Review : A Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges :

Goodreads : 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?

My thoughts :  I was dying to read this book mostly because of the unique setting : St Pettersburg. I had indeed never read a YA book set in Russia before (except for one of the book in the VA series, but that's a bit different, I guess). The reviews I had read on this book during the past months had made me a bit reluctant to pick it up : indeed I had not read a single one positive review on The Gathering Storm. I finally decided to give it a shot but I have to admit that my feelings regarding this book are mixed.
First of all, I found it to be very slow-paced and I was also a bit confused about the characters, which are quite numerous and it's a bit hard to keep up with all these names and titles. 
I don't know what to think about Katerina, the heroine : there were times when I liked her and times when she got on my nerves .. 
Onto the romance, or rather the lack of it .. I was expecting a love triangle because of the blurb ("to whom will she give her heart?") and I was a bit disappointed in the love interests (if we can call the two boys that). I don't want to give spoilers but to keep it brief this is not a YA book that can be praised for the love story it contains. 
I was a bit bored throughout the whole book and didn't care that much for the plot .. To be honest, the only thing I enjoyed about this book was the setting, which is quite unusual for a YA book. 
Overall, I didn't hate nor liked this book and I'm not planning on reading the next book in the series (though I'd like to read some reviews on the next one and know what happens next out of mere curiosity).

My Rating : 3 Stars It Was Okay.


  1. If you want to read a great book set in Russia you should read Between Shades of Grey, if you haven't already. It really gives you a great feel for what was going on during World War II and the book is just EPIC! It should be required reading in high school instead of the Diary of Anne Frank.

    Sorry you didn't enjoy this one. I was excited for it too until I read all of the so-so reviews. I think I'm going to pass on this story.

    Thanks for the great review!

  2. I also heard many twisted reviews of this book, include yours that make me a bit hesitate. But I really want to know because the premise intrigued me. Need to read this so I can judge myself whether it's good or not really.

    Great review, Elodie! =)