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Rosy Fenwicke
No Retreat: Book 4, The Euphemia Sage Chronicles
Euphemia Sage follows a friend to the Acceptance Institute Retreat on Waiheke Island in a last bid to stop her giving away her money. Jane has come along determined to find out the meaning of life in two weeks. The food is green, coffee is forbidden and the friend she has come to save has taken a vow of silence. There are cameras everywhere. How can Euphemia use her superpowers to escape the yoga, the interminable meditations, cold salads, forced massages and save her friend when everything she does is being recorded?
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 7.75 out of 10


Plot: The concept behind the novel is an interesting one that makes for an engaging, quick read; however, the plot stalls toward the end with the protracted boat incident, and there are elements of the plot's "mystery" (especially surrounding Margaret's charade as a fellow patient) that are not fully explicated in a satisfying manner.

Prose: The author writes in an easy-to-read, natural prose style. Even though this book is an installment in a series, the writing is strong enough that it can be read, comprehended, and enjoyed without prior knowledge of the series.

Originality: The blend of subtle fantasy and detective novel plots makes for an interesting read, though there are points at which it feels like the two plotlines are in competition with each other (especially toward the end of the novel).

Character/Execution: Character development is one of the highlights of the novel, especially in terms of the relationships formed throughout the work. Euphemia's relationships (with her daughters, husband, Jane, etc) feel very relatable, which in turn makes the characters feel very real to the reader. Jane's shift over the course of the novel is particularly satisfying.

Blurb: Another page-turning installment in the Euphemia Sage Chronicles. When personal tragedy strikes Euphemia's circle of friends, it is up to the everyday superwoman to save a dear friend 

Date Submitted: July 21, 2022