The Gathering Storm

The Gathering Storm❮PDF / Epub❯ ★ The Gathering Storm ✓ Author Robin Bridges – 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 St Petersburg Russia As she attends a whirl of glittering balls royal debutante The Gathering MOBI :¿ 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 intrigueAn 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 drawnThe time has come for Katerina to embrace her power but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart. Set in a time of Russia where the old superstitions and folklore clash and give away to the new of science and new medicines The Dark and Light court serve the tsar as old forces that were once banished arise anew stronger with a young woman Katerina Alexandrovna Duchess of Oldenburg deals with her dark ability that may end up saving all she knows and loves Robin Bridges could not have set this book at a better time where old is giving into new ideas and thoughts but the old ways are still very present with the workings of all that is paranormal that serve in the Russian Court some for the tsar others for their own gain The political chess match is well played with Katherina stuck right in the middle Katherina dreams of being a doctor with her father well known for his support of the medical field Her dark gift makes her fear of every reaching her dream at times the gift to bring the dead back to life Katherina would rather not even acknowledge her gift until one night she uses it to save the tsar's heir from a spell bringing her to the light of those who wish to gain power and use Katherina to reach their goal At times like Katherina all the glittering balls became very boring behind all that glitter where you start to witness the silent chess match and power play Katherina could play the role of a royal debutante while behind the mask is a smart young woman She plays her cards and while the deck is sometimes against her she plays the cards she dealt as best as she can She's also self aware she knows when she's acting dumb or not thinking straight Katherina has a hard time trying to accept her gift and the fear she lives under of every being discovered by her family Many of her fears were very much on point and her love for her family is wonderful but can be called her weakness as their used against by those who wish for power and Katherina is their ticket For the most part I really liked Katherina raised as she was she was a true product of her time while staying to her roots and breaking through the barriers one brick at a time Nothing makes a reader especially this reader mad then a misleading back blurb For The Gathering Storm theirs huge hints of a so called love triangle between dark and light There was no such love triangle with of a hint of romance that grows between Katherina and ONE GUY The story read like a paranormal mystery then some dark fae light fae trying to win the heart of Katherina The Dark Prince Danilo with his fake Maybelline eyelashes used Katherina for his own measure and means threatening Katherina’s family SO no love lost there Katherina’s feelings for George Alexandrovich was very sweet with a growth of trust that later bloom to I appreciated the story even that with this romantic growth then instant love love seen so much in YA and PN books The story at times is slow going giving you hints of a bigger mystery that leads to some heavy suspense The paranormal is always waiting on the wings to give you a glimpse of what hides underneath from vampires to ghosts Of course this is only the first book of the trilogy and thankfully we’re not left with a cliffhanger With unanswered uestions I look forward to what Robin Bridges has up her writer’s sleeve for this series With the combination of historical and paranormal elements plus a beautiful cover The Gathering Storm is the kind of book I adore In theory In reality this book did not deliver for me like I wanted it to Prior to reading I though The Gathering Storm was a historical novel with some paranormal elements but it’s of a paranormal novel in a historical setting Almost all the characters are fey witches vampires werewolves zombies or necromancers with our main character Katerina being one of the most powerful necromancers in Russia The historical setting of Tsarist Russia is wonderful the balls glittering jewels and gorgeous dresses and wonderfully described Robin Brides also does a good job of introducing really interesting folk lore to the story line and for using real people from history in her story These are the elements that I liked Unfortunately there are that I did notKaterina has known about supernatural ability since she was a child but she has taken great care to hide it from everyone She is a person of science wanting to be a doctor an occupation that was not thought to be inappropriate for a woman at that time While Katerina is book smart and has bravely chosen and unpopular occupation which I admire she does some really stupid thingsShe has a hard time believing that other supernatural beings exist even though as a necromancer she is one of them She is repeatedly warned about a certain family and seen members of the family doing evil things including hurt her own family and friends yet she still hangs out with them so as not to upset them Katerina is also specifically warned that a certain boy is evil and is given a talisman to help protect her from him but she falls victim to him anyway because she only wears the talisman sporadically She gets really angry at people who tell her she can’t be a doctor because she is a woman but is annoyingly meek to the people who blackmail kidnap drug and use her as a blood donor for their crazy ritualsMost of these issues stem from Katerina believing that she can fix everything herself and refusing to tell those close to her what’s going on