The Drift

Source: DRC via NetGalley (Random House Publishing Group – Ballentine Books) in exchange for an honest review
Pub. Date: January 31, 2023
Synopsis: Goodreads
Purchase Link: Amazon

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Why did I choose to read this book?

The tl:dr answer to this question is that I have become fascinated with authors who are incorporating pandemic themes in their novels. At first it caused irritation (I had enough pandemic shit in my own life thanks!) but then it morphed into curiosity – how could this all go down if something way more lethal than COVID made the rounds? I’m numb to the fear at this point so just let me at all the stories, I’ll read ’em.

What is this book about?

This book is how different people with different levels of privilege or access deal with a deadly pandemic that turns people into zombies and eventually kills them. Some people are just changed by the virus and live in the wild, making wheezing sounds that earned them the name “Whistler.” It just means zombie.

Deeper at its core, I think this book is about futility. When death is at the door it doesn’t matter how good a person you are, how connected, how rich or poor, whether you are a murderer or a saint – you’re going to get got regardless. Abandon hope all ye who enter here, etc.

What is notable about the story?

I loved the structure of the story. It’s told from three points of view and they only merge riiiiiiiiight at the end. It made everyone easier to keep track of and my character investment was much higher than it might have been if the stories were woven into each other. All three points of view were high stakes, high tension from start to finish. I didn’t ever want to put this one down, but I had to so it didn’t affect my dreams. I read too close to bedtime when I started the book and learned a hard lesson!

Was anything not so great?

The ending made me mad as fuck. Like, livid. I almost threw my Kindle down. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but the book was a solid 4 stars until the ending and it was so maddening I dropped my rating to 3 stars on Goodreads. If you read this one let me know in the comments what you thought of the ending. I’m dying to know.

What’s the verdict?

3 stars on Goodreads (but without the ending it would have been 4). A fast-paced thriller with pandemic themes, you won’t let out that breath you didn’t realize you were holding until you’re done. Good luck!


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