Thank you to author Tom Bray for providing me with a copy of Closing the Drift in exchange for this honest review.
Closing the Drift is book two in an ongoing trilogy. The first book, Merging the Drift, introduced us to the four main characters Danny, Ali, Kitty, and Kerri. The second book expands on the cast and perspectives and brings us deeper into the two worlds that they span.
The Drift refers to a world separate from our own inhabited by individuals who have died before they turned 18. Here they live in a sort of purgatory that starts to seem rather ideal by the end of this book. They no longer have any physical ailments and are able to enjoy a version of life without having to work or worry about things like money. I wonder if I would question my existence in the Drift or just enjoy it. I suppose if you’re not yet over 18 you wouldn’t realize how good you have it there!
Some, but few, individuals are able to somewhat transverse the barrier between the Drift and the “real world.” This used to require communication through proxies or by being physically near the grave of the one in the Drift but it has expanded now. This power becomes much more prominent in Closing the Drift and will be a major source of conflict once a new character shows up.
The conflict in Merging the Drift was largely a mystery about what the Drift is and why anyone is there. It was more an existential crisis than traditional protagonist vs antagonist story. Closing the Drift introduces a real villain for the characters to face together. Elize is the new mystery player pulling strings before they even realize they have a foe to face.
Elize is a welcome shake up to the series and provides a real sense of danger that was missing from the first book. Her character is a proper foil to Kitty and is a fascinating voice to read. Her introductory chapter was so jarring that it re-engaged my attention and revitalized my energy for the book. I literally sat up straight in my chair!
The structure of the book is perfect for a part 2. The beginning nicely folds in enough exposition to allow the reader to regain their footing after forgetting what happened in book 1. Although it still did take me a while to get back into the flow of the story, a lot happened in that first book! The epilogue at the end is a delightful teaser for what is to come. I am certainly looking forward to reading the conclusion!
Closing the Drift is a great read for when you want to defy genre. It’s got elements of supernatural fantasy, philosophy, family drama, and a lot of great friendships mixed into some coming of age. It’s a character driven series that understands the priorities of human nature and what it means to be alive, even if you’re dead.
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If you want to further blur the lines between life and death in relationships check out Realms.