By: J. F. Gonzalez
The Retreat, an exclusive 5-star getaway for the ridiculously rich and famous, is everything money can buy—beautiful, luxurious and filled with wanton people that can be bought and sold like cattle. It’s every millionaire’s dream haven. But, at the end of the season, when the doors are closed to all but the very, VERY rich this haven becomes a hell…
I’m slightly torn concerning this review. Part of me wants to hate this book. Part of me liked it, to a point. Let’s talk about why I can’t make up my mind.
What I liked:
- The author, J. F. Gonzalez was a talented writer. His writing style was simple (no flowery additives that aren’t needed) and yet, well-constructed and thought out.
- His characters in this book were likeable and well-defined—again, to a point.
- And, his story was interesting and fun to follow.
What I did not like:
- The story is sold on the premise that it’s a part of the HORROR Genre. I found very little in this story that *I* felt could be categorized as Horror. NO SPOILERS HERE: The plot, what was happening, was horrific—although I would more quickly use the word repugnant—but, the story was not written in such a way as to creep me out, make me afraid or want to turn the lights on brightly as I read. It came off as more of a CSI kind of story than anything Stephen King or Dean Koontz would write.
- Again, not wanting to spoil anything for future readers, I’m not going to give details but… My grandmother always said, “stick with the one who brung ya”. The book seller advertises one character as the main character…but, the author didn’t stick with that one and halfway through the book the main character changes. Gonzalez should have followed my grandmother’s advice. I personally didn’t like the switch up. Especially because there was some sort of side story going on with the first character that just disappeared. It left me hanging and wondering what the heck was the point. The second character would have been fine as the main character from the beginning. Should have been in fact. However, the author focused on the first for the first half (maybe even ¾’s of the book) and then poof…gone.
Overall, the book is strong. The plot is gross, but unique and fun to follow. The characters were well written—although, somewhat flimsy—and the ending was unexpected. I love that in a book.
So, there were things I didn’t like. But, much more I did like. So, I’ve given this story a 4-star rating.
Try it. YOU may like it too.