Quick Review – The Drift

C.J. Tudor
Flawed but Fast Apocalyptic Thriller
(CWs Below)

Book cover for The Drift by C.J. Tudor. White background with flying birds that may be ravens or the like. Stylized snow drift to the front, partially occluding a view of snowy pine trees. Red lettering on the title.

Recognizing I’ve posted a lot in a little bit of time, and a lot of book reviews at that, I’m just gonna make this one quick. This is my first CJ Tudor novel, and my first thriller in absolutely ages. I tend to shy away from them because I just zoom through them, and there’s only so much time to read. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a thriller, but to me, personally, they feel like literary empty calories.

Anyway, I read The Drift recently, as it was on an Esquire magazine list of The 13 Best Horror Books of 2023. As I had quick access to it via my Libby App, I decided to download it and give it a try. It’s fine. There are three timelines with three main characters. Eventually these timelines intersect. Some of the connections were interesting and clever, other’s involved quick tricks with hidden information. It’s fast paced and for the most part it kept me engaged, although there were a few plot points that were far fetched. I would not, however, term it horror. I may be in a minority in this, but (small spoiler here) I don’t think zombie stories at this point are necessarily horror, even-post-apocalyptic ones. This was … just a thriller. Does that make sense? I think if it qualifies as “horror” writing, per se, it’s body horror most of all, although a mild version of it.

Content Warnings – violent death, blood and gore, mutilation, death, vehicular crashes, falling from heights, gun violence, emotional and verbal abuse, dead bodies

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