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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 2015-12-20 16:25
Slaughterhouse: The Retreat 2 review
The Retreat #2: Slaughterhouse - Stephen Knight,Craig DiLouie,Joe McKinney

The follow-up to Pandemic sees Stephen Knight take the major reigns from Craig DiLouie and have to guide the reader through the often difficult second-book in a series.

Straight off, the best part of Slaughterhouse is how authentic it feels. Not the infected people who laugh like hyenas while they're trying to pull your larynx out through your ass, but rather the way in which the military characters in this book speak and behave screams believable. Not that I've ever been in the army, so I cannot accurately say, but compared to other books of this apocalyptic type, this one seems to be aiming to get it right.

Of course, that also works against Slaughterhouse insofar as making it a chore to read through the repetitive, technical nature of much of what is being described. But worse than that, is the way in which none of the characters - other than the single female POV character, Rawlings - seem to have any real depth to them. Instead they just felt like variations on military cliche. And as such, I cared barely at all when some of them died.

It's a shame, but this one just did not do it for me. I'm clearly in the minority looking at the other glowing reviews of Slaughterhouse online; which is a good thing because the third in the series is about to drop and I wish the authors every success with it.

I just won't be a part of it, because, sad to say, I'm going AWOL from this series.

2 Homicidal Maniacs Flying an Assault Helicopter for Slaughterhouse.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1422400710
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review 2015-10-12 17:08
The Retreat #1: Pandemic review
The Retreat #1: Pandemic - Craig DiLouie,Joe McKinney,Stephen Knight

Recently there was a series of graphic novels that totally emphasised the "graphic" part of that term entitled Crossed, Vol. 1. It was originally conceived and written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Jacen Borrows. In it, an infection did the rounds turning people into maniacs who killed and slaughtered indiscriminately, and who even seemed to enjoy being tortured, mutilated and killed themselves. The infected all had a wound which opened on their faces in the shape of a cross running both ways over their noses.

The Retreat #1: Pandemic by Craig DiLouie with assistance from Stephen Knight and Joe McKinney could have been set in the same world if the magically appearing face wounds had also been included. Because, otherwise, the people who have been turned in The Retreat, dubbed "Klowns" behave in exactly the same way as Ennis' Crossed maniacs.

So as well-written, engaging and tension-filled as DiLouie et al's first book in this series is, I could not help but feel I'd been there and done it all before. Sure, writing the book from the POV of various personal in the army who are fighting to keep the infected from overwhelming Boston was different. But not sufficiently so as to allow me to forget that every scene featuring the Klowns felt exactly like a scene lifted from Crossed.

With that major gripe out of the way, I thoroughly recommend picking up The Retreat #1: Pandemic. DiLouie keeps things moving at a breakneck pace, utilises short chapters to assist with this, and is not afraid to bump any number of major characters - all massive positives for me. Some may balk at the level of technical detail on display, but unlike say, his earlier work Tooth and Nail, The Retreat never gets bogged down in this, and the reader is simply able to accept the fact the author clearly knows his stuff, either having served himself or done a ludicrous amount of research into what soldiers experience in and around combat situations.

Entertaining, fast-paced and ruthless, DiLouie's introduction to The Retreat series is a must for fans of military horror and those who enjoy watching an apocalypse unfold. Just don't expect something entirely fresh and original.

3.5 Maniacs Laughing Manically for The Retreat #1: Pandemic.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/789750316
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review 2015-07-04 11:26
BtVS, Season 8, Vol 6
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Retreat - Jane Espenson,Georges Jeanty,Andy Owens,Michelle Madsen,Richard Starkings,Jimmy Betancourt

*Book source ~ Library

 

Twilight and gang are tracking Buffy and gang by their use of magic. So, they decide they need to lose their magic in order to hide from Twilight.

 

I’m sorry, but that’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. While I’m happy to see Oz in this one, I’m not happy that his way of dealing with his specific issue is the way the Scooby gang decides is the best way to deal with Twilight. Seriously? I hate the way this whole story arc is heading. No magic? How the hell do they expect to ever survive? This is the most dumbass course of action I’ve ever seen them try. I’m thoroughly disgusted. The last two graphic novels better be damn good to make up for this. Oh, and don’t get me started on the Xander/Dawn story that’s started here. At least the illustrations are pretty good.

 

Short shorts at the end

Harmony Comes to the Nation ~ Why does this bitch keep tormenting me? Make it stop. At least I like the illustrations.

 

Always Darkest ~ O.M.G. LOL This story earns 5 bites from me! I love it! Poor Buffy though. hehehe

 

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2015/07/btvs-season-8-vol-6.html
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review 2014-12-26 00:00
The Retreat
The Retreat - Kay Jaybee More smoking hawt kinky sex is dished up in the second in the Perfect Submissive series. In book one, Jess Sanders is introduced into sexual submission and becomes more than part of the hotel management staff. She's now also a sexual submissive as part of the entertainment floor. Just as she feels comfortable, Mrs. Peters changes it up on her by sending both Jess and Miss Sarah to another sexual retreat.

From the very beginning of this story, both the characters and the readers are wary. This adult retreat is being run by someone they don't trust nor do they like. Still, these are professionals and both Jess and Miss Sarah will not bring shame to Mrs. Peters. Hands down, the kinky sex in this story is five star. The perversion of fairy tales with even gender bending costume changes is fabulous. The constant tension with Jess not knowing what is going on and if she will return to Fables is a great mind fuck. What did bother me is the dubious consent in the BDSM here. Let me explain. I love dub-con and non-con. This one dances on the line because it comes across as BDSM lifestyle contemporary yet there are several violations to SSC or RACK. Still, this is fiction and the sexual fantasies will be vibrating humming good.

From a character perspective, Jess and Miss Sarah are the focus. Jess is a good submissive striving for perfection. Her kinky repertoire is growing in leaps and bounds. What is a bit baffling is her concern of not returning to Fables. This is hard for me to understand because it's almost as if she really believes she's a slave. This just doesn't work in my brain. Miss Sarah on the other hand is sexy smart goodness in her domination. Her character is attractive for submissive females looking for a female dominant. The secondary characters do help with the story and I wouldn't be opposed to having a spin off story about The Retreat characters.

When it comes to erotica, Ms. Jaybee is hands down one of the best. Her sex scenes are well written and inspiring. The plot of the story is fine and enjoyable. There are villains and the intrigue with different alliances to add to the story. The villains were fine if a bit abrasive. The conspiracies and double crossing dealings didn't do much for me. I guess when I'm in the middle of high sexual arousal, trying to figure out who is friend or foe kicks me out of my sexy mood. The ending to this book does feel a bit contrived yet it is needed as a set up for the third and final book in the series. This kinky erotica is recommended to those who enjoy elaborate roleplaying with a dark fairy tale twist.

*I received this book as a review copy in return for an honest review
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