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Retrograde

(Mars Endeavour #1)

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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,303 ratings  ·  222 reviews
The international team at the Mars Endeavour colony is prepared for every eventuality except one—what happens when disaster strikes Earth?

Mankind has long dreamed of reaching out to live on other planets, and with the establishment of the Mars Endeavour colony, that dream has become reality. The fledgling colony consists of 120 scientists, astronauts, medical staff, and en
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Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published September 8th 2016)
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Montzalee Wittmann
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Retrograde
By: Peter Cawdron
Narrated by: Sarah Mollo-Christensen
Another favorite book by Cawdron...
Earth has many colonist and scientist on Mars then one day the Mars groups hear bits and pieces of bad new then nothing. War, nukes all over the world. No one knows who started it, each nation's pod is given different info. Now on Mars, no one trust each other. But now, whoever started the war on Earth is starting the war on Mars. It is so freaking exciting!!! Sci-fi, mystery, and so much more! With
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Lindsay
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's finally a human colony on Mars. The Endeavor mission consists of scientists from all over the world living in a collection of habitats located in underground lava tubes. Elizabeth "Liz" Louise Anderson is a micropaleobiologist with the US module. We pick up Liz's story shortly before a massive disaster hits Earth and strains international cooperation in the Mars colony. When a series of nasty accidents begin to strike the colony things become even more strained.

This is the natural evolut
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Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
Reading a story about a Mars disaster immediately makes you think of The Martian... or at least it did for me. But rather than this being a story built on one person having to survive on Mars while waiting for rescue, we see this story about a colony of various professional people from across several ethnic backgrounds working together as one when disaster strikes on Earth. This is how they react to this disaster and how it causes strife in their own world. Rather than being Americans, Russians ...more
Stewart Tame
I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. According to the publication date on the spine, I finished it one day before the release date. Yay, me!

Set an unspecified number of years in the future--probably several decades at least--Retrograde takes place on Mars. A permanent base has been established, with teams from several different countries residing there. And then word reaches them from Earth: nuclear missiles have hit various cities around the globe. Reeling from the shock of lo
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Kris Sellgren
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Retrograde is an exciting science fiction thriller set in a Mars science station. Nuclear war breaks out back on Earth, and suddenly the American, Russian, Chinese, and European astronauts don’t know who to trust. Virtually no news is coming from Earth — who is nuking whom, and why? Then accidents start happening on Mars. Can Liz figure it out and save the colony? This is excellent hard SF with many details about the challenges of living on Mars.
Milliebot
2.5 stars

This review and others posted over at my blog.

I have mixed feelings about this book and find it hard to talk about.

Let me start by talking about the parts I enjoyed. First, the general plot; I’ve read plenty of sci-fi, but I’ve never read a scenario where the people on a space station find themselves imperiled due to a war on Earth. This got me thinking about how scary (well, most sci-fi books set in space scare me because I’d be too scared to go into space) it would be to realize t
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Sci-Fi & Scary
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Peter Cawdron’s Retrograde immediately grabbed my attention and kept it. It made me want to finish it. (That’s rare lately.) I read Retrograde over the course of a few hours. It’s well-written, fast-paced, and while not entirely unique still completely interesting. (I can only think of one or two movies that I would liken this too.) The dialogue was believable. The connectedness something I wanted to root for. And the way it was written kept me feeling as isolated as the astronauts actually were ...more
Annerlee
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exciting account of how the first colony on Mars fights for survival when disaster strikes... on Earth. The book is set in the near future and is highly believable with a few scifi concepts too.

I really enjoyed the ride. The conflicts between cultures and nationalities were very realistic and well thought out. The style of story telling drew me in and there was lots to think about after the final page.

