Retrograde: The Darkness
By: A. O. Godmasch - Sunlight Casting LLC, $28.99
Description: Life on Damara stands on the brink of destruction. Isis Pnina Mahmoud, daughter of the President of Cairo, leads a privileged life, but its not what she wants.
She longs for purpose. Purpose finds her when the mighty Retrograde threatens to destroy her planet. To fend off a devastating attack, Isis defies her mothers wishes and joins the army.
Joined in battle by the mysterious and enigmatic Khalfani Abaza, she finds herself drawn to him in inexplicable ways. As the Retrograde barrels down on them, the force that pulls her closer grows stronger.
When they join forces with Aurora, a fearless military brigade leader, the mystery behind their magnetic connection slowly unfolds, but only at Auroras will and on her terms.
The trio must rely on each other to survive a near-impossible mission. If they fail, Damaras very existence will be no more.
Verdict: Veteran Film Producer, Writer and Location Manager Alicia (A. O.) Godmasch (upcoming Quake, Married At First Sight) brings forth her quite magnificently enthralling debut novel, Retrograde: The Darkness this coming December 8th, 2020 via Sunlight Casting LLC.
In the spirit of page-turning epics The Hunger Games, the wholly under-rated Starship Troopers and World War Z, Retrograde is her first in a duology series targeted at young adult readers and sci-fi/fantasy/horror fans of all ages.
Dedicated to her late father, Bobby, who would have been proud, without a doubt, Retrograde is an engrossing 366 page, albeit slow-building, but ultimately fast-paced, sci-fi adventure, that brings forth a dutiful heroine set to undertake the battle mantel of Good vs. Evil.
Godmaschs story is set on the far-off planet of Damara, a celestial body that is on the brink of destruction from the mighty Retrograde, a dark mist that looms and feeds its way through the streets, infecting everyone in its path.
Isis Mahmoud is the Presidents daughter, and like most kids her age, she does not conform to all that is asked of her. Sure she does not take her privilege for granted, but she also rebukes her mothers wishes that she should be more ladylike and stay at home.
Instead, Isis chooses to take on the fight for the underprivileged face-to-face and thus she trains as a soldier at Cairos elite military unit and sets out to save as many lives as she can from the oncoming Copper Moons (a foreboding symbol of oncoming death and destruction to come) and that serve to bring into being the dreaded Retrograde.
As with any global television-connecting-planet system, once those on Damara see how the Retrograde has been annihilating neighboring planets, knowing this would be the worst their own civilization had ever experienced, those with money and standing amongst the people set out to install protective measures in their houses, whilst inoculating themselves against what is to come.
But, for all intents and purposes, that aforementioned looming dark mist (one where daylight never gets its time to appear) always looks formidable, growing hour by hour, rapidly infecting all in its wake; turning most everyone into zombies, known as Changelings.
Well, I say most all, as the luck" ones simply either spontaneously combust, melt, or disappear altogether!
To the mind of Isis, this simply cannot happen as if she has any chance of a future with Khalfani Abaza, a handsome soldier (who is also battling his own inner demons of family trauma), and who has moreover become a generalized surrogate son to her father, not only she, but her planet has to defeat the impending Darkness.
These two also, unknowingly, have yet to find Aurora, a fearless Army Brigade leader, and part of an unknown puzzle that involves them both, but which has to be unearthed - and quickly.
Not to give too much away here, but Khalfanis father also plays a mighty big role here, in as much as he may well have been chosen by said Darkness to help propagate a means to an end for the unknown entity.
This first installment of A.O. Godmaschs duology is absolutely tremendous and is a delightful fly-by of a read (even at nearly 400 pages). And what makes it so, are the genuine-sounding conversations that are had between the characters.
Trust me, there are many conversations being had here, involving main and incidental characters that all come together admirably, indeed seamlessly to evoke a sense of both impending dread laced with genuine compassionate intrigue for what will become of our lead souls.
In closing, Retrograde: The Darkness is a page-turner of the highest order and comes complete with a relatable lead in Isis, whilst featuring a villain that spreads its fog-imbued, death-enhanced tentacles quickly and purposely.
About the Author: Alicia Godmasch grew up in Rockaway Township, New Jersey. Her upbringing and the influence by esteemed loved ones gave her a profound respect and affinity for business and the entertainment industry.
Her love of both industries paved the way for a career that encompassed both of her passions. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey, where she spent many a night, weekend, and her free time on sets, learning the trade from the ground floor up, while she earned a degree in Business Management.
Today, she is the Co-Owner of Maswell Films, an Atlanta based film production company. She is also the Executive Producer of The Bigger Picture Films, based out of Los Angeles and the CEO of Sunlight Casting, an Atlanta based talent casting agency.
When shes not hard at work on her film projects, Alicia enjoys traveling the globe, reading, writing, stargazing, the great outdoors, and spending as much time as possible with her loving husband of eleven years and her stepdaughter near their Metro Atlanta area home.
For more information about her and her books, visit her websites below.