or ask for help I’m so frustrated with book smart girls who make dumb decisions and bury themselves in deeper and deeper You know this girl she has been showing up and in YA books latelyI don’t like bashing books especially from hard working debut authors so I won’t keep nitpicking at all the things that frustrated me about The Gathering Storm While it’s not a bad book it had all the ingredients to be an awesome read it just did not deliver for me I think I’m so disappointed because I had such high expectations for it If you read it without expectations you will probably enjoy it than I didContent Kissing and violence I hate it when I look forward to a book only to find that it was nothing like what I expected and in a bad way THE GATHERING STORM has an interesting premise however it disappointed me with its lackluster execution Let it be known that a few reviewers have stated on Goodreads that the second half of the novel is where things start to pick up whereas the first half is dedicated to the numerous balls and social gatherings Katerina attends Perhaps this is what ultimately contributed to my disappointment since there is some info dumping and an overwhelming amount of names that essentially bogged the story's pace down for me Even with a lack of action what truly made me give up was the following Way too much telling to the point where I wonder how an agent or editor would be okay with it Don't get me wrong I have nothing against telling in a story but after one reads so many blog posts and hears so much emphasis on show don't tell only to publish books that do the exact opposite it makes me wonder why they bother to preach it in the first placeCoupled with the telling was a lot of glossing over of important details that would have otherwise made me connect with Katerina on a intimate level As it was I felt incredibly detached from her narrative and wished that at any moment something would click and I would get into the storyIt seemed like the start of this book was focused on giving Russian history lessons instead of telling Katerina's story And for some reason I got really annoyed during the doctor debates between our protagonist and her familyFinally what was eually as jarring as all the information in such a short time was the seemingly random inclusion of paranormal creatures First you get somewhat overwhelmed with technical termsRussian customs but then all of a sudden there's talk of vampires and faeries Even now I still don't understand why they're being included and I felt this was handled very poorly I wish the history and the paranormal aspects melded together a bit smoothly but it didn't for meI seem to be in the minority so please do not take my review as the be all end all when it comes to making your decision on whether or not to readpurchase this title And remember I did not read the entire book this review reflects the pages that I did read If it sounds interesting read a sample chapter and then decide for yourself whether THE GATHERING STORM is something you will enjoy My Rating DNF 25 Basically I'm fluctuating between a 'like it' and 'it was ok' rating The Good I decently liked the main character I stand by her for sticking to her unrealistic dreams I enjoyed the ball scenes This may just be the fantasy buff in me but I could definitely visualize the court goings on The inner conflict about the necromancy was good I hold historical fiction near and dear to my heart and the fantasy element was nice The romance was cute if not downright convenient at times The Bad This book is too long Comparatively it's the same length as many other books out there but I felt like I lot of the waffling could have been tightened up I lost my focus so many times and I finished this book simply because I wanted to see if I could predict the ending Somanycharacters I could keep straight the main 10 or so but after that I got plain confused Granted I'm not in my best state of mind but I did get fed up right in the middle Katerina made me want to pull my hair out sometimes Ugh some of her decisions drove me crazy The Ugly Sometimes all the politicking drove me crazy I kind of got lost in the shuffle Her mother drove me crazy There's really nothing to her than that she wants her daughter to marry up And she posses such a hysterical character that she can't even stomach bad news without swooning Really now To this I heave a very long sigh Noble Idiocy God there's nothing that I hate in movies shows and books than Noble Idiocy yes it deserves to be capitalized Let me explain Noble Idiocy is basically the concept of one character acting weirdly in mysterious ways that no one else can understand because he can't possibly fathom revealing his deepestdarkest secrets to those he should trust Kind of like how Katerina couldn't tell anyone who could actually help her about her biggest problem because she would endanger them to which I say but she could tell her best friend WTF Sorry I just have very strong feelings about Noble Idiocy I just find keeping secrets and acting furtive to protect your loved ones unbeknownst to them an unnecessary way to add drama and thicken the plot It's also a bit presumptuous to assume that others want your protection from dark forces they don't even know about Argh I don't even know if I'm making sense Anyway I'm not too interested in reading the seuel Maybe I will out of curiosity to see how the romance works out We'll see Here's a scenario for youYou live in a world full of magic faeries and vampires Light and Dark Courts You are warned that a dazzlingly attractive young man is incredibly dangerous and you are told to stay far away from him for your own safety You are also given a magical ring that will protect you from the spells he will try to cast upon you should you ever meet him Do you a Stay the hell away from him and