Merging the Drift, Novel Review

Author Tom Bray

Thank you to author Tom Bray for providing me with a copy of Merging the Drift in exchange for this honest review.

Merging the Drift is a genre bending novel that takes place somewhat in one reality and somewhat in one afterlife. There is, of course, the potential for more than one of both. The drift is a sort of afterlife alternative for those poor souls who die before their 18th birthday.

The novel follows three main characters as they navigate their own stories. How these stories become connected by the end was my favorite part of the book. The characters come together in a way that makes sense, doesn’t seem completely forced, and actually has meaning. This seems to be a rareity for this type of story structure.

The rest of the book hops around between the perspectives of Danny, Ali, and Kitty or Kerri. We learn about the drift and what reality is as they do.

Although Ali and Kitty are both young enough for this book to fall into the Young Adult category it’s hard to place it there due to the strong content. There are some intense scenes of violence that might shock an unexpecting reader. Just make sure to be prepared for adult content in this one.

Merging the Drift deals with some unusual forces of the supernatural and time travel, for lack of a better term. It’s not exactly time travel but everything gets just as muddled as if it were time travel. This occasionally takes the narrative to some confusing places. The chapters are headed with days of the week but that does not help the reader sort out the sequence of events.There are instances of flashbacks with no preludes that make it feel like the characters are drifting in and out of different ages.

There are also several examples within these pages of the proverbial male gaze. We are subject to lines of text describing female characters in overtly sexualized and honestly disturbing ways, especially considering that Kitty is underaged (at least by US standards). However, the morality of the story is anti sexual abuse so… I guess it evens out?

Well used shock value has a time and a place, I would say Merging the Drift is about 70% successful. It works to make the reader feel as uncomfortable as the character in the scene is when being undressed with someone’s eyes. It doesn’t work when it tips past discomfort and into gratuitous; to the point it almost feels like the author had a little too much fun writing it.

But that’s just how I felt reading it. One of the things that works well about Merging the Drift is that it is likely different people will have different emotional takeaways from it; they’ll make different connections based on their own histories. That’s when books are best for discussion, and that’s the only type of book worth reading.

Read Merging the Drift and let me know what your takeaway was.

3/5 passed out and lost track of times 😴😴😴

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