Monday, 26 November 2018

REVIEW - DARK RETREAT - EMP LODGE SERIES BY GRACE HAMILTON

Title: Dark Retreat
Series: EMP Lodge 
Author: Grace Hamilton
Genre: Sci-Fi, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Relay Publishing
Release Date: 7th February 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Three months after life as she knows it was decimated, Megan Wolford has only one goal: protect her daughter, Caitlin, at any cost. When a mysterious illness strikes Caitlin down, Megan is forced to forage for medical supplies at a remote lodge. The last thing she wants is help from her fellow survivors when so many in her life have let her down—but soon she'll find herself with no other option. 
 

Ex-Navy SEAL Wyatt Morris is doing everything he can to hold his family together after the tragic death of his prepper Dad, so when Megan enters their lands, he is mistrustful at first despite feeling drawn to her. He won't turn away an ill child though--no matter how deadly the world has become. But the arrival of another stranger named Kyle soon gives them all a new reason to be suspicious. Wyatt knows he’ll have to forge alliances in order to keep his family safe, but trusting the wrong person could be a deadly mistake. 
 

When Megan and Wyatt discover her daughter’s illness may be linked to Kyle’s arrival, it sets off a race to discover the truth before it’s too late to save Caitlin—and the rest of the Morris clan. Can they work together for survival . . . and something more?



PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
I felt I was ready and this may sound odd but I had a craving for an impressive post apocalyptic read and as I had this one waiting to be read on my kindle I decided, after reading the blurb that hopefully this would be the perfect book for me to read now! I think most visitors to my blog will know I totally adore the post apocalyptic & dystopian genres, though I do like reading other genres too. 

The cover depicts a scene from the book very well, showing Megan and Caitlin gazing at what must look like heaven or an oasis to them after being off grid so long. The dark thunderous looking sky really fits the post apocalyptic genre of the book. I think the cover sets the scene for the book very well. The genres I have seen listed for this book are Outdoors & Nature, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic. The characters are having to get used to the elements of their changed world and within the book herbal remedies are used so I'd guess that's what the "Outdoors & Nature" label comes in. I would add the genres "survival" & "action/adventure" as both suit the content in this book along with post-apocalyptic

The book follows two different groups to begin with. Though as the book continues we follow them all as a group.

There is Megan and her daughter Caitlin who is ill. Megan is desperately searching homes, cabins, whatever she can come across for medicines, for something to help her precious daughter. It is this search that ends up with Megan and Caitlin meeting the other group in this book who are a family who are managing to survive in the lodge that is pictured on the book cover. Megan literally stumbles upon the lodge hoping to find some sort of medication to help her daughter, as well as hoping to stay inside the lodge for a few nights.

Wyatt has taken over as head of the Morris family now since his father died. Though the group take a democratic approach with large decisions. Wyatt's father was an organised prepper, so the Morris clan did have a good base and a stock of supplies to begin with. When Wyatt and his family see Megan's daughter Caitlin and how sick she is they immediately open there door. Despite the world now running on the survival of the fittest, or who is the strongest wins, Wyatt and his family cannot find it in themselves to turn Meagan and Caitlin away, despite the risk that both Caitlin and Megan could be contagious or carriers of whatever illness Caitlin seems to be suffering with. Luckily for Mega, Wyatt's mum has a great knowledge of herbal remedies. Having said that there is a battle ahead to work out what is wrong with Caitlin before she can be treated with the correct herbs.
Even the dog in the Morris family welcomes Megan and Caitlin, he refuses to leave the side of Caitlin, staying alert and guarding his new young friend. Megan soon finds herself torn between what she sees as "giving in" and trusting the Morris family and staying with them. Or leaving what could very well be the answer to her prayers for herself and her daughter and moving on out into the unknown once again. Megan also has fast developing romantic feelings about Wyatt and it seems those feeling are reciprocated. Caitlin has already made firm friendships with those in the Lodge especially Wyatt's young nephew who is around her own age. 

Later in the book another stranger, this time a lone male called Kyle happens upon the Morris clan though can he be trusted. . . sadly for the Morris Clan it turns out he cannot and once again Wyatt's mother has to use her knowledge of herbal therapies to save those who have been maliciously made ill. It also turns out that Kyle is not on his own he has traveled from his nearby settlement to create havoc and threaten the safety of the Morris settlement. Once the reason behind the visit from Kyle is disclosed "someone" (no specific name = no spoiler) feels extremely guilty about leading this extremely dangerous man to their safe haven.

There's not much more I want to reveal as I don't want to give spoilers and soil your own enjoyment of the action how and when it happens within the book reading journey. I became quickly immersed into this book and I felt like I instantly loved Megan, Caitlin and the Morris Clan. I love the hints of the possible relationship and future together for Wyatt and Megan. Megan and Caitlin quickly find a place within the loving Morris Clan but will they decide to stay or move on. Can anyone be truly safe if they stay in one place? Though can you really live a decent enough life constantly moving around?

As I have already said above I felt I loved the characters of Wyatt, Megan and Caitlin almost instantly. All the Morris Clan are brilliantly written characters and all like-able in their own ways. I do have to give a special mention to another Morris family member, Wyatt's mum. I suppose some would call her the unofficial head of the Clan, she clearly cares and loves all members of the Clan, both the ones related by blood and the "adopted" members too. Her experience with old wives tales and prepping along with herbal medicine/remedy knowledge is truly invaluable. 

So what were my first thoughts upon finishing reading this book? They were, do I have the next book? Where/When can I buy it? I went straight ahead and bought it to read when ever I was ready. The only reason I did not read it straight away was I has a book to "read and review" by a set date. 

I definitely recommend this book to all post apocalyptic lovers. This is the first book I have read by this author but I plan on reading many more!

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