Cover Image: The Gathering

The Gathering

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This type of book is never my go to but I do love this author's work. And this one did not disappoint. Scary in all the right ways! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher!

Was this review helpful?

Detective Barbara Atkins of the Forensic Vampire Anthropology Department is on her way to Deadhart, Alaska, to investigate a murder in the tiny town. They hadn’t had a murder in 25 years, but this one is strikingly similar to the last, and the town is calling for a mass cull of the vampyrs (I’m going with the author’s spelling, because, pretty!). Barbara understands vampyrs better than most, and she refuses to make that call without a thorough probe; legally, a mass cull can only be done when there are mass casualties or imminent threat of the town’s humans being slaughtered. As a vampyr “sympathizer”, she can’t let that happen.

When she gets there, she meets Chief Nichols, Mayor Rita, Reverend Colleen Grey and her strange sidekick, Grace. Everyone wants to know why 15-year-old Marcus Anderson died. His throat was ripped out, and it’s up to Barbara to figure out if the killer was human or not. There are a lot of other characters in the book, maybe too many, but their names aren’t important. This story is about the two groups, and how they live (or don’t) together. A Gathering is a small war between the two worlds, and someone is trying to make that happen, possibly with this murder. Which side are they on?

My favorite character was Athelinda, leader of the Colony. Centuries old, but trapped in the body of a nine-year-old, it is her who makes the call on killing humans. She looks like an angel but acts like a devil, and she is trying to save her fellow members of the living dead while calming her desire for human blood. In the book, we also hear bits from a vampyr being taken care of by their Captor, and it’s not until the end that you discover who they are.

The ending of this was great, but as is usual with this author’s books, the thing that stands out the most is the writing. Her books are consistently flawless when it comes to the words used and emotions provoked. I’m not one for vampire books, but this is without a doubt the best one I’ve ever read. 4.5 stars, rounded up.

(Thank you to Ballantine Books, C.J. Tudor and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my review.)

Was this review helpful?

✨Book Review✨

The Gathering 📚 by C.J. Tudor

Thank you @netgalley for this #advancedreaderscopy 🧛‍♂️

A female detective, who also specializes in vampyrs, gets sent to Deadhart, Alaska to investigate a killing of local town boy. The towns people believe the local vampyr colony is behind it and are determined to authorize a cull. The detective works with the town's previous sheriff to get answers, and along the way they learn about the town's dark history and secrets.

I really enjoyed the plot twists in this book - I didn't predict any of them. I also loved the setting of Alaska and vampires (hello, 30 Days of Night vibes). I struggled with the pacing of this book and felt it could have wrapped up things sooner, but overall enjoyed it.

A good pick if you like all things vampires (or in this book, vampyrs) 🧛‍♂️
#justread #bookstack #booklovers #alwaysreading #readersofinstagram #bookreview #instareads #goodreads #bookworm #bookaddict #readersofig #bookreviewer #bookaddict #bookstagram

Was this review helpful?

I am a huge fan of the author after absolutely burning through the Chalk Man and Burning Girls but this one was not quite the same caliber in my opinion. I kept waiting for something to happen but it never really came. Vampyres are portrayed as victims in the story and weirdly the author has chose to apply all the “woke” stereotypes into their story. Vampyres are meant to be scary abs threatening but these most definitely were not. This was meant to be a murder mystery but it really ended up being more of a study of vampires in America and a lot of the prejudice got tired and I found myself skimming parts.
I will definitely be reading more from CJ Tudor in the future, but this one just wasn’t my favorite.
Thanks to Penguin Books and NetGalley for this eArc in exchange for my review.

Was this review helpful?

This is a super unique story. I wasn’t sure how I would feel reading about vampires in a real world scenario like a murder investigation, but it was really enjoyable and kept me hooked. I would describe this book as weird and dark in the best way! I would recommend this book, especially to someone looking for something out of the ordinary.

Review posted on Instagram @readwithkendall

Was this review helpful?

The Gathering was different than I was expecting, in a good way. I've read 4 other C.J. Tudor books, all which were in the psychological/thriller/suspense - this was the first with vampires. I enjoyed this book very much, to me it was not scary or thriller, but it did keep me wanting to read chapter to chapter so I would say there was suspense!

A detective flies to Alaska after a boy is murdered, this isn't just any murder and she is not any detective. There are parts of the government that are there for vampire vs. human cases. This specific case has brought her to the small isolated town, because the townspeople want a cull. A cull is a wipeout of an entire colony/coven of vampires and it's her job to make sure that all the evidence supports that serious of a punishment. Is it a vampire killing or was it a prank gone wrong? Det. Atkins cannot be confident in a vampire killing as the evidence is not consistent - it's even more unlikely when someone tries to break into the deep freezer the body is being stored in. Several different characters and storylines appear and I can't help but be mesmerized by Athelinda, the colonies' leader. There is a lot of history of characters and the town that Tudor goes in to which explains so much. I think the author did a fantastic job connecting each story line and making a great book!

