The Race: Retribution by Joan De La Haye

May 7, 2018

Please note, Retribution is the fourth book in an ongoing series. With that in mind you’ll probably not be surprised when I tell you this review will likely contain spoilers.

After surviving the wilds of Siberia and a fight to the death with Snezhana, Joanna is back running for her life on the island where it all began.

Will she be able to survive the wholesale slaughter of The Race, the machinations of The Organisation behind it all, as well as Elena’s thirst for revenge?

Regular readers will know I have been reviewing each new book in The Race series by Joan De La Haye. Book four, Retribution, has now released into the wild so it seems like the perfect time to jot down a few thoughts*.

Joanna Parypinski has fully embraced her life as a runner. She has accepted that this is now her lot in life. Through training and some appropriately cutting edge medical treatment, she is at her physical peak. Her patron, the ever enigmatic Von Zimmer, has offered her a chance to help in shaping the world. Joanna is prepared; she will be the best runner and she win the next Race. From her perspective it is the only way she can hope to survive. The only problem is that the goalposts are starting to shift. Events at the end of book three, Besieged, means there is a more overt struggle brewing between the various Patrons. After decades of clandestine power plays and underhand shenanigans, the real rulers of the world are starting to show their hand. I get the distinct impression events are escalating towards something just a bit spectacular, I certainly hope so. How much longer can it be until the Runners and their Patrons are revealed to the rest of the world? People are bound to start noticing the hand of the Patrons in world affairs sooner rather than later.

Each new episode of The Race ups the ante. More action, more conspiracy and more opportunity for Joanna to plot her ultimate revenge. Putting it simply, it’s only a matter of time before it’s all kickin’ off. I can’t wait to see how that finally all plays out. Joanna’s patience is beginning to wear thin. You can tell her levels of patience are waning. I feel sorry for the poor individual who finally pushes her over the edge.

Some of you may have heard of the author Matthew Reilly. He writes wonderfully exciting thrillers that can best be described as “high octane”. Cliff hangers tend to involve real cliffs, and he throws readers a new twist or turn in what seems like a chapter by chapter basis. Joan De La Haye has that self-same skill. The Race and its successors, Training Days, Besieged and now Retribution, are all about frenetic action. If you’re lucky, you get the opportunity to catch your breath between each page. I love it. Joan De La Haye has conclusively proven you can’t ever get complacent when it comes to reading her thrillers. Back-stabbing, revenge and copious amounts of visceral bloodletting ensure that the overall story is always massively entertaining. The only question that remains – what next? Finger crossed for all-out war. I’m hoping for some blissfully unrestrained mayhem. There had better be plenty of fighting.

Previous musical recommendations for this series have included Blade Trinity and Mad Max:Fury Road. For this latest instalment, I went with something that manages to be old school but entirely appropriate in a single breath. Spartacus: Blood and Sand by Joseph Loduca is my soundtrack choice for Retribution. Joanna is a modern-day gladiator, so her soundtrack needs to be suitably gladiatorial.

The Race: Retribution is published by the author and is available now.

*If you are interested in learning more about books one, two and three, then clicking on the appropriate link is probably a good place to start.

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