wear the ring at all times orb Insist the ring has no magical ualities even though a trustworthy source has told you it does leave it under your bed dance with the young man at a ball fall under his spell kiss him and agree to marry him If you chose A well done You are one step closer to survival in St Petersburg in Robin Bridges' The Gathering Storm If you chose B you are Katerina Duchess of Oldenburg the pathetic whiny reckless naive gullible and just plain moronic heroine of this book FAIL And that is my problem with this book I can never read anything where I just want to throw a breadboard at the main character's head The above example is just one of many I could have used all of which illustrate Katerina's stupidity perfectly While it had some interesting concepts the writing was pretty unpolished and at times dare I say come off as comical I don't think the author did a good job of blending the paranormal fantasy elements with reality The introduction of vampires werewolves and fairies was just so strange I really couldn't take the book seriously at any given time It almost felt like none of it was real but it was actually and that characters were just overtly superstitious The plot itself is confusing and overly complicated for no good reason and characters are poorly fleshed out and feel like caricatures of stereotypes I spent the whole night skimming through the book waiting for it to get better but it didn't The only thing I can say is give me my night back Let's look at the blurb The time and placeSt Petersburg Russia 1888 As she attends a whirl of glittering balls That right there ugh I should hate it On the other hand it's historical which I absolutely love but on the other hand it's Russia and we Finns have a long history with Russians On the other hand it's Imperial Russia and the tsar is the son of Alexander II who we Finns love never mind what he did to the rest of his subjects we love him If you're interested to know why look it upOh and the neverending balls ugh I should definitely hate thisroyal 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 And here we have the main character the girl with the first person voice another strike against the book by the way and she's keeping secrets The undead kind I should definitely hate this Paranormal and I have a rocky history and there's a reason why I prefer character driven romances without the supernatural element The authors of paranormal stories tend to either forget the character development focusing on the plot or they overindulge in the so called destined to be life altering soul connection love affair that the two lovers don't actually have anything to do within the bookNot the case with this one I actually fell in love with Katerina's voice She's both the product of her upbringing–an obedient loving daughter whose sole purpose in life is to marry well and have children–and a headstrong girl dreaming of a life and career of her own healing the sick She has a good head on her shoulders which recognises when she's in trouble She knows when she should be smarter when to run away and when to stay and fight Oh and she detests balls but she participates because that's what good girls who love their parents did in 1880's 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 intrigueThe hook There's a healthy dose of self hatred and insecurity in Katerina but that doesn't stop her from using the part of herself she hates to do something she feels is right She has a sense of duty to her tsar and to her motherland that supersedes her self interest even when it could be hazardous to her health Speaking of hazardsAn evil presence is growing within Europe's royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar There's a presence and it's evil There's the plot and there's plenty of it; it's not just a love story There's little else I can say without spoiling the book and I really don't want to do that I think I loved this book as much as I did partly because I knew so little about it beforehand I'd just barely glanced at the blurb So I think I'll let you discover it for yourselvesSuddenly 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 drawnI know what you're thinking It's not that I promise you it's not I hate the fact that the blurb makes it sound like there's going to be a love triangle in this book because there's not True there are two young men dancing around Katerina–or letting her dance around them remember the balls–but the actual love story part is told like it should beIt starts with mild dislike and deference As circumstances–the actual plot–keep bringing them together a tentative rapport emerges and feelings change There are light touches and longing glances as well as fits of anger and disagreements There's still much keeping them apart–for a good reason and not for one of those let's make a flimsy excuse why they can't be together–but their love for each other is clear It's all deliciously subtle and romantic It outshines all the star crossed instant love romances making gentle mockery of them all Or maybe that's just how I read itThe time has come for Katerina to embrace her power but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heartUgh It's not a love triangle There were things I didn't like about this book too The name dropping I'm assuming it was done to paint the era and to show that the author had actually done her research but all it made me want to do is to go peruse Wikipedia to verify the facts Pasteur Pavlov and the rest are happy to report I was too lazy to actually do thisThe silly silly rituals I know it's to be expected but all mysterious rituals become ridiculous when you become part of them even if it's only through a terrified non believer characterThe abundance of supernatural creatures Some were only hinted at others were prominently used