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review 2016-09-14 20:10
Review: The Retreat (After Trilogy #1) by Kelly St. Clare

30968533

 

Earth is ruined. Humankind destroyed. And it’s old news.

 

Romy’s life is simple—for a genetically enhanced space soldier; pick up space junk with her four friends, and stave off the invaders fixated on stealing Planet Earth.

 

It isn’t much. But it’s temporary—only another 850 years to go, give or take.

 

When her crew tangles with a gulp-worthy alien mothership, Romy’s return to Earth is brought forwards at hurtling pace.

 

Strength comes from the unlikeliest of quarters.

 

As does leadership.

 

…As does betrayal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

***Disclosure: I received a free copy in exchange for a review.***

 

What’s Good: a well-paced read that can keep you turning the pages.  The premise is intriguing, even knowing the hammer’s gonna fall.  Once stranded upon Earth, things change in more ways than Romy and her friends could’ve imagined.  Despite all the teen drama & angst that dominates the book it never gets too bogged down by it.

 

Dialogue, while usually stilted, is often funny.  Houston, a medical doctor, is a walking rifftrack- always with a quip or one-liner, even at the wrong moment.  He needs more page time.

 

The plot, while nothing new, has a few wrinkles to it that’ll hold your interest.  Threads are woven together pretty nicely and there’s not a lot of wasted pages.

 

What’s Bad: the usual.  Main character Rosemary, aka Romy, is pretty much the Chosen One, evidenced by her nickname (instead of Rose or Rosie).  Except for one or two exceptions nearly every character is straight from Central Casting including Atlas- the mysterious, enigmatic leading man who leads the encampment and, of course, falls completely in love with Romy after about two weeks.

 

Despite the new wrinkles it’s still a YA novel and quickly falls back into the same old same old, so what felt kinda fresh becomes stale.

 

There’s also not enough about the Critamal- the aliens that humanity is fighting.  Once the crew is stranded on Earth the focus naturally shifts, but the alien invaders are all but forgotten, and not a whole lot was supplied about them to begin with.

 

Being a YA novel, there has to be artifical drama that makes no sense.  Romy & her crew are super-soldiers: enhanced reflexes & strength, nanobots in their bloodstream, etc.  Yet when faced with the threat of sexual assault suddenly Romy has no skills whatsoever, let alone presence of mind to simply punch him in the jaw and let someone know what’s happened.  Or at least level a few threats of her own.  Granted, this scene was groundwork for later developments, but it still didn’t make any sense.

 

What’s Left: an interesting arc that needs to get out of its own way.  Less reliance on the YA cliches and tropes and tell the story.

 

3/5 stars.

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review 2016-09-07 00:00
The Retreat (The After Trilogy Book 1)
The Retreat (The After Trilogy Book 1) - Kelly St. Clare Romy, Thrym, Elara, Phobos and Deimos are all members of knot 27. And as all other knots their job is to protect Earth from the Critamal until Earth repairs itself. Earth was destroyed many, many years ago and humans can’t survive on it yet. Romy wants so bad to go to Earth but that won’t be possible for another 850 years. So for now Romy is content to do her job of cleaning of space debris.

One day Romy and her knot are called to battle the Critamal. Somehow they end up right in the middle of the battle facing off with the mothership. The next thing they know their ship is spinning out of control. Romy wakes up on Earth; a little sooner than she was anticipating; with her knot and half of the ship missing.

Romy soon learns that everything she has been told about Earth and the reason they have been fighting the Critamal may all be lies. After she learns of these lies Romy and her knot maybe in danger. Romy is determined to find the truth if it kills her but she won’t put one of her knot mate’s life in danger. She will protect them until she takes her last breath if that is what it takes to keep them alive. Can Romy find the truth? Can she save her knot mates? Can she save herself? What will Romy do?

The Retreat has been one amazing journeys and I have been very happy in being a part of it. The Retreat will take you down roads you have not traveled before. I love seeing Romy with her mates and how well they got along with each other. They had the best relationship; better than most. Their knot was the only family they knew and they treated each other as such. I would love to read more about Romy her knot mates and Atlas. There was another character I would also like to know more about and that is Nancy. Yeah a character with my name, cool. I can’t wait to read the next book. I just know it is going to be just as amazing as the first.
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