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for the ARC!
#TheGathering #NetGalley

Was this review helpful?

In the small rural town of Deadhart, Alaska, suspicions and prejudices against the nearby Colony of vampyrs have been growing for generations. When a teenage boy is found dead, his blood drained, the whole town is calling for justice by holding a cull of the entire colony. Detective and vampyr expert Barbara Atkins is called in to verify if the murder was in fact a colony kill, And is this connected to the case 25 years ago that almost killed town sheriff?
The freezing temps, rising snow, and lack of daylight just added to the creepy vibes of the story. You can sense how the isolation of this small town and the proximity of the unknown have created fear and tension just ready to explode into hatred and conflict at the first opportunity. Just when I thought I knew what was going on, there was another twist to the plot until the exciting end. The pacing of the story at the beginning was a little slow as we got to know the town and some of the major characters, but after the halfway point, the action started to really pick up. I really liked The Drift and was excited to read this book and I wasn't disappointed!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

To say I was excited to start this new C.J. Tudor book is an understatement. The last one I read had me on the edge from the start. The writing was impeccable. Upon starting <i>The Gathering</i>, I started to question if I had my authors confused. It was definitely a different type of book for me, so I didn't want to give up on it. Although after I finished, I kind of wished I had. It was just not good.
I knew I was getting myself into a book about vampires, Alaskan lore and superstitions, and the difficulties law enforcement would be getting themselves into while they investigated in a very small town. I was prepared for that and reading to jump into it. What I got were all of those things, but also an underlying agenda that was subtly being weaved in throughout. This wasn't just an investigator following the rules. This was an investigator trying to prove something that went beyond solving a murder. I didn't like it. I wanted to but I ended up being disappointed in the end, unfortunately.

Was this review helpful?

This was the absolutely coolest book to read! Being an Alaskan myself, then realizing the author did her homework when talking about the little town, one of which i currently reside, this just made for such an awesome, atmospheric book! I have to be honest and say there were times i was a bit bored with some flashbacks, but overall, i loved the book and would definitely recommend to all my Alaskan thriller readers!

Was this review helpful?

This author is a must read for me but sometimes I just don't connect with the books. But The Gathering pulled me in right from the start and the nonstop thrill didn't let up until the end.

Tudor has created a unique Vampire world that I would love to see more of in the future.

Was this review helpful?

Overall, I give this one ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

Books about vampires aren’t my go-to, but I’ve seen this book recommended by several people. And it was good. I loved the atmosphere and the storyline. I was off my game, because I didn’t guess any of the big twists, and that hasn’t happened in a long time. So a major bonus. 👏🏻

There were two things I wasn’t a fan of: the amount of times Barbara said “sir” and the constant mentions of Barbara’s weight - it served no purpose?

Was this review helpful?

I mean, just when you think the vampire genre has been written into the ground, along comes CJ Tudor, who opens her new book with a truly dark and f*cked up opening that instantly had me intrigued and leaning in…no surprise, coming from an author known for completely subverting reader expectations, an author who takes it to the next level with a new supernatural crime thriller that delivers on every level in dark, fun, twisty (not to mention f*cking scary!!) ways.

Fair warning before you start this book: you will NOT put it down until you finish. It’s that good. I’ve always enjoyed Tudor’s books; she writes dark and twisty like no one else, and her books CHALK MAN, THE OTHER PEOPLE, and THE DRIFT are well worth prioritizing if you haven’t read the author before.

That being said, with THE GATHERING, Tudor takes it to the next level. This book is so damn good. Part TRUE DETECTIVE, part TRUE BLOOD, this is a grounded crime thriller first and foremost, set in a world where vampires (here they’re called vampyr) have existed for hundreds of years. There is an uneasy truce between humans and vampyr, and it is up to a special government agency to ensure that truce is maintained. In the event a vampyr is accused of killing a human, the agency is brought in to investigate the crime and confirm the death is vampyr-related. The penalty for killing a human is severe: not only is the vampyr destroyed, but that vampyr’s entire colony is also destroyed. Said annihilation is called a Gathering.

