A Note:


I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles. And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tori's Review: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

Hardcover: 400 pages
Price: $17.99
ISBN: 978-0385740227
Released: January 10, 2012
Publisher: Random House 
Author's Website: Robin Bridges 
Buy it: Amazon
Obtained: Netgalley 
Genre: Young Adult  
Series: Katerina Alexandrovna 
Book Order:
1. The Gathering Storm 

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 Rating: DNF

My Opinion:
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 place.

Coupled with the telling was a lot of glossing over of important details that would have otherwise made me connect with Katerina on a more 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 story.

It seemed like the start of this book was more 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 family.

Finally, what was equally 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 terms/Russian 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 more smoothly, but it didn't (for me).

I 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 read/purchase 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.


  1. Well darn. I was kind of excited about this book. I may read it anyways, eventually...!?

    - Shanise