but the sheer number of them meant that none of them were thoroughly utilised or examined For one I still don't know what exactly can a necromancer do I expect this is a part of the bigger journey Katerina and I will have to take togetherThe occasional stupidity and inactivity of the main character But unlike many other heroines Katerina at least was self aware most of the time She recognised when she was being stupid or sillyRemember that this is a trilogy and though the story is finished without any cliffhangers the characters themselves are left in a sad but hopeful place You can also read this review on Sandra's My Reading Nook blog I received an Advanced Reader's Copy from the publisher through NetGalley I am very fascinated by the Russian era of the Romanovs so this book was a big hit for me There were a few things that bothered me see below but not enough to drop it down to three stars maybe of a 35I was intrigued by not only by Bridge’s version of royal society but also her story about necromancers vampires witches fairies and all the other paranormal elements Lately I’ve been finding that I’m getting bored of paranormal because the storyline is always the same I thought Bridge’s story had a uniue spin from latest YA paranormal books out there While the ending is not unpredictable Bridges threw in a few twists and turns that did keep me on my toesAnd I liked the characters in the book Katerina is a great heroine with dreams of her own but without the extreme feminist attitude She was a strong character but not too feisty and I didn’t find her whiny or annoying at all I thought she was well writtenI would have also liked to see of George because I think he had potential to be a really dreamy hero However I do appreciate that Bridges concentrated on developing her story than wrapping her story too much into romance Having said that I hope I do see of him in the next two booksCRITICISMOne thing that did concern me was all of the people in the book Oy There were so many of them that I had a hard time keeping track of who was who their titles and who was related to who And everyone was named some version of Alex and it got really confusing A family tree would have helped but at the same time would it have ruined some surprises for usAlso the first half and second half kind of felt like two different books In the first half you had a lot of socializing among royalty with a lot of balls And there were a LOT of balls You don’t see much action and the paranormal mystery unraveling until the second half For me it wasn’t too much of a burden because I’m fascinated by that stuff However because there were so many balls I feel you may lose some of your readers’ interest if you drag out the socializing scene and don’t move a little faster to your storyAnd I was also left with a lot of uestionsUESTIONS – HERE’S YOUR POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERTI felt Bridges only brushed the surface of her paranormal theories When the Montenegrins tried to poison Princess Cantacuzene they said they hadn’t realized she would be so different I still don’t know how she’s so different from them So ueen Milena was her half sister whos mother was a commoner Does that mean she’s less powerful than her sister Is she the one that passed along the vampire genes to the children or does their father King NikolaAnd another thing I don’t understand is if Cantacuzene is over 100 years old and Milena’s portrait was “so many pregnancies ago” what happened to the other children and why now Why is all of this happening 100 years laterI was also confused about Konstantin If Cantacuzene was the one who turned him then why is he so powerful Did he have fae blood too since George and his family have fairy sight I understand that Cantacuzene is a woman and wouldn’t have much political power but I’m talking about vampire power Does Katrina’s blood add to his power in particular or is that just any dead vampire that she tries to resurrect And on a side note I never found out how Cantacuzene created the army We know that Katrina had necromancer powers but does Cantacuzene is it part of her different vampire powersI’m not sure if I missed it since I was so focused on Konstantin’s resurrection but what happened with Danilo and his 18th birthday Was this something where he just became a powerful vampire when he turned 18 What did he gain How was Katrina going to help him be powerful or was she just for Konstantin’s resurrectionLOL I just wrote a whole new book myself P Despite my uestions I didn’t think Bridges left the book incomplete really I just felt it would have added to the book if I had those answers Maybe I’m just overanalyzingI still really enjoyed the book though I’m looking forward to its release as well as the next two books Hopefully it won’t be another year for the seuel because I’m having a hard time keeping track of the family as is Find this and other reviews at might be hard pressed to finish The Gathering Storm without referencing Wikipedia but it is eually difficult to complete the novel without being entertained by this impressive debut The book isn’t without flaw but Bridges’ rich recreation of turn of the century Russia is brilliant and her integration of Gothic folklore and the paranormal nothing short of fascinating At first glance the book seems character heavy I wont deny that the cast is large but don't think the confusion a lot of readers seem to experience is something Bridges could control I might be off base here but I think a lot of the problem is that readers are less familiar with the Romanovs than say the Tudors the Bourbons or the Borgias I don't think its fair to criticize Bridges for this but at the same I recommend familiarizing yourself with the family tree Katerina Alexandrovna’s tendency to act alone isn’t my favorite character