out of the mess she got herself in definitely held my attention and I was never bored. This book doesn't end on a cliffhanger but there are quite a few things left open to be picked up on in future books. I'm definitely excited to read the next book when it comes out.
Final Verdict: The Gathering Storm is a great start to what I'm sure will be a wonderful series. I can't wait for the next book to come out as I'm very excited to see what happens next.
*This review is also posted on my blog and my other social media profiles.
Posted March 17, 2012
The Gathering Storm was my first into the world of history and folklore. I thought the book was a good blend of suspense, romance, and forklore. I'm looking forward to Robin's next book in the Katerina Trilogy series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 28, 2012
A suspenseful supernatural tale set in historical Russia.
The Gathering Storm is the debut novel of Robin Bridges and the first in her Katerina Trilogy. Bridges' paranormal novel delivers, from the historical aspects of Russia to the supernatural. This was a delightful tale of vampires, fairies, werewolves, witches, necromancers and other supernatural creatures. A combination of Russian history and folklore make this an exciting, addictive read. The protagonist Is Katerina Alexandrovna, she is the Duchess of Oldenburg, residing in Russia during the reign of Tsar Alexander III. Katerina is a necromancer, but she views this as a curse. She attempts to hide her gift and wants no part in using the ability. Once as a small child she used it, to save her mother’s cat, but she quickly realized the cat was wrong. Since she hasn’t even told her parents her secret, she understands very little about her ability and is fearful to share it with anyone. Katerina is attending finishing school. A school which is more concerned with ballroom dancing then studies. Katerina longs to attend medical school at a time when woman are banned from being doctors. Her dearest friends are more concerned with catching the eye of the highest titled and richest young man. Katerina has been inspired by the first woman in the field and daydreams of going abroad to study. Alas, she has been born to an era where alliances and families’ incomes are dependent on securing good marriages for their daughters. In a world filled with balls, gorgeous gowns, ballet, and musicals there is a dark underbelly filled with witches, vampires, werewolves and Fae all vying to secure their place. Katerina attracts the attentions of a powerful family, when she uses her gift to save a member of the royal family. As this family attempts to secure power, they use their skills to lure Katerina. Their young son uses his power and threats to woe her. At the same time she attracts the attentions of George (the Tsar’s middle son). He pledges to keep her safe, but she is constantly getting herself into trouble trying to solve things, and of course the young vampire Prince Danile wants to make her his bride. The tale that unfolds is captivating and complex. People are being poisoned, guards are being murdered and bodies are rising from the dead. As Katerina struggles to uncover who is causing these attacks, she finds herself caught up in the middle of things. When she is offered help by elders, she finds herself confused as light fights dark. With Prince Danile and George breathing down her neck, can she save the royal family before it’s too late? There is romance or the hint of it in this novel, but delightfully it takes a backseat to all the suspense, plots, and supernatural events. This book completely captured me, and it was delightful to see young Katerina come into herself and protect those she loves; even at great sacrifice to herself. I found other characters to be delightful as well. I liked George, and Katerina’s friends and even the dreadful Princess Elena.
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Posted January 23, 2012
Wonderful blend of history and magic
Robin Bridges has created a beautiful debut that really pulled me in and played with my emotions. The blend of history and magic had me from the very beginning--actually, it had me from the moment that I read the description. I've been craving more historical fiction and the fantasy elements mixed in had me more than a little intrigued. And I was HOOKED. This book was really a thrilling read for me with a blend of action, magic, and romance. Katerina was a character that I was intrigued by from the beginning. Her skills as a necromancer set her apart from many other YA heroines. I've read lots of books with witches and dragons and shifters and vampires and fey...but a necromancer struck me as something new and different. She's also a strong young woman who wants to be a doctor, something relatively unheard of during this time period and actually banned in Russia, and I liked that she defied stereotypes while still going along with the societal customs that were expected of her. The cast of characters in this book is also nothing to scoff at. There is a lot going on with a lot of different people, which you might think could be overwhelming. However, Ms. Bridges successfully wove each character into her story and made them memorable enough that I was generally not confused about who was doing what and what was going on. Even in the large cast, she was also able to make certain characters really stand out and draw your attention, like the Crown Prince Danilo, Katerina's cousin, Dariya, and the Grand Duke George. The Gathering Storm wasn't perfect. I found myself sometimes thrown by the amount of magic going on in the society and the accepted presence of fey and vampires throughout. Also, while I wanted there to be romance between Katerina and George, I found myself a bit taken aback by how it seemed to come out of nowhere (or possibly to come on a little too intensely) when it did happen. Despite these minor setbacks, I'm excited to read more in this series because the setting and characters truly captured my imagination. I'm excited to see where Katerina's journey will take her and what future struggles, both magical and personal, she will endure. Thankfully it looks like the sequel will come out later in 2012!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 21, 2012
Live To Read
Katerina is one of the most powerful necromancers, yet she doesn't stand up for herself.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Katerina's ability remains hidden through her own mechanisms, she doesn't want to be exploited or viewed as different. Katerina can be a little hard-headed, the reader will want to shake her on more than one occasion. She stays with "friends" she knows are dangerous and ignores warnings about a certain boy. However, although she is not easy to connect to, the reader will most likely find her a good character halfway through the book.
The settings are very well described, the author does not spare a single detail when it comes to the beauty of Russia and the elegant castles. The other characters are fun to get to know. They can get a little hard to keep straight, their names are long and unwieldy. The history is there though, the reader will feel as if he/she is in a different time period as he/she is meant to. The plot itself is interesting, the reader will be able to feel the underlying tension Katerina causes by hiding her talent. The romance is understated, but will hopefully be more developed in the books to come. The story does have some twists to keep the reader thinking and guessing. The reader will most likely look forward to the next in the series. This book is recommended to teen/young adult readers.
Posted February 1, 2012
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