The Drift | Review
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐
"Survival can be murder . . .
Hannah awakens to carnage, all mangled metal and shattered glass. Evacuated from a secluded boarding school during a snowstorm, her coach careered off the road, trapping her with a handful of survivors.
Meg awakens to a gentle rocking. She's in a cable car stranded high above snowy mountains, with five strangers and no memory of how they got on board.
Carter is gazing out of the window of an isolated ski chalet that he and his companions call home. As their generator begins to waver in the storm, the threat of something lurking in the chalet's depths looms larger.
Outside, the storm rages. Inside each group, a killer lurks.
And will anyone make it out alive?"
The Drift is a standalone mystery thriller novel by C.J. Tudor.
First and foremost, I would like to thank Penguin Random House Canada and Doubleday Canada for giving me the opportunity to review this in advance. Please note that this in no way affects my opinions. Also note that what I read was an ARC, and things may be subject to change for the official release.
This is my third book by C.J. Tudor, having read The Chalk Man and The Burning Girls. I didn't rate either of them particularly high, so picking this up was going to be a gamble for me; a gamble that did not end up paying off. I found myself getting through the book easily enough, albeit not very enraptured by what I was reading. The more I read though, the more the story started to fall apart.
This wasn't bad per se, but what it did deliver was subpar and messy. Let's get into some details.
I don't have much to say in this section because, well, the way the story is written is actually a spoiler. That being said though, I will say that I am not a fan of the format the author chose to use in order to tell the story. It made the story rather messy and not very cohesive as a whole.
In The Drift, we follow three groups of seemingly connected characters whose lives are all in danger as they are stranded in the middle of a snowstorm. This premise did catch my eye originally, as the idea of it sounded rather interesting. This story, however, was better in concept than in execution.
A lot of the elements in this ended up missing the mark, and it made for a story that had a lot of gaps due to the way it was written. Again, I will not go into too much detail about the writing because of spoilers, but the author held a lot back from the audience. As such, the story gets lost in translation. For example, there is a crucial aspect of the world that is not originally made known in the synopsis and then is casually mentioned without it being properly integrated into the overall world and story. There resulted in a disconnect between said aspect of worldbuilding and the rest of the story that the author wasn't able to overcome.
On the whole, the more I got into the story and the more the story ascended to the climax, the more it fell apart. It felt like the author was trying to pull the rug from beneath the readers. I didn't find this to be a cleverly planned mystery and it left a lot to be desired even though I didn't mind it for the majority of the book.
As for the story itself, breaking it down I ended up liking one over the others, that being the story following Hannah and the other survivors of the coach crash. I found this to be the most compelling, though Meg's story wasn't all that bad either. The one I liked decidedly less though was Carter's since I found it had the least to offer to the story. Moving back to Meg's story though, I do feel like I have read it before for some reason.
We follow three groups of characters through the perspectives of three characters: Hannah, Meg, and Carter. Like the writing section, I don't have much to say here, mainly because I wasn't overly attached to the characters. I will say though that I was not overly fond of their character arcs.
Thinking more about it, despite my lack of positive commentary in this review, I don't feel the need to rate this below a 'meh' rating of three stars. This is very much so a forgettable book, and I could see that while I was still reading it even though that sounds a bit harsh.