Review: ‘The Gathering Storm’ by Robin Bridges

I received this book for free from publisher unsolicited in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘The Gathering Storm’ by Robin BridgesThe Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
Series: Katerina #1
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on January 10th, 2012
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: publisher unsolicited
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?

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Katiya cries a LOT. I didn’t understand how her thoughts were all over the place. How she wanted to get into university to become a doctor, her defiant relationship with her mother, her dislike for the other princesses. There was an instant love connection with Danilo and it was inevitable that Katiya knew she was under a spell. Robin Bridges did an excellent job of portraying a teenager in love or lust in this case. One thing I did notice was the constant swearing in French. Maybe if she mentioned that Katiya was learning French then it would make sense, but there was no mention at all.

Her mom reminds me of Elizabeth Benett’s mother from Pride and Prejudice. Meddling and constantly thinking of getting her daughter married and not what she wanted to do with her life. Maybe that’s a modern day thought process but I still found it vaguely annoying.

There’s too many characters to remember. I had a lot of trouble just remembering everyone’s names. It also didn’t help that there were two names for every person. Some were even nicknames.. A list of the characters and which house they come from would have helped me a lot.

Revenants, vampires and werewolves all in one book? I didn’t understand why there was an out-pour of paranormal and fantasy creatures. Maybe if it was just about one specific creature than I wouldn’t have felt so lost. I wished there was a glossary page so I could understand who and what the characters were. The annoying main character made me forget about what the plot was about so I couldn’t even concentrate on what was going on because of m dislike for Katiya.

Disliked the characters because of their one tracked minds..

Good pacing and a good length!

Good cover!

Not a lot of plot development, which I’m hoping will change.

Overall, I wanted this one to work. It had a premise that was vaguely interesting but it failed to live up to my expectations.


All romances ended exactly the same way: a girl realized the surly boy she had hated all along was the only person in the universe who could complete her soul. I did not believe for a minute that my soul could be completed by some surly boy.
I did not see how dressing up like a painted doll was an accomplishment to be proud of.
I thought I would melt into the floor. I’d never been looked at like that before. It was thrilling and terrifying at the same time.
But I don’t want to be a queen. I want to be a doctor.
I’m not giving up, Katiya. Don’t give up on me.





  1. Kamla L.

    August 31, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    The blurb and the cover makes The Gathering Storm look and sound so intriguing. I’m sorry to hear that you found the book so problematic. I don’t think I’ll have the same problem with the multitude of characters and names since I’m accustomed to it from reading other series such as The Wheel of Time, Song of Ice and Fire, The Black Company and Malazan Empire. I’m still intrigued enough to give it a try. Thanks.

  2. Trix

    August 25, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Thanks for the honest review! I’m sorry it was less than satisfying…

    • lillianharp

      August 31, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      I find that the more characters there are and the more complex it is,the more charming the plot! I will definitely be trying this book!

  3. Ashfa Anwer

    August 22, 2013 at 4:43 AM

    I do get irritated too when there’s too many characters to keep track of. Looks like an interesting read though and the cover is great!

  4. eli yanti

    August 17, 2013 at 6:52 AM

    new author for me but not sure it’s my cup of tea too

  5. Rebecca Hipworth

    August 16, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I don’t really know much about this one. I mean I heard somewhere that this series is about vampires, is that true? Mmm, if I can get a hold of this book, I’ll give it a go, otherwise I think I’ll pass. Thanks for the review.

  6. Erika

    August 10, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    I haven’t heard of this before so appreciate the introduction! I am not sure it is my cup of tea based on the synopsis and your review. Lovely cover though:)

  7. christeeny

    August 8, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    I’ve been so on the fence about whether or not to read this book–there are such polarizing reviews of it out there, so it seems like a total hit-or-miss book for people. Based off your review, it sounds like a classic case of a really cool premise falling short when the author doesn’t fully carve out well-rounded characters and throws random plots together instead of really taking the time to flesh out the idea. Might still give it a read, but I think I’ll wait until the rest of the series is out and see if the reviews for the later books improve. Thanks for the great review! 🙂

  8. Diana Grace

    August 7, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Thank you for the review!
    Too bad you didn’t like it much… I would have wanted to read the book but I don’t think I would now.

  9. Jaime Lynn

    August 7, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    Well, Crap! How disappointing! I have looked forward to this one for such a long time, and to hear it isn’t a good one is sad. But it still has a really pretty cover!

  10. Jeanne

    August 4, 2013 at 5:27 AM

    Not too sure about this one but I do like the cover.

  11. Brynna

    August 3, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Christa, you’re not the odd one out! I actually really loved this book too. I actually won it online, was a little skeptical. read it, and HAD to have book #2. I totally understand the too many characters thing, as there were a lot and I had trouble keeping them straight at times, but this has definitely been one of my favorite reads of this year.

  12. Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

    August 1, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    I’ve been eyeing this for a while but something just tells me that I won’t be a huge fan. The mixed reviews have convinced me not to rush out for this one.

  13. Christa

    August 1, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I really enjoyed this one but I saw a lot of reviews similar to yours so I seem to be the odd one out!
    Fun fact though – in imperial Russia most of the upper class spoke French fluently. You see a lot of French in classic Russian novels which always struck me as strange when I was younger.

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