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The Gathering Storm (Katerina #1)

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3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  3,567 Ratings  ·  582 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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S.H. Marr Older teenagers. There's some pretty dark violence that may not be great for younger kids.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rane

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 sti
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Truly Bookish
Jan 13, 2014 Truly Bookish rated it it was ok
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 more 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
...more
Torzilla
Jul 26, 2013 Torzilla marked it as did-not-finish
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
...more
Ria
Jan 13, 2014 Ria rated it it was ok
2.5: 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 t
...more
Surin
Sep 03, 2012 Surin rated it did not like it
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 ...more
rameau
Let's look at the blurb. The time and place:

St. 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
...more
Katy
Oct 25, 2011 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 more of a 3.5.

I 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 Bri
...more
Erin
Apr 29, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

One might be hard-pressed to finish The Gathering Storm without referencing Wikipedia, but it is equally 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
...more
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
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 ...more
Tyler Ashley
Jan 08, 2012 Tyler Ashley rated it it was ok
The Gathering Storm was a different book, that’s for sure. Historical fiction with a touch of paranormal for the paranormal readers delight.

There were many times were I came *this* close to putting down The Gathering Storm, and if I hadn’t been in the car for most of it, I’m pretty sure I would have and not look back. There wasn’t—and still— that much in The Gathering Storm to keep me hooked. I just didn’t care if Katiya figured out a way to get out of the deal she drug herself into thanks to he
...more
The Book Queen
May 30, 2015 The Book Queen rated it it was ok
Here's a scenario for you.

You 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, or
b) Insist the ring has no magical qualities, eve
...more
Alan
Mar 26, 2012 Alan rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, witches, vampires
The short review:
1. To me the female lead (Katerina) isn't a strong female character.
2. There are just too many "beings" in the story.

I liked the idea and setting of the story, Russia during the imperial period, with Faberge and Tchaikowsky and Tostoy. Although there is an endless list of imperial titles.

Katerina, while she starts out looking and feeling like a strong female lead with her desire to become a doctor and continue on in her education, as the story progresses she has too many instanc
...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Mar 17, 2012 Dark Faerie Tales rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-by-emmy
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: The politics of Romanov Russia are brought to a new level–the Dark and Light Faerie courts, intertwined with the Imperial family, are threatened by vampires. The dangerous and multi-layered court life is brought to life in this historical paranormal.

Opening Sentence: Our family tree has roots and branches reaching all across Europe, from France to Russia, from Denmark to Greece, and in several transient and minute kingdoms and principalities
...more
Hilda
Young duchess Katerina Alexandrovna has a wonderful gift of necromancy which she regards as a curse. The gift/curse makes her wanted by both dark and light powers. The Tsar’s second son, Grand Duke George, deduces Katerina’s power and reminds her ‘nicely’ not to ever use her dark power. The crown prince of Montenegro, the gorgeous Prince Danilo, wants Katerina for his own agenda, which is suspiciously involved with blood sucking. Katerina has to learn how to waltz among the dark and light faerie ...more
Keely *Keelskilo*
Aug 09, 2013 Keely *Keelskilo* rated it it was ok
Shelves: trollin, man-harem
I. Am. So. Confused.

Okay, so....here we are. Russia. Late 1800's...And 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 vampires/zombies/werewolves/etc. and who doesn't. Katarina's mother participates in seances where they raise real ghosts. But...she 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
...more
Kelly
May 14, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it
The Gathering Storm is the first in the Katerina Trilogy by Robin Bridges. The trilogy blends historical fiction with the paranormal, and is set in St. Petersburg, Russia, in the late 19th century.

Bridges immerses us in an evocative setting. The pageantry of the Russian court is combined with that hard-to-describe fairy tale mood. Even though we see through the eyes of a heroine who doesn't really like all the pageantry, we are swept away into a world that is elegant but filled with dark secrets
...more
Kimberly
Feb 28, 2012 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Gathering Storm is the debut novel of Robin Bridges and the first in her Katerina Trilogy. Bridges' paranormal novel delivers, from the historical aspects of Russia to the supernatural. This was a delightful tale of vampires, fairies, werewolves, witches, necromancers and other supernatural creatures. A combination of Russian history and folklore make this an exciting, addictive read.

The protagonist Is Katerina Alexandrovna, she is the Duchess of Oldenburg, residing in Russia during the reig
...more
Diana
Jan 21, 2012 Diana rated it it was ok
Robin Bridges’ debut novel, The Gathering Storm, is the first installment in a planned trilogy that centers on Katerina Alexandrovna of Oldenburg. Katerina is a debutante, descendant of Catherine the Great, and a necromancer. She attends the Smolny Institute, a boarding school for girls. Amongst her peers are the princesses of Montenegro, who discover her dark secret when she uses her skills to protect the heir of Czar Alexander III. Soon, she is entangled in a web of political intrigue mingled ...more
Kathleen
Aug 05, 2014 Kathleen rated it did not like it
The plot was intriguing and the setting was enchanting but I found myself counting the pages til the last page. I found the main character annoying because of her indecisiveness and her misplaced noble acts. I found her logic and her actions contradictory and based too much on her unreliable and fast changing emotions.

