Member Reviews

Okay, so here's the thing. I want people to take this review with a grain of salt, because it turns out this might just not be my genre. While I do love thrillers, I've read very few, if any, apocalyptic thrillers. It's definitely dark, creepy, and has a lot of tension in it. If you're someone that likes action, some darkness, and mysteries focused on survival, then I would say this is a book for you. Tudor writes with a certain kind of despair and tension that I don't see very often, so kudos to them on that!

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There's a lot going on in this book - both thematically and character-wise. Thematically, it covers a few genres - dystopian/apocalyptic, mystery/thriller, suspense, even a touch of horror. And it takes a while to figure out what's going on in this world and how we got there. Character-wise, there are three story arcs, each centering on one of three major characters, but those characters all have characters in "their" little worlds, and gradually we see connections and why they're important to the story Tudor is telling. Like I said - a lot going on, a lot to keep track of. Not that that's a bad thing - but going in the reader should be prepared to pay attention. I enjoyed this book - it was my first by C. J. Tudor, and I'm certainly intrigued enough by her writing and her storytelling to want to read more from her.
Thanks to Netgalley and Random House/Ballantine for providing a copy for an unbiased review.

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I thought this would be a thrilling tale but there was too much death and gory scenes for me. I also could not become invested in the characters as several of them were unlikable and others were not sufficiently “fleshed out” for me. Others may love this but it wasn’t for me.

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<i>The Drift</i> was a pleasant surprise for me. I knew right as I started the book that I was going to be hooked. The reader is presented with three different scenes with stressful settings. There is no easing into the struggles the characters are presented in this post apocalyptic time. The world has been ravaged by the virus and only the strong survive.

I was not prepared for the connections that each of the three scenarios had with each other. Once I caught on, I became thoroughly impressed by the writing. Some might think a book about a virus taking over the world might be too soon. But I say no, do yourself a favor and grab this book. Although others might describe it as horror because of gory scenes, it might not be for the faint of heart but I think it shows the talent and range of the author to pull you in and see the descriptions he presents. It's definitely a thriller that is hard to put down.

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THE DRIFT was my first foray into the writing of British author, C.J. Tudor. Based on the cover art of blinding white snow falling and covering evergreens as scavenging crows circle above, I had a feeling I was in for a suspenseful tale of isolation. I was not wrong.

THE DRIFT surprised me in multiple ways. Readers are presented with chapters alternating through three different people trying to survive after ten years of a viral apocalypse which has destroyed the normalcy and comforts of 21st century life. It didn't take COVID-19 for creators of any kind to come up with this scenario. It has existed in the forms of vampires, zombies, parasites, or scientific blunders in books, film, and video games seemingly forever. All of the stories in this kind of subgenre ask a simple question: Who gets to live at the top of the power structure and call the shots?

What I liked was the chapter breakdowns. Ninety percent of the book follows: Hannah then Meg then Carter. What I thought I knew was that they were all on the same timeline but in three different locations. It felt like these three people would be the survivors who meet up in the end. I was incredibly wrong. Way off, in fact. There's no gimmicky time travel or multiple universes. You won't have to keep track of convoluted strings like that.

Noted below are where the groups of characters are when readers are introduced to them at the beginning. It's also worth noting that multiple characters take on new identities which is one of the tools I felt was too weak and cliché for how strong the large, massively entwined story is. What readers will have to keep track of are three separate groups plus additional antagonist groups for them:

The Retreat Group:
Carter, Nate, Julia, Jackson, Miles, Welland, and Caren.
Others have already died or succumb to the virus. One specifically is discovered stabbed to death and floating in the pool.
The Cable Car Group:
Sean, Meg, Sarah, Karl, Max, Paul.
One of them is already dead.
The Coach (Bus as an American would say) Group:
Lucas, Josh, Ben, Cassie, Hannah, Daniel, Peggy.
One of them is just about to die and barely clinging to life.
The Whistlers—people infected who are basically the "monster" of the story even though they still show signs of intelligence and emotion, but rage is the first one to display in abundance.
The Department—the powerful people in charge who are supposed to be working on anti-virals, vaccines, boosters, and engineering a new way of life for everyone.
The Quinns—a father and his sons who run a barter operation and get to make the rules for their territory since there's little population and people need supplies.

