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The Drift by C.J. Tudor

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Drift by C. J. Tudor
Published by Random House Publishing Group on January 19, 2023
ISBN: 9780593356579
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Psychological, Suspense, Horror
Pages: 389
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
four stars - The Drift by C.J. Tudor

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.

The Drift has a dark pulsating heart, a constant reminder of the evil that humanity can do. C.J. Tudor has the ability to wrong foot her readers at every turn. Superb.

The Drift was immediate cover love…I know, I know, shoot me! But it called to me like a siren awaiting its next prey. Well let me just say, this book got its talons into me nice and early. I know its likely an unpopular opinion, but I love a story about viruses and post-apocalyptic worlds. And this take had me salivating with its torturous narrative and blood thirsty scenes. What made it even better was just how all the intricate storylines interweaved into a final reveal, I’m not ashamed to admit that I had no idea what was about to smack me upsides the head.

C.J Tudor is a relatively new to me author and I’ve instantly fallen in love with her storytelling. It’s sharp and punchy and she isn’t afraid to tackle those hard-hitting themes. I think especially during lockdown times we became so insular – we had no routines, no sense of anything else going on in the world, just those four walls, day in and day out. It was a form of torture for many. Anyway, I digress, Tudor created a story that allowed the reader to experience many different perspectives. The effect these conditions created the longing for loved ones and time to plot against those who have done us wrong.

The Drift follows three groups of people, narrated by Hannah, Meg, and Carter. Hannah and her group have been involved in a crash after the bus that was taking them to “The Retreat” to be involved in trials that could significantly help them if they were to become infected. Hannah’s father, Dr. Grant is the professor running the establishment and boy is he a cold son of a cow if you ever met one. Absolute rage this character brought out in me. The trials aren’t exactly legal nor ethical but don’t let that stop powerful men. Hannah and her group wake up after the crash, feel discombobulated and realise that they’ve been drugged. They are surrounded by the dead and very quickly realise that either the cold will kill them or the department because at least one of them is infected.

Meg and her group are trapped in a cable car. They are around 1000 feet in the air with no where to escape. They were also on their way to The Retreat. They also awake after being drugged and find that someone has stabbed a member of their group. Who managed to smuggle a knife on board. Quickly they become weary with exhaustion and hunger and tempers become frayed. Meg is an ex- police officer who has nothing left to live for and a palpable sense of resentment towards The Department. Her six-year-old daughter died during the outbreak and just desperately wants to be with her again. Her pain made my heart ache.

Carter is a member of staff within The Retreat. Boy, has he had a hard time of it. After being trapped in the hypothermic conditions his face is a mess from nerve damage. It used to bother him but now not so much. It means that mostly people keep away from him. The Retreat has few numbers now and they take it turn to do chores and the dreaded grocery run – this involves a trek down the mountainside on ski’s. You just have to watch out for the Whistlers – the infected that now live in droves around buildings. One thing you need to remember is to keep out of the basement, that’s where the isolation chambers are kept.


image 3 682x1024 - The Drift by C.J. Tudor

C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.

She left school at sixteen and has had a variety of jobs over the years, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, ad agency copywriter and voiceover.

In the early nineties, she fell into a job as a television presenter for a show on Channel 4 called Moviewatch. Although a terrible presenter, she got to interview acting legends such as Sigourney Weaver, Michael Douglas, Emma Thompson and Robin Williams. She also annoyed Tim Robbins by asking a question about Susan Sarandon’s breasts and was extremely flattered when Robert Downey Junior showed her his chest.

While writing the Chalk Man she ran a dog-walking business, walking over twenty dogs a week as well as looking after her little girl.

She’s been writing since she was a child but only knuckled down to it properly in her thirties. Her English teacher once told her that if she ‘did not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author’ he would be ‘very disappointed.’

The Chalk Man was inspired by a tub of chalks a friend bought for her daughter’s second birthday. One afternoon they drew chalk figures all over the driveway. Later that night she opened the back door to be confronted by weird stick men everywhere. In the dark, they looked incredibly sinister. She called to her partner: ‘These chalk men look really creepy in the dark . . .’

She is never knowingly over-dressed. She has never owned a handbag and the last time she wore heels (twelve years ago) she broke a tooth.

She loves The Killers, Foo Fighters and Frank Turner. Her favourite venue is Rock City.

Her favourite films are Ghostbusters and The Lost Boys. Her favourite authors are Stephen King, Michael Marshall and Harlan Coben.

She is SO glad she was a teenager in the eighties.

She firmly believes that there are no finer meals than takeaway pizza and champagne, or chips with curry sauce after a night out.

Everyone calls her Caz.

C.J. Tudor

four stars - The Drift by C.J. Tudor

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