The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Looking for some fun in a historic setting? The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges should be enough to settle in for a quick enough ride for a bored reader, but underneath its surface is a decent, paranormal story that could’ve had more.
Katerina is a young woman living in old Russia with a dangerous secret: she is a necromancer. And in this time, having dark powers means being shunned, forcing Katya to keep her abilities a secret. However, her powers are noticed when she rescues the prince from being poisoned, and now, two sides know her secrets: a dark, royal family who wants her to marry Prince Danilo, and a Tsar’s son, George. Caught between two alliances and other surprising things rising up the surface, Katya must keep her wits together and choose which path to take.
One thing I liked about this book was the main character. Unlike most heroines in YA books lately, she knew what she wanted and how to get it while being realistic. Plus, her decisions and her thoughts made sense, as it went along with her personality and the time she lived in.
The romance was also really, really good. Not going to lie—when I first saw the blurb, I groaned when I saw there was a love triangle. I mean, really? Another love triangle? Thankfully though, it’s misleading. The romance is sweet, while flowing its way seamlessly through the plot. At first, you don’t know it’s there, and you blissfully read on. Then you start to notice small signs, and so does the narrator. Pretty soon, she’s in love with him, and the ending for the two is satisfying.
However, certain elements stopped me from giving this four stars. First off, the plot and the number of pages didn’t match. The plot was shorter than the number of scenes given, that there were some parts that could’ve been easily removed, and the story would’ve actually moved faster. From time to time, I stopped reading and did other things, because I was tired of reading the part I was in.
Another thing was Katya’s inability for certain decisions. I didn’t understand why she didn’t tell her cousin about her necromancy abilities when she displayed a huge amount of trust on her. Katya was certainly smart enough to know what to do, but for some weird reason that was sort of skimmed over, she didn’t. That part irked me.
For a paranormal story, it was sort of an even situation for me. While there was nothing new or original brought to the table, it did interest me slightly, but on the other hand, didn’t do much. There isn’t really anything to critique about this since it was just okay, so I’ll leave it at this. The way it was entangled with history was nice though, and it was one of the main things I enjoyed about the story with Russian references.
Overall, I wasn’t feeling very inspired with this novel, but nor did I hate it. It did bring some things up though that were missing in certain books, so I’ll probably pick up the sequel to see what happens next. It’s a decent book though, so if you’re looking for something paranormal yet out of the usual plots, this may be for you!
In a Nutshell
Proving to be a decent debut novel if you choose to ignore a couple of things, this may be an interesting historical paranormal romance for some. Since I liked it but didn’t love it, I’m giving it three stars.
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