The author successfully kept the massive cast of characters and three main locations comprehensible. I still had to do a lot of highlighting and note placement to keep track of all the names.

An area that I think was unnecessary was having multiple murder mysteries along with the three protagonists having their own missions. It was a bit too much. As a reader, I was invested in the questions of whether Carter, Hannah, and Meg would get what they needed to survive. Having Who Dun' It? murders past and present was too much with only one exception—the one which feeds Carter's entire motivation as a character.

Tudor also does a stellar job with reveals. They come out in a well-timed plot. You can count on the end of each chapter leaving an answer (or at least a theory) and a new question. At the end, as the most impactful answers are revealed, each protagonist has a satisfying conclusion to their own roadmap. The fifth distinct part of the book subtitled, "3,500 Miles Away," delivers a gratifying end.

I will only give this one spoiler. Does the dog die?

Yes, for humane reasons like Ol' Yeller.


The Drift makes promises of characters being constantly under threats and it certainly delivers in that regard. There are challenges for basic survival: will they get out of X scenario alive?; if they get out, what then?; and is it possible in such a fragile world to trust anyone? The ending brings a conclusion with a little bit of hope that gives readers the sense that not all is lost after decades of the catastrophic viral pandemic.

Rating: 4 stars

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I could not put this book down!
We start off with three POVs that eventually merge and so many questions get answered when they do. The story takes place in a post apocalyptic world on the side of a mountain.
A coach runs off the road and only some passengers survive, others are "infected" as well.
A cable car is left stranded high above the mountain, on their way to "the Retreat" and chaos ensues there.
Then we have the folks at the Retreat itself - who are they, what is in the isolation chambers in the basement, and who are the 'good guys" in the whole thing?
I was riveted and absolutely see this becoming a movie. Five stars here!

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THE DRIFT any CJ Tudor is a wild ride into an apocalyptic / dystopian world following a viral outbreak where the DRIFT - Department of Research Infection and Future Transmission comes into play, and where we are introduced to three main characters Hannah, Meg and Carter whose stories merge into a crazy ride of your life.

The tension sustains throughout the read with a chilling location that cuts through your bones in suspense and thrill. The twists and turns are fantastic and this nail biting read is loads of fun to read.

What an immensely crazy ride!

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The Drift by C.J. Tudor features three main characters each with their own story. I felt the plot ideas were good but the characters aren’t as developed as I liked. It is quite the active thriller!

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The Drift covers the lives of three main characters in three different storylines. They are all in precarious situations due to a massive snowstorm. To make matters worse, there has been a virus going around causing deadly and horrific consequences.

I’ll be honest, it took a while for me to get invested in the story. The characters are mostly unlikable and not very well developed. I can’t say that I cared for any of them, with the exception of Hannah. Nevertheless, I kept reading and near the end I found myself absorbed by the events and revelations that unfolded.

I don’t read much horror, so I feel readers like me should know that there is quite a bit of death and gore involved in the story. It has a dismal feel throughout. By the end, I did feel like the author presented a clever ending for a dystopian horror novel, leaving an opening for a possible sequel.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing -Ballantine for allowing me to read an advance copy. I’m happy to offer my honest review.

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Unfortunately this was a DNF at 40%. I will give this author another try but this story was not what I was hoping for. I did not connect with the characters and I did not care enough about where the story was going to continue reading.

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This was a decent enough thriller that kept me entertained while I was reading it. My concern with this one is the number of characters who are similar and brutal to distinguish between. As the reader, you get the sense that the three settings and their paired set of people are related to the others, but having them all be so one-dimensional was tough. I had to take notes to keep them straight and follow the breadcrumb trail here. I'd say it's a great vacation read while you're cuddled up by the fire in a ski lodge. Is it the best thriller I've read? No. But it was brain candy for sure!

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Thank you so much @netgalley @randomhouse for the eARC of this in exchange for my review.