Tudor’s book is set in a small Alaskan town, a town that is terrified of the local vampyr colony (they keep their Christmas lights up year-long to ward off any supernatural intruders). Detective Barbara Atkins (think Fargo’s Marge Gunderson) is called in to investigate the death of a teen boy, which appears to be an open-and-shut vampyr murder (there’s cell phone footage of the killing). Atkins quickly realizes there’s more to the crime than meets the eye, and in a town full of people who would do whatever is necessary to instigate a Gathering, everyone is a suspect…

Without giving much more away, my recommendation is just get yourself a copy of this book and enjoy. It’s so damn fun. This is premium popcorn reading at its finest. From that very first chapter (vampire hunting trophies…so sick, but i love it), you will not be able to put it down. Tudor keeps things moving at a brisk pace, does a great job populating the book with a town full of damaged, morally-grey characters (each with their own dark secrets), and executes twist after twist after wild twist all the way up to the very end. Yes, the book is about vampires, but the supernatural element doesn’t overwhelm the overarching mystery at the center of the book. It simmers in the background and gives specificity to the story, the characters, and the town. Additionally, Atkins is a fantastic character that readers will root for (based on the open-ending, Tudor clearly has plans to write more Atkins stories set in this world), and the book does a nice job of exploring themes of class and race and implicit bias thru the lens of vampires.

I have no doubt THE GATHERING will end up very high on this year’s TOP 10 countdown. It’s a wild ride.

Was this review helpful?

I thought this was a pretty good mystery that happened to have some vampires in it. The ending did surprise me a little bit.

Was this review helpful?

The Gathering is Tudor’s latest, and one of the many books featuring vampires in 2024. What makes The Gathering stand out is the political slant between humans and vampires. After what was akin to a civil war, humans have segregated vampires and taken their rights away. What is also at the forefront is the dangers of religious zealotry and how that can quickly poison people’s minds. Tudors weaves both throughout the story in a way that is chilling prescient to present times.

At its heart, it is a murder mystery that has to contend with a small, rural town’s prejudices towards vampires. The main character is a level-headed detective that isn’t willing to cave to the pressures from the town who have already made up their minds. There are a few twists and turns that the reader won’t see coming. That makes it difficult to put it down especially towards the end.

Was this review helpful?

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine for this advance copy of The Gathering by C.J. Tudor - this one came out early April and is available for purchase now!

I really enjoyed The Burning Girls, and after some mixed reviews of The Drift, I was excited to check this one out - vampire colonies, an Alaska setting, say no more! This one took me a little bit to get into, but once the atmospheric plot was set, it was much more fast paced and moved quickly. I was so invested in finding out what happened to our murdered boy Marcus. I will say, as a traditional horror, this one has some “horror elements” but I would classify this more as a procedural slow-burn thriller, so if you’re looking for more horror, I’m not sure this is it.

Thank you again to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

Was this review helpful?

Stark and darkly complex, this vampire story reads like Agatha Christie fell into a horror film.

Reimagining vampyr lore and set in an unforgiving Alaskan small town, Tudor’s novel uses isolation and blood to rope you in to its twisty puzzle. With a flawed but fierce mature female main character and a full cast of intriguing townspeople, The Gathering is a great mixed genre thriller.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy. These opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

This book is set in an alternate reality where vampires are dangerous but have their own protections. That was an interesting premise, when the mystery was about a murdered boy who seemed to be the victim of a vampire attack.
I thought the story was slow sometimes but the characters were complex. People made decisions based on their past, just like in real life. It was the patterns and interactions that provided most of the conflict and tension here.
I enjoyed the ending and decided I'd like to read more in this world. Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and NetGalley for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Wow! A twist for Tudor to take on a little more of the paranormal in this story about Vampires living among humans. Tudor did a fabulous job in developing this story and in my opinion making it feel believable . This story is about a murder that happens in Alaska , apparently a Vampire attack. Our MC , detective Barabar Atkins is assigned to the case to determine if a Cull can be authorized. In other words , can the humans rightfully kill the vampires. The story unwinds as we meet the people in the town and it unravels as their secrets become revealed for the town to see. But of course every small town has it's secrets, yet not all are known.
I found this to be an exciting twist on vampires with a blend of crime mystery. Excellent and well done!

Was this review helpful?

The Gathering by C.J. Tudor is a horror/thriller about a detective in rural Alaska who is investigating a gruesome murder. Detective Barbara Atkins is a specialist in vampyr killings, and she's sent to this remote town to decide whether this murder is the work of a vampyr or not. This was quite the interesting story, and I really enjoyed it. I think I prefer some of Tudor's previous books over this one though. Thanks to NetGalley for the free digital review copy. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

I have read other books by CJ Tudor and have really enjoyed them so I was excited to get the opportunity to read this book through net galley. This book is a true original and not like the other books this author has written. This is a police meet vampire story that takes place in an alternate universe. There are lots of twists and turns in this book to keep you reading and the ending is spectacular.

Was this review helpful?