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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Drift

ISBN: 9780593356562

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 01/31/2023 Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars

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.

“[A] tour de force . . . This is a masterpiece of its kind.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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. They’ll need to work together to escape—with their sanity and secrets intact.

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. They are heading to a place known only as “The Retreat,” but as the temperature drops and tensions mount, Meg realizes they may not all make it there alive.

Carter is gazing out the window of an isolated ski chalet that he and his companions call home. As their generator begins to waver in the storm, something hiding in the chalet’s depths threatens to escape, 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 danger—one with the power to consume all of humanity.

My Review

C.J. Tudor returns following A Sliver of Darkness and The Burning Girls with her latest wild spine-chilling, post-apocalyptic, dystopian horror thriller—THE DRIFT.

DRIFT: Department or Research into Infection and Future Transmission.

We meet three groups that converge in a world devastated by a dangerous virus in a game of survival. A world of power and control. Who is calling the shots?

There are three different storylines with three characters in this intense, bone-chilling thriller in this dangerous world full of Whistlers. Those infected and those trapped amid plunging temperatures in a snowstorm in different places with a lack of power, massive snowdrifts, harsh blizzard conditions, and ferocious winds.

The virus turns people into Whistlers (zombie-like) from the whistling sound they make through their lungs. Scary, right?

A world ravaged by a deadly virus. What will those do to survive?

MEG: (Mountain high cable car-gondola)

Meg is a former homicide cop, who woke up with strangers on a cable car suspended over snowy terrain. She is a volunteer for the trial, and the others are on the gondola headed to "The Retreat." They are trapped, hanging by a wire, filled with fear, and there are secrets. There must be a murderer on board. A dead man? Why are they dressed in the same uniform as her? Was she drugged? What is going on? No memory of how they got there.

HANNAH: (Bus crash)

Hannah, a medical student, evacuated from a boarding school, on a bus that crashed in the middle of a blizzard snowstorm—trapped with no heat. Doors and windows are jammed. Hannah has to take charge. An ice patch and over a cliff into a snow bank. Students are on board and some are experiencing symptoms of the virus. There is no way out. Everyone has secrets, including Hannah. They must work together to escape the bus and the harsh weather.

CARTER: (Snowed in Retreat-trapped)

Carter, an employee at the mountainside facility called The Retreat. A chalet with others. They manufacture a vaccine for the deadly virus in exchange for the items they need for survival and essential needs. The generator at the Chalet is intermittent, with power outages (off and on). Some begin to disappear, and the vital supplies go missing. A body?

Something sinister is going down? What happens when it goes off for good? Who can be trusted?

Millions are subject to the deadly virus with no cure and horrific cold weather conditions. There is fear, danger, claustrophobia, and anxiety; everyone is terrified and frightened for their life in this survival game.

Alternating between the three groups/characters, we hear from each group and learn their secrets. So many questions: What is The Academy, and why were they selected to attend The Retreat?

Where is this headed? How are these groups connected? Each group is trying to preserve its humanity while surviving.

The author takes you on a nerve-wracking panic-filled disturbing dark journey in this terrifying thriller. I am not really into horror, post-apocalyptic, science fiction, or dystopian; however, I will give the author credit for pulling off this intense and complex THE DRIFT where, “Either you’re a good guy, or you’re a survivor.”

Since we are still in the COVID pandemic, this book is scary. Too violent, dark, and horror filled for my taste.

THE DRIFT is for fans of authors— Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Blake Crouch. However, this one is much darker than the other Tudor books I have read in the past and is not one of my favorites.

Some may think of Stephen King's The Stand (book and TV series). As with his book and Tudors, you will love or hate it. However, this was a popular book by King about an end-of-the-world scenario: a rapidly mutating flu virus released from a U.S. military facility, wipes out 99 percent of the population and sets the stage for an apocalyptic confrontation between good and evil.

If you do not like these types of books, I would stay away. However, if you like Science Fiction and gore, and horror does not bother you, go for it.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Jan 31, 2023

My Rating: 4 Stars


“The wildest thriller of the year is three thrillers in one. Buckle up.” —Linwood Barclay

“[A] tour de force . . . This is a masterpiece of its kind.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A truly terrifying, ice-cold chiller from the master of macabre . . . C. J. Tudor should be on everyone’s must-read list.” —Chris Whitaker

About the Author

C. J. Tudor is the author of A Sliver of Darkness, The Burning Girls, The Other People, The Hiding Place, and The Chalk Man, which won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel and the Strand Critics Award for Best Debut Novel. Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voice-over artist, and dog walker. She is now thrilled to be able to write full-time, and doesn’t miss chasing wet dogs through muddy fields all that much. She lives in England with her partner and daughter. WEBSITE



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