I would have loved this book to be twice as long!
Lata
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of science backs up this tense story of Mars colonists dealing with the aftermath of a nuclear war on earth, escalating tensions amongst themselves, and all manner of technological failures.
There are astronauts from all over the world on Mars, though the US, China and Russia have the largest numbers of individuals, with Europe and Asia together making up the last group. Main character Liz is one of the American colonists. When everyone receives minimal but horrible news from Earth, grief an
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Jessica
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: partner-read
Thanks to HMH Books for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

Not going to lie, the cover to this book made me want to read it. RETROGRADE by Peter Cawdron is set on Mars and we follow the colony of people that are now inhabiting the red planet. We see them put to the test when tragedy strikes earth.

The colony on Mars is made up of people from all over the world. All are professionals but they span across multiple ethnic backgrounds. It's great to see the characters work together w
...more
Kate
A disappointment and very difficult to finish, although, fortunately, it's short. Such an enticing premise but, in my opinion, it's let down by its lack of heart (some of the characters deserved better), its dialogue and by the twist, which almost made me stop reading. Comparisons to The Martian don't do Retrograde any favours - all of the things that I enjoyed about The Martian aren't evident here. Great cover, though... ...more
Scout
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I try not to be too negative in my reviews, but this one was just…. not good. In most ways mediocre, and in a few ways truly bad.

The writing is full of cliched phrases, cultural stereotypes, and weird overexplanations. The pacing is really odd-- some plot elements are skimmed over, but the characters never seem to act with any real urgency. Cawdron often seems to be striving for something like Andy Weir’s detail-rich problem-solving sequences (no doubt the hope was fans of The Martian will
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Jason
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Although there have been several books written about people being trapped on Mars (Andy Weir's 'The Martian' being the most obvious recently), Cawdron has taken a slightly different approach, placing a large contingent of colonists on Mars and then having an incident occur on Earth that means that they are alone as Earth is lost to them. How do they survive without their support? There is then a further story that happens on the Mars colony that creates this amazing book that you just can't stop ...more
MR
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well here's the thing. As mighty a story it may have been, the author seemingly forced himself to share the entirety of the wealth of knowledge he learned while researching for the book. By all means research (please God do the research) but if you're going to vomit your entire volume of knowledge at me, don't force it into dialogue, and unnecessary and momentum diffusing paragraphs, especially in a short novel. Which brings me to poor point #2 on research...if you're going to drop knowledge, th ...more
Susan May
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, 2019
I have read every Arthur C. Clarke book he's ever written and many sci-fi but for the last few years I haven't read so many because it's pretty to hard to find good sci-fi. So I stopped looking. I saw this book was an audio and ebook included in Kindle Unlimited and I'm loving audios lately, so I thought, "great cover, why not?"

This is one heck of a book and the audio performance is top notch and I've listened to many. There's touches of so many great sci-fi novels in here, including The Martian
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Seamus
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let's start off with a question: Can I just give this book a 6-Star rating? Just this once??

No seriously, another excellent tale told by one of the best indie Science Fiction Writers at the moment - my favorite in any case!

It's one of those exciting, amazingly well thought out and in depth researched stories that Peter Cawdron's fans have grown to expect.

No spoilers here, but let's just say that the book has a shocking start, a tragic turn of events and a twist around the middle (which got me fo
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Russell Libonati
A lot of research went into this book. As a hard science-fiction lover, I really appreciate that. The story took a bit of a turn part of the way through that I was unprepared for, but it was still a good story. It wasn't a great story and the female aspect of the main character didn't hit the mark. I think the story is really more of a 3.5, but I decided to go down instead of up because ultimately the story just wasn't that great.

There wasn't much of a political or religious message. There was s
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Adam M
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
RETROGRADE’s plot is fascinating and its author’s powerful storytelling ability pulls you right in from the first page and simply does not let go. The coolest part about this novel, to me, is that every thought, idea, and word is backed up by thorough research and rigorous attention to factual detail. It’s apparent throughout the entire story that the author, Peter Cawdron, sought out the right people and resources to learn about every technicality involved with a Mars survival story. What you’ ...more
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to HMH for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Brian's Book Blog
A Total Mind Mess of a Book

In a world of three and five book series, Cawdron seems to stand out writing single books that have more emotion and action than most series I’ve read. Retrograde was no different. It tells a story of a colony building excursion to Mars that turns out to be a fight for life.

