The Retreat Review

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The Retreat (The After Trilogy, #1)
by Kelly St. Clare
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Rating: 4/5 

Book Summary:

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.

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My Review:

The Retreat follows Romy and her knot mates. They live on the orbitos, a space station designed for the survival of the human race. The people on board were made in tubes, not coming into existence until they turn twelve and most only live until they are 35, if they are luckily, then longer. They live their lives over and over again as the fight off the Critamal, aliens from another planet. Romy and her knot mates are responsible for cleaning up the debris outside of the orbitos. One day the Critamal attack and everyone from the orbitos are ordered to fight. Romy and her team fight bravely but unfortunate events leaves them crashing falling towards Earth. When they crash land on Earth they soon discover things aren’t as they seem. They were told that the Earth was uninhabitable. They were told there were no survivors on Earth. They were told that the atmosphere and water were Toxic. They were told lies.

The Retreat is filled with action, mystery, friendship, and a blossoming love. There is so much to love about this story, the characters, the plot, the world building…Honestly, every part of this story is incredible. I simply could not put this book down. It a beautiful original tale about a girl that discovers her world isn’t what she thought it was while also discovering who she is and who she wants to be. I was a little nervous when I first started reading this because sometimes NA novels tend to have too much adult content in it. It was so refreshing to read a story of an older audience that didn’t revolve around mainly about physical interactions. The main love interest in The Retreat was one of my favorite characters. He’s kind and patient. He’s understanding and gentle. Romy is dealing with so many different things and Atlas is just remarkable. This story is so well developed… after each chapter it just leaves you wanting more. More of the characters, more of the story, more of the world that Kelly St. Clare created.

One thing that really just tickled me in The Retreat was when Romy and her friends were told that even though they are twenty-four years old they would be going through puberty since they were no longer on the orbitos (on the orbitos they were given medicine that suppressed puberty). I’m not entirely sure this was supposed to be comical or not, but I think this plot point lightened the book and at times definitely made things awkward and brought a smile to my face.

I do want to mention that the book does deal with some sexual abuse. It doesn’t go into too much detail but it could be a trigger for those that have had sexual abuse. I think Kelly St. Clare handled this story component with care and also provided a positive example for how a girl  should be treated (or healthy relationships in general). Atlas is just so kind, it’s hard not to love him. I just loved his interactions with Romy and I think it’s a positive example for how people should be treated, even though he does ignore her sometimes. But what boy at some point in YA and NA novels doesn’t ignore a girl? I just love how concerned he is about her, how he genuinely seems to care about her and want to help her. I especially love it when they spend a night together and nothing sexual happens between them. It adds an element of sweetness that is often lacking in YA and NA novels. It shows that you can have a well written, detailed novel with a love story that knocks you off your feet and captures your heart, and that it doesn’t need the fluff that alot of authors throw into a story.  I think it’s a kind of beauty that is rarely shown in YA and NA literature and it’s something that really stood out to me in The Retreat.

And let me just add that I just can’t wait to see how Atlas and Romy’s relationship unfolds in future novels!

If you like science fiction, adorable love stories, unbreakable friendships, and a book that you simply cannot put down (trust me, you’ll binge read), then this book is definitely for you. Be sure to check it out!

About the Author:

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When Kelly St Clare is not reading or writing, she is lost in her latest reverie. She can, quite literally, drift past a car accident while in the midst of her day dreams, despite the various police sirens and chaos.

Books have always been magical and mysterious to her. One day she decided to start unravelling this mystery and began writing. Her aim: To write stories she would want to read. As it turns out, this failed miserably. Do you know what it is like to read something you’ve written? Impossible, that’s what. Not to mention, the ending is ruined before you’ve begun. Never-the-less, Kelly loves it and wishes she had more time to squeeze it in between her day job as a physiotherapist.

Fantasy of Frost, the first title in The Tainted Accords, is her debut novel. It’s sequel, Fantasy of Flight released May 2015. Fantasy of Fire is now available!

A New Zealander in origin and in heart, Kelly currently resides in Australia with her soon-to-be husband, a great group of friends, and some huntsman spiders who love to come inside when it rains. Their love is not returned.

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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