#ThrillerThursday #BookReview: The Drift by C. J. Tudor

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.

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

The Drift by CJ Tudor is told in three different plot threads. One is a group of students headed to a retreat high in the snowy mountains, and one is a group of strangers on a ski lift who are also on their way to a retreat. The third is a group of people living and working at a retreat, also in the snowy mountains. A disease has ravaged the world and still continues to take hold, killing most people who get it. Science has not been able to come up with any solutions for the terrible disease, so retreats to protect people from it have sprung up in remote areas. All the people in this story are heading to one of these retreats or are already at one. When the bus crashes, the ski lift stops mid-journey, and the power goes off at the retreat, the story becomes a survival story. Even the fittest among them are no match for what happens next.

Actual Reading Experience:

Wow…just wow! I can’t say much about this story, but wow, because it would be so easy to give away a spoiler without meaning to, and trust me, you will not want that at all. Because the shock factor of this story is worth the wait and my brevity. I will discuss the story’s characters, narration, pacing, and setting in the appropriate sections. Still, I’m going to leave my review there. 

For the rest of the story, you will have to read the book.


Hannah is a medical student who is holding on to some big secrets. She is haunted by the words of her father, who is a much different person than she is though he is also a doctor as she is studying to become. She is selfless and self-sacrificing as the good of the many dictates she should be. Still, she is also strong and resilient, with enough knowledge to make her understand the realities of their situation more than most.

Meg is a tragic character in many regards. She used to be a police officer and approaches the many mysteries of what’s happening to them with the eagle eye of a law enforcement agent. But her secrets could be a game changer for everyone stuck in that ski lift.

Carter is also a tragic figure.  He lost half of his face to frostbite and the description of how he looks truly is unimaginable.  He ended up at the retreat by chance not by design like everyone else but has proved to be a valuable member of the team.  He has befriended the dog that lives at the retreat, which makes him easily a more sympathetic character than he might otherwise be.

Narration & Pacing:

The narration is done in the third person, with each storyline focusing on the point of view of a particular character in that storyline.  The students on the bus storyline is focused on Hannah, the ski lift story focuses on Meg, and the retreat story focuses on Carter.  This works exceptionally well and holds up the very creative technique used to tell this story perfectly.  It’s never confusing and actually makes the pace faster because there are mini cliffhangers at the end of most chapters. You have to get through two more chapters before you find out what happens, but of course, then you have two more mini-cliffhangers you want to resolve, so you can imagine how fast you will want to read.


The setting for all three plots is a snow-filled remote area that is high in the mountains.  Beyond that, nothing more is told.  Is it the same general location?  The reader doesn’t even know that.  Just that all three places are very cold, very snowy, and very dangerous.

Read if you like:

  • Shocking thrillers
  • Survival stories
  • Atmospheric to the point of claustrophobia

Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Writing Quality10
Character Development5
‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness8
Use of Setting10
All scores, except the overall rating, are on a scale of 1-10. The overall rating is converted to the standard 5-point system.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a free advanced copy of this book to read and review.

16 Replies to “#ThrillerThursday #BookReview: The Drift by C. J. Tudor”

  1. I like that the setting is winter and cold witch must make it even more intense.


  2. I’m excited about this one – have it coming up soon. I read another book of short stories by this author last year and it was wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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