Retrograde is perfect science fiction. It takes all of the things that we, as humans, love and turns them against us. We are on Mars, but the Martian environment wants to kill us. We love technology
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Patrick DiJusto
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bonnie McDaniel
The most obvious comparison to this book is Andy Weir's The Martian--and I think Weir's book suffers more than a little in the comparison. This book is a lean, mean, hard SF thriller that has more plausible science, and is a ripping good story to boot.

The Mars Endeavour colonizing mission is set in the near future. No specific dates are given, but the afterword posits that Cawdron's scientific extrapolations might be possible sometime in the 2050's (assuming climate change hasn't drowned half t
...more
Dale
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in September of 2017 by John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

A Mars colony has been established by four separate factions: China, Russia, America and Eurasia (Europe, India, Israel, Japan, and more). The groups work together, but not always smoothly but they are building a successful colony.

Suddenly, everything is thrown into a tailspin when the major world powers begin firing nuclear weapons at one another and 15 cities are obliterated - and each faction of the colony has suffer
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Dale Pearl
Did you like the Martian? Do you enjoy hard science fiction? Do you enjoy female main characters? If yes, then don't hesitate in picking up this book.

Here is what is 5-star deliciousness with Retrograde:
1. The writing is crisp, well-paced, and not overly complicated.
2. The plot. A very plausible series of events including how a Mars colony would more than likely be designed or laid out.
3. A level of realism that often makes you think that this book was written by a NASA insider.

Here is what fai
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Nici Jones
Technically this is a 2.5 stars. I will say that I enjoyed the plot. The suspense was great and it was a quick read. I wasn’t in love with the plot twist but that’s ok.
My main issue is that this is a book written by a male author with a female protagonist. Not technically an issue, however I don’t appreciate being told that women are just being dramatic when they say they feel disadvantaged by men. First of all just because Liz as a woman (the protagonist) says that, doesn’t make it universally
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Richard
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Peter Cawdron has just risen to near the top of my list of great Science Fiction Writers. Having really enjoyed reading his recent book, Losing Mars, I decided to try an earlier book, Retrograde.

There are a lot of Science Fiction books about humans rushing off to colonize other worlds due to problems on earth. Cawdron goes a different route to have a nuclear war on earth threaten the colonists already on Mars.

I was immediately struck with three interesting things about Cawdron’s writing in this
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Amisha
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
How excruciatingly disappointing! In the book’s defense: I picked this up for the wrong reason. I am in LOVE with The Martian by Andy Weir and I assumed this would be my secondary fix. I love space books and movies. I went into this with the highest hopes and absolutely no risk of disliking it. Who can live up to odds like that? But in my defense, the book’s dust cover mentions The Martian by name... dragging in suckers like me pining after a book they read, fell in love with and miss. This was ...more
Chitra Iyer
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Retrograde by Peter Cawdron is a science fiction based on the lives and events surrounding the scientists in Mars. It is unlike what I have ever read before (because I usually don't go for science fiction), but after the movie/book The Martian, I guess interest levels have piqued regarding the subject and that's exactly the reason why I agreed to review this book. So, here goes.

The story is set in the future. A hundred and twenty experts, from various fields and countries, have been deployed on
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Billie
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good characterization and seemingly-strong science (seemingly only because I'm no scientist and wouldn't know one way or the other) are done a disservice by an under-developed "villain"/conflict. The book is short, at under 250 pages, so perhaps a few more pages to allow the plot to really develop would have been helpful. ...more
Daniel Laskowski
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a very short read—too short in fact. Good read. I liked how well the book is researched and how tight the science behind it. On that, however, the reason why the adversary "escaped" to Mars — I don't think that's a spoiler — was not convincing if you know anything about that particular subject matter. But that's a small issue. ...more
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