The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
Expected publication: January 10th 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?”
Robin Bridges debut novel, it is such a complex novel. Boarding Schools, Royal Dances, Tons of royal titles, Necromancy, Zombies, Vampires, and more Paranormal things work their way into the plot. While it was nice to see all of these things come together, at times it was also a little confusing. The pace did move nicely and things kept building, but there were a few slow spots but the end result is well worth it. I had not read a Russian placed book yet and this is wonderfully set.
I enjoyed most of the characters in this book, Katerina was a good main character but as with anyone there are flaws. I liked alot that she would stand up for going to medical school, that determination was nice to see in a main character and then in places she would be incredibly naive and be very well…17. Overall I enjoyed her character and she worked well for the story. Along with Katerina I enjoyed Grand Duke George Alexandrovich, his character was dark and secretive but sweet in his own way. Prince Danilo I felt only had about three emotions. Anger, Possessiveness and “love”. But in this case it worked for him, but as any other character I don’t think it would have worked. The love triangle worked in this book. Thankfully Katerina did not suffer from love at first sight. The relationship built over time and worked out nicely. Katerina’s mother on the other hand, I felt didn’t really go anywhere or do anything. She was just there to nag Katerina about getting married, but her father I loved. He was there to support her no matter what she wanted to do even though he didn’t want her moving away he just wanted her to be happy and it in a way complimented her mother. The family as a whole worked well.
Now for the cover, I don’t think it really lived up to the excitement that is inside the book. I tend to be picky when it comes to covers and I feel that this is rather bland. It’s not awful, but it’s not wonderful.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, once you understand the history and get past all the fancy titles it is a good read. I give this a three out of five and plan to continue the series. Nice first novel Robin Bridges.