This was my first action thriller that I have ever read. I have read all of CJ Tudor's previous works and really loved them. While I enjoyed this book overall, it did not live up to the previous novels written. I think action thrillers just might not be my thing. I think if you enjoy disaster and action-packed thrillers, then you would likely enjoy this book. The writing is well done and holy crap can Tudor build an atmosphere. Anyone who likes The Last Of Us, Walking Dead, etc. should read this one! I did like that in the end all the story lines came together, even though it was heartbreaking. This has some level of gore to it that might be a bit much for some readers but didn't bother me at all. Would recommend for anyone that likes this genre.

#TheDrift #NetGalley #bookreview #Ballantine #disasterbook #TheLastOfUs

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This story is told from three different points of view In one, a school bus carrying passenger to a retreat overturns, the passengers need to work together to get out and to safety in a snowstorm. The next one is a cable car suspended far above a snow storm with no memory of how they got there. The last, Carter is at the retreat when the power goes out. As you keep reading, through many twists and turns, you find out how the stories come together for the shocking ending.

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This was a really interesting novel and it kept me on my toes. I loved how the chapters were short and switched between characters so frequently. There were constant cliff hangers and I just had to know what would happen next. It was a little more gore than I typically like, but I just tried to read those sections quick. All in all it was an entertaining read. Thank you netgalley for my free review copy.

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"The Drift" is a dystopian, pandemic book set in a secluded ski chalet. Three stories with semi-different motivations wind together throughout the story. It starts as more of a slow burn then picks up speed quickly towards the end of the book. Typically, I don't like books about pandemics (we just lived through one; I don't need to relive it so soon after) but author C.J. Tudor does a nice job of making this particular pandemic feel different than 2020. I also love the ruthless characters who create an environment where no one is safe.

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This was one of my anticipated books of the year and I was seeing it all over bookstagram. Unfortunately, books that are really hyped (either by the publishers or fellow readers) don’t always appeal to me and let me down. I love a lot of books by this author so I’m bummed. There were so many characters to keep track of. I wish there was one storyline.

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Calling all fans of The Last of Us and the like, this pandemic based viral #thriller is perfect for when you want something that will actually have your pulse pounding and too locked in to stop obsessively turning the pages.

This one is a wild ride, taking place from three different viewpoints at three different times, all of which revolve around a pandemic that has ravaged the world and left it a shell of what it once was.

The story begins when an influential boarding school attempts Tom evacuate it students in the midst of a campus infection to safety. Unfortunately, a horrible accident leaves nearly all of the students dead with a few exceptions, who scramble to fight for their lives in brutal, blizzard like conditions before government officials can find them.

Absolutely exhilarating. Out of all of the three viewpoints, I will admit that Hannah’s was my favorite, and the awful, heartbreaking angle of her father’s involvement and ultimate betrayal destroyed me.

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I thought this was a good mystery thriller. I haven't read much by this author but still enjoyed this one as well. I did like the mystery aspect of this story and what was going to happen. I don't like going into a book already feeling like I know what was going to happen. The only downfall i had were all the characters and trying to keep track of everyone.

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End of the earth, end of humanity, end, end, end. Told from three distinctive POVs this amazing apocalyptic book kept twisting and turning and moving in on itself and veering off and I was never really sure where it was going but I was loved it.

The characters are caught in a life and death struggle to survive but the real question is “Survive what and why bother?” A totally ugly reveal of mankind and explanation of how an apocalypse happens and the ordinariness of the explanation. So no clear cut white or black hat - people just interpreting and misinterpreting each other until society “rumbled or crumbled”.

I liked almost everything about this book, the introspection, the profiling of the characters, the settings, the plot twists , the writing and never turning away from the inherent horror of the potential decimation of us. A very different and terrific story told with cunning, a bit of snark, some compassion and a hint of hope.

Thank you Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a copy.

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✨✨ Book 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.

My Thoughts:
Told through multiple POV's, we follow Hannah, Meg, and Carter as they each find themselves in life or death situations. While each are in a different situation with a different group of people, they must find a way to survive the elements, wildlife, and people around them.
This a medium paced book with lots of challenges that each group must work to overcome. I spent most of this book wondering what connected the three groups that we follow. It does all come together in the end, but I felt a little let down by the twist. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it and didn't see it coming but I felt like the components of the story were so well built that it could have given so much more. If you enjoy a multi layered story with great characters this one is for you!


Thank you to @netgalley and @randomhouse for the gifted copy of this book.

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