I also found the writing style too distracting. I felt like I was listening to a speech which kept getting cut short every after 5 words. It was annoying. I think the story flow w
...more
Ellen
Jun 09, 2012 Ellen rated it did not like it
Shelves: written-reviews
I am not going to lie. I saw the city St. Petersburg, Russia and thought it was going to be more so about the history. As I started reading the book I was a little disappointed. It was in the genre of paranormal books. Don’t get me wrong. I love reading paranormal book but it wasn’t what I had expected. I had went back to my to-read list and re-read the description and realized the description I had read earlier was for another book and that would explain my disappointment.
The book was well writ
...more
Jill Myles
May 28, 2011 Jill Myles rated it it was amazing
I read an early version and this is such a cool, unique book. It's a fabulous concept - a teenage noble in Czarist Russia who can raise the dead and has necromancy powers. There's a lot of hidden, dark magic in Katerina's world and it's just fabulous and engrossing and a little bit spooky. I can't wait for this one to come out. :)
Theresa
Jan 25, 2015 Theresa rated it did not like it
DNF.
Evie
Sep 13, 2015 Evie rated it really liked it
The Gathering Storm is a book full of surprises. Part historical fiction, part romance and part paranormal, it's a head-spinning and eye-popping tale of light and dark, good and evil, loyalty and treason, love, hate and everything in between. Russian folklore, Gothic creatures, crazy plot developments, gorgeous settings and a whole cast of magnificent historical figures - this novel has it all! Prepare to be dazzled!

Set in St. Petersburg in 1888, when the Dark Court rivals the Light Court and t
...more
Jennifer Rinehart
Nov 22, 2011 Jennifer Rinehart rated it it was amazing
Duchess Katerina Alexandrovna is very different from your average teen heroine. She goes to balls and is escorted through the snowy streets in a horse drawn sled. Her closest friends are other young royals and she is being groomed to marry into one of the royal families. Her days are filled with dance lessons, embroidery and fantastical clothing, oh, also witches, fae, vampires, werewolves, undead soldiers and evil scheming suitors.

So, really, her life is completely unlike my own. But in spite o
...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Robin Bridges brings a whole new life to 1880's Russia with her novel about a young, aristocratic, female necromancer. This is a novel that was another slow-starter for me. I was mildly interested and intrigued by Bridges' magically fantastical and dangerous world set in St. Petersburg, but I wasn't well and truly hooked until late in the game - when I was about 300 pages into the novel and less than a hundred from the end. With a disquieting introduction featuring and honing in on the young ...more
Nafiza
May 25, 2013 Nafiza rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a confession: I am completely enamored by stories set in imperial Russia. There is something so attractive about the tsars, duchesses, princesses and other royalty that inevitably dot the landscapes of these novels. The sleds instead of carriages, beautiful dresses, lights, the attractive love interests and if you throw in magic…well, you’ve got me. The Gathering Storm is a strong beginning to a trilogy by debut novelist Robin Bridges. I liked the fantastic breadth of the novel and there ...more
Kara-karina
May 06, 2012 Kara-karina rated it it was amazing
4.5/5
I always approach authors writing about Russia or Russians with great trepidation, because there are very few of them who really know what they are talking about. The majority is happy with dancing bears and rivers of vodka. Robin Bridges, on the other hand, I loved!

I know a lot of people complained about difficult names and bizarre ceremonies, but to be honest, I haven't noticed any of that. Robin Bridges took a beautiful period in Russian history on the verge of great changes and created
...more
RJ
Sep 10, 2012 RJ rated it did not like it
Robin Bridges is the most talented author I have read this year, and I say this with not an ounce of sarcasm (although my rating of this book might indicate otherwise).
The Gathering Storm had me hooked from start to finish, and I read it in 2 sittings. I simply had to finish it. I had to know what happened next; how it would end; whether I'd have to wait breathlessly for a sequel so I could know what happened.
Thankfully I don't need to because the story, while clearly designed to accommodate a
...more
Kavanand
Jan 18, 2012 Kavanand rated it really liked it
The Gathering Storm requires some major suspension of disbelief on the part of the reader. But if you can get on board with that, it's an enjoyable read.

It's the story of a Russian duchess, Katerina of Oldenburg (shouldn’t that be Ekaterina if she’s Russian?). She's related to the imperial family, and she leads a luxurious life in pre-revolutionary Russia. She's not your average royal--she wants nothing more than to be allowed to go to medical school. Oh, and she can raise the dead, a fact she
...more
Samantha
Aug 26, 2012 Samantha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh, 2012, ya
There was a lot to like here, but unfortunately there was just as much that bothered me in a nagging kind of way. First of all, I'm a little biased when it comes to stories set in Russia during this time. loved learning about 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature in college and even took Intro to Russian Culture (the professor was awesome as well) so I'm always up for a good story set during this time period.

The scenery, costumes and pageantry of Katerina's privileged lifestyle were fun and
...more
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The Young Adult H...: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges - July Group Read 12 25 Aug 15, 2013 07:14PM  
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By day, Robin Bridges is a mild mannered writer of young adult fiction. By night, she is a pediatric nurse, poking small children with needles for a living. She lives on the Gulf Coast with her family and an ever-growing menagerie of cats, dogs, tropical fish, and parrots. But alas, she still does not have a unicorn.
More about Robin Bridges...

Other Books in the Series

Katerina (3 books)
  • The Unfailing Light (Katerina, #2)
  • The Morning Star (Katerina, #3)

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“Give me one year.Give me a year to prove to you that we belong together. That your darkness won't blot out my light. Promise me” 18 likes
“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. And I would not wish my curse to harm anyone else. So how could I dare long for love?” 12 likes
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