The Drift by C.J. Tudor #bookreview #thriller #apocalyptic

Three ordinary people risk everything for a chance at redemption in this audacious, utterly gripping novel of catastrophe and survival at the end of the world, from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man

Hannah awakens to carnage, all mangled metal and shattered glass. During a hasty escape from a secluded boarding school, her coach careened over a hillside road during one of the year’s heaviest snowstorms, trapping her inside with a handful of survivors, a brewing virus, and no way to call for help. If she and the remaining few want to make it out alive, with their sanity–and secrets–intact, they’ll need to work together or they’ll be buried alive with the rest of the dead.

A former detective, Meg awakens to a gentle rocking. She is in a cable car suspended far above a snowstorm and surrounded by strangers in the same uniform as her, with no memory of how they got there. They are heading to a mysterious place known to them only as “The Retreat,” but when they discover a dead man among their ranks and Meg spies a familiar face, she realizes that there is something far more insidious going on.

Carter is gazing out the window of the abandoned ski chalet that he and his ragtag compatriots call home. Together, they manage a precarious survival, manufacturing vaccines against a deadly virus in exchange for life’s essentials. But as their generator begins to waver, the threat of something lurking in the chalet’s depths looms larger, and their fragile bonds will be tested when the power finally fails–for good.

The imminent dangers faced by Hannah, Meg, and Carter are each one part of the puzzle. Lurking in their shadows is an even greater threat–one that threatens to consume all of humanity.

I became acquainted with this author last year after reading her collection of short stories. When I was offered the NetGalley widget for her newest release, I snatched it up immediately.

This is a blend of so many of my favorite genres – psychological thriller, horror, dystopian, apocalyptic, and mystery. What makes it even better is that it’s set during winter storms, and the three stories playing out are all locked room scenarios. Woohoo! The story immediately drew me in, and I wanted to read it in one sitting. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible. Each of the three main characters are in dangerous situations (especially Meg in a stranded cable car suspended hundreds of feet above the ground – it took my breath away), and their futures look bleak. With so many characters surrounding Hannah, Meg, and Carter, I didn’t know who to trust and constantly looked for clues. To say the cast of characters is whittled down over the course of the story isn’t giving anything away. Before long, I didn’t need to remember some of their names.

Gradual reveals let the reader know these characters are connected in some way, and I guessed how several pages before the explanation. But what a clever twist it is. Brilliant. Jaws will drop, trust me. Other reviewers mentioned this novel contains more blood and violence than they’d expected, so be prepared if that’s something you’d prefer to steer clear of.

Make sure to set aside some uninterrupted reading time if possible for this novel. You won’t want to put it down.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

24 thoughts on “The Drift by C.J. Tudor #bookreview #thriller #apocalyptic

    1. There were little snippets of conversation that made me think hmmmm. But what a twist. I didn’t mind the blood and gore either, but other than the short stories, I haven’t read any of her other books. Thanks, Tessa!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This sounds great, Teri. The three locked-room scenarios intrigued me. And the backdrop of bad weather was a great hook too. “Jaw-dropping” is good. And I can deal with the blood. Lol. Thanks for the review and recommendation. Now I just need more time to read!

    Liked by 1 person

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