This book, this series, is crazy. It defies all logic and it totally works. It is a toss-up of all things paranormal and all things historical (or at least all things historical Russia) and just somehow it works. It's like magic. I love Katiya. I love George (dreamy grand dukes? YES please). I had moments where I was blushing, I had moments where my skin was crawling (because, yes, Danilo is back...guhhh), and there were things that filled me with dread. This is definitely one of those books that gets you all worked up.
So the first half of the book, Katerina is stuck in Smolny and doesn't really have access to the outside world. All the information she gets is from Danilo, who can now speak in Katerina's head (which was the source of most of my shuddering - dude is slimy). So she's all hung up on who the ghost is that is throwing frying pans and knocking over book cases. Oh, and there's the huge secret that Princess Alix is hiding - that takes up a good portion of Katerina's time. And lots of pining and wondering what Georgi is up to with the dark wizards in Paris. So while there's not really a lot going on, there's still A LOT going on. THEN all of a sudden everything is happening and there are people everywhere and you don't know who's Light and Dark or good or evil. It's intense and awesome. I feel like every page turn there was some sort of severe reaction. My mind was blowing up all over the place.
Ok, minor freak out over. So Katiya doesn't really change a whole lot from book one. She actually talks a lot less about becoming a doctor - although that aspect is definitely still there. But even though she's not dramatically evolving, the people around her definitely are. Elena was almost pleasant in this book. And Princess Alix was definitely interesting to get to know better. Of course, it was pretty great getting to see more of George in a more romantic capacity (these moments turn me into the Jane Austen - fan yourself and giggle - romantic mushball). What is really awesome is that any of these characters could star in their own books. I want to read about Princess Alix's story. Or even Elena's - I'd love to know what's going on in her head. You could reach in, pluck out any of these characters, and imagine the world according to them.
I loved The Gathering Storm and this world just keeps getting better. You should probably start reading these books if you haven't yet. The way this book ended left me unsatisfied (I was definitely expecting something to happen and it totally didn't), so - next book please!
Check out the other blogs on this tour!
September 24th: Smitten Over Books
September 25th: Casey’s Crew
September 26th: Much Ado About Books
September 26th: The Streetlight Reader
September 27th: Infinite Reads
September 28th: The Hiding Spot
September 29th: Girls *Heart* Books
October 1st: Mom Reads My Books
October 2nd: Magical Urban Fantasy Reads
October 2nd: The Book Review Club
October 3rd: The Book Review Club
October 4th: Kimba Caffeinated
October 4th: My Life is a Notebook
October 5th: My Life is a Notebook
October 6th: Candace’s Book Blog
October 7th: Reader Girls
October 8th: Bookish
October 8th: Peace, Love, Books
October 9th: YA Bibliophile
October 9th: Reader Girls
October 10th: Wastepaper Prose
October 10th: Imaginary Reads
October 11th: Imaginary Reads
October 12th: Well Read Wife
October 15th: Libby Blog
October 16th: Cracking the Cover
October 17th: A Bookish Libraria
October 18th: A Novel Review
October 19th: In the Best Worlds
October 20th: Tripping Over Books