attribute but Bridges than made up for it with the internal struggle Katerina feels regarding her gift She is sincerely conflicted by the realization that she is not merely a spectator in the otherworldly activities of her peers and genuinely troubled that she will have to choose a side on which to stand As a reader I found Katerina's alternating emotions offered a great deal of insight and solidified her as a compelling central character To any fan of historic fiction the perpetual scheming and conspiratorial maneuverings of life at court is old news That in mind the very nature of The Gathering Storm reuired Bridges to do something than simply recreate the political chess board of the Imperial Russia circa 1888 Personally I think she succeeded but just how well is hard to say From a paranormal standpoint the execution was flawless Recasting known figures as members of the light and dark Faerie realms added a significant amount of intrigue and originality to the story It was the historic aspects that gave me reason to pause as I can’t help wondering if my admiration is due to Bridges’ characterizations and description or her general lack of literary competition The bulk of Romanov lit centers on the reign of Nicholas II Bridges’ story takes place a generation earlier during the reign of Alexander III Many of the characters feel fresh and different because simply put they are less well known I like to give credit where due but I can’t say the whether or not the novelty I feel characterizes The Gathering Storm stems completely from Bridges’ pen Having no real expectations going into the book I have relatively few complaints Beyond my aforementioned indecision I can honestly say there is only one aspect of the book I genuinely didn’t care for the love triangle It irks me to no end that this particular plot device has become a staple of young adult lit It is unbelievable hackneyed and by and large fails to prove entertaining as most authors lack the necessary skill to pull it off To Bridges’ credit Katerina relationships with Romanov golden boy George Alexandrovich and the brooding Montenegro heir Prince Danilo play relatively minor role in the overall story They also don’t revolve around pure physical lust I appreciated that but I didn’t find either affair particularly entertaining Call me a fence sitter but I think The Gathering Storm had enough going for it without incorporating the fickle desires of the teenage heart A few hiccups here and there but a memorable read from a promising new author I Am So ConfusedOkay sohere we are Russia Late 1800'sAnd there are vampires and fairies floating all around the imperial court Now that's not the problem Exactly The real problem is trying to figure out who knows about the vampireszombieswerewolvesetc and who doesn't Katarina's mother participates in seances where they raise real ghosts Butshe doesn't know her own daughter is a necromancer It's very difficult to try and keep track of who is on what side and the way the book is written it sort of assumes that you already know a lot about the past of Light v Dark fairy courts or whatever SoThere's that Then there is KatiyaKaterina Our brave protagonist Ah Yes Well I have read several reviews about this series and about her herself According to some she is very brave and independent and whatever we want to call heroines these days Whatever MyselfWell I found that the majority of Katiya's lines to the villains of the book consisted of You're insane I'll never help you and Let me go Initiate slow clap Good job Katiya Way to resist the charms of your vampire fiance break it off with him and then get it right back on again Way to let him kidnap you and drink your blood too I'm sure that will turn out just handy dandyAnd thenGeorge You know Katiya for someone who doesn't understand why girls in romance books always fall for the dark brooding surly boy you're getting pretty far along yourself She and the Grand Duke hate each other for the majority of the book and he constantly threatens her because she is a member of the Dark court and a necromancer Then BAM at the end he asks her to marry him Because I guess that's the way things work in 1890 Russia not Was anyone else just the smallest bit shocked by this I couldn't tell if the author was serious or trying to make it ironic I dunno Katiya's just not at all a strong protagonist in my mind I suppose in a I want to be a doctor sort of way she is But overall she just comes across as dim witted Anywho I suppose I just expect a lot from authors now a days You knowwould it be too much to ask to have a series WITHOUT vampireswerewolvesnecromancers Jus' sayin' it's been done Branch out Try something new I'd like to say that the background story is at least something different but that's all been done before tooThe fancy parties and ball background Gemma Doyle trilogy Necromancer girl Those Awakening books with Chloe and Simon and peeps Whatever they are called I don't recall Russian background Shadow and BoneGrisha BooksVampires and werewolves Do I even have to say itDark evil y sort of guy that is horribly attractive even though insert main character here doesn't want him to be Also Grisha Though I suppose I should be glad that it is at least not a love trianglesuarepentagonstar with Saba in the middle oops did I just go there Sokudos for that No love triangle WhooThat's why there's TWO stars See that TWO I can be nice SometimesLet's call it 15 and round upWell 'Spose that's it for now That's what I get for writing a review several days after reading a book and reading 5 6 books inbetweenI'm sure I'll remember what else I wanted to say later But for now On to reviews

The Gathering Storm eBook ☆ The Gathering  MOBI
  • ebook
  • 400 pages
  • The Gathering Storm
  • Robin Bridges
  • English
  • 08 April 2014
  • 9780375899010