Maelstrom Rising by Todd Thorne

by Hope Hanson
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Maelstrom Rising Cover

Chasing tornadoes that chase you back. This wasn’t what Raven signed up for on her first university summer research program. The good news was she’d blundered into the perfect setup: four years of free education for a degree that, surprisingly, just might be her true calling. Even better, their research outcome could be a monumental game changer that spared many lives needlessly slaughtered each year by tornadoes.

The bad news? Nothing’s for free.

Take a deranged woman making impossible, deadly predictions. Add fellow students being relentlessly blackmailed and coerced. Top with a murderous professor in her bed and at the heart of a monstrous coverup having lethal implications. So many dark secrets swirled around a tangled mystery that grew more bizarre and sinister the deeper Raven dug. Solving it would likely cost her everything, but she must try.

Assuming the oddly-behaving tornadoes even let her.

–from the back cover of Maelstrom Rising

Thank you so much to Todd Thorne for providing me with a digital copy for review! You can keep up to date with Todd on Twitter or on Facebook.

The book suite 3 Star Review graphic
Rating: 3/5

If you’ve ever seen the movie Twister (which you probably have) then you know why I was excited to read Maelstrom Rising!

Now, having read it, it’s time to share my thoughts with you. So, keep reading my review of Maelstrom Rising to find out what I did and didn’t like about this book.


Overall, I’d say I enjoyed this book. There was a lot of interesting information about tornadoes included, and obviously, the plot had plenty of excitement. And the action scenes were well-written; Thorne did a good job of weaving technical information in without ruining the tension in the scene. 

His descriptions of the weather and how tornadoes formed honestly hiked up the tension if anything. I have to applaud his talent there. 

Additionally, I really liked some of the side characters and found them to be incredibly fascinating. Christi, in particular, was interesting and I kept wanting to learn more about her. 

However, Raven, the main character and narrator, wasn’t my favorite. I liked and understood certain parts of her character, such as her rebelliousness and determination, but at other times, I just couldn’t wrap my head around her motivations. She just didn’t really make sense to me, and there wasn’t a whole lot of consistency or realism to how she was written. 

But on a more positive note, Thorne wrote a truly despicable villain. He was pretty much just evil for the sake of being evil, but I don’t think there need always be a reason or a backstory for villains. The man was a greedy dick and there was that. 

The other main issue I had with this book was that it couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. It started out as the book version of Twister, and then suddenly it was also a coming of age story with spy thriller elements. And that was even before the paranormal aspects got thrown into the mix. 

I honestly didn’t mind all the different genres, but I wish they’d flowed better within the narrative. When some of those aspects were introduced, they just seemed a little random and sudden.

TL,DR Recommendation

So, while I wouldn’t say this was my favorite book, I wouldn’t discredit this book either. As I said before, I did enjoy it, overall. It’s a decent read that will keep you entertained if you do choose to pick it up, issues aside. But if you’re very interested in meteorology, especially tornadoes, then I definitely do recommend reading this.

If you do choose to read it, drop a comment down below and let me know your thoughts. I always love to talk about books! Additionally, if you enjoyed this review of Maelstrom Rising, then you can use the Book Reviews tab above to find my full library of reviews. There, you’ll find all the other books I’ve reviewed.

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CONTENT WARNING: Mature (sexual) themes and content, sexual violence.

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