The Drift

C.J. Tudor

Quick Synopsis

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.

Publisher’s Synopsis

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.

Book Review

The Drift is the second book by C.J. Tudor that I have read. A few years ago, I read The Chalk Man, which I liked but did not love. As Tudor mentions in the acknowledgements in The Drift, this book is very different from the others she has written.

The Drift is a clever, suspenseful horror novel that borders on speculative, dystopian, or apocalyptic fiction, depending on how you see it. The story follows three individuals that are trapped in dangerous situations during a blizzard – one in an overturned bus, one in a cable car, and one in an abandoned ski chalet – as they try to survive.

The Drift is structured so that the three seemingly disparate stories end up intertwined, but readers are in the dark as to how. Despite the pace being on the slower side, I never felt like it dragged. I found it satisfying to have things unveiled as I read. I had questions, especially toward the beginning, that were answered so long as I kept reading. The layers of mystery and tension easily propelled me to continue devouring this foreboding story. I did figure out one of the big twists, but it only encouraged me to finish the book to see exactly how Tudor was going to connect the different stories and explain the twist.

Tudor’s writing was easy to become absorbed in. She managed to write a book that will keep you at the edge of your seat for its entirety. In addition, Tudor expertly wove the three storylines together and did so in a way I do not think any reader will predict. I really enjoyed that she added references and quips to current issues and people. It added sly humor to a dark book and prevented it from becoming bleak. I also found the book sprinkled with bits of wisdom and great thoughts to ponder.

I really enjoyed that The Drift was told through three distinct narrators, particularly as Tudor wrote the first-person narration in a manner that allowed readers to know who the narrators were as people and what they thought. My only real critique of this book is that there were quite a few secondary characters since each of the three narrators is in a different scenario with a number of people. Initially, I was afraid I would not be able to keep everyone straight. However, I found that every character had a clear persona, especially as I read on. I also loved that there were strong female characters who were whip-smart, determined heroines.

I do want to mention that this book takes place in a world that has been ravaged by a deadly virus. For this reason, I do not think everyone will enjoy it, as I know many people do not feel ready yet to read anything related to pandemics. There is also some gore although there is not a lot of grisly descriptions.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Drift and will be reading it again in the future. I definitely recommend it, especially if you are a fan of locked-room mysteries since this book is essentially three of them combined with other elements.


Overall Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Rating: 4 out of 5.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Character Development

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Drift


Horror; Mystery/Thriller

Publication Date
January 31, 2023


Storygraph Rating
3.94 stars

Goodreads Rating
3.92 stars

Buy Now

Note: I received a gifted copy of this book from its publisher, Ballantine Books. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.

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