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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  706 Ratings  ·  121 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
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books (first published September 8th 2016)
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Montzalee Wittmann
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
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
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
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!
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
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
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
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 tha
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Michael Silverstein
A totally fine read...
Dean Henderson
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read

I loved The Martian so I had high hopes for this book. I was not disappointed. Realistic but also thrilling.
Raven and Beez
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Retrograde’s blurb caught my attention quicker than cake and that’s saying something. It’s about a colony of humans from all walks of Earth settling on Mars for research. But how will things turn out when nuclear war devastates everyone back home?

The Bloggo

This book revolved around such an interesting concept. A far as I know, The Martian by Andy Weir deals with a short-term journey to Mars gone wrong but this book deals with the long-term situation with not one but a whole group of 120 scientis
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
There is much about this book to like. Cawdron gives us what feels like a realistic first human colony on Mars. It is international, which makes perfectly good sense. But relationships fray quickly when war breaks out on the home world. Then an expected shipment of supplies goes missing. Or does it? With the international tensions on earth being mirrored on Mars and supplies short, the really serious trouble begins for the colonists.

Cawdron's vision is fascinating, in terms of how the colonists
Harlow Fallon
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible story...

I've read a few of Peter Cawdron's books, but this by far outshines them all. The story is fascinating, about a future Mars colony beset by a frightening attack. The setting--above and below Mars's surface--is vivid (I felt like I was there). The writing is tight and fast-paced. The story pulled me in immediately and didn't let me go until the last page. There were so many twists and turns and surprises. Definitely one of my best reads this year. I highly recommend Mars End
Wayne Palmer
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a very well written book in classical sci-fi, a form which I particularly like in that the focus is on simple story-telling with realistic characters and a believable basis (for a sci-fi). Shame the book is relatively short as it was a story that I was easily able to be absorbed by. I say short as the ending arrived quicker than I expected almost as if in a rush to finish as there were several unanswered or open avenues that could have easily extended the book. Nonetheless it is an excelle ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exciting, thrilling, great sci-fi

I rarely write reviews, usually only the very good or the very bad. This fortunately is one of the very good. You know a good story when it holds you and gives you an emotional reaction and maybe even a physical one, a slight increase in the heart rate, tension in the stomach as you turn the pages. A good author makes you care and be invested in the characters and visualise and feel the story. Really enjoyed it, thank you.
Yuli Michaeili
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
ואוו זה היה מעיק. הדמות הראשית מספרת לנו את הכל. מה הדמויות סביב חושבים, למה הם מתכוונים, מה דחף אותם לעשות את מה שעשו ועוד. הכל האכלה בכפית. כתוב רע. עלילה רעה והסיבה המסתורית למשבר רעה ולא אמינה. באתי לספר הזה עם הרבה ציפיות, היחידה מהן שאולי מומשה זה התיאור של מבנה המושבה, אבל גם זה היה דיי בינוני. בקיצור, לא ממליצה.
Zachary Messick
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give the 3.5 stars. It was a really cool premise, and I liked the stories/characters, but it felt like it needed another 100-150 pages to develop details in the story and the characters. Still enjoyed it though
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the book and the plot. I do however wish that the enemy has been a little different. I get the book was trying to make you think of something different however I wish it had been a little more plausible. Overall pretty good for an afternoon or beach read!
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“For a planet that’s roughly a third the size of Earth, Martian geology is extreme. Olympus Mons makes Mount Everest look like a sand castle. Olympus is so tall that it reaches beyond the bulk of the atmosphere. It would be a wonderful location for an astronomical observatory. If Valles Marineris were on Earth, it would be as though the Grand Canyon extended from New York to Los Angeles, consuming most of the U.S. along the way.” 0 likes
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