Grond: The Raven High: Grond Book 1 Review

3 Stars3 / 5

If you’re looking for a space-adventure that flies a bit outside what is usually expected, you’re going to find it in Yuri Hamaganov’s Grond: The Raven High: Grond Book 1. Our protagonist is a young girl, Olga, who is living on a space station far outside the realm of earth. Here, she is raised by an Android and begins preparing for work at the tender age of six. Olga, called Raven by her android nanny Arina and curator Mikhail Petrov, works tirelessly in her strange little bubble to be able to run a plant that produces water. We follow along her everyday life as she prepares for her occupation and demonstrates her higher than average aptitude. It will soon be clear to readers that Olga is not an ordinary six-year-old girl, at least by current standards. She is something more advanced that the human beings we are today. Where her life will take her is an interesting journey.

As the first book in an apparent series, it is up to the author to build their world. First installments set the stage for future books. They captivate the interest of readers and leave them wanting more. Hamaganov does write quite eloquently and it is clear that some amount of research went into creating this novel. The world is not too far in the distant future and the layout is somewhat believable. Olga is isolated on a space station and has video communication with Petrov on a consistent basis. As we learn more about her origins and the type of work required of her, we begin to empathize with Olga’s predicament. When she faces the greatest struggle of her young life, readers will find themselves hoping that she will come out victorious.

There are areas for improvement, however. Several times throughout our story the voice changes from past to present in the middle of sentence. This is confusing for the readers as we’re not sure what’s supposed to be happening. Not a lot of detail is given about the state of Olga’s world, why she’s referred to as ‘Raven’, and how exactly it became okay to use child labour. We know that Olga is not the only one, as there is reference to other children in the same line of work as she. We also know that Olga is not quite an organic human being, but it’s never clearly stated if she was born with her advanced capabilities or if her parents simply sold her off to be implanted and sent to work. The only things that are clear is that the Earth is in trouble, there was a war in space, Olga works harder at the age of twelve than most people do in their thirties and that she is seen as a tool by those who employ her. There is mention of a resistance group that would help her achieve freedom, but when her very life is threatened there is no sign of this group. Perhaps these are all things that will be explored in future installments.

If you can manage to ignore the few shortfalls of this novel, most readers who love a good science-fiction piece will enjoy the adventures of Olga in Grond: The High Raven: Grond Book 1 by Yuri Hamaganov. The tidy epilogue at the end sparks curiosity in the reader and the sneak peek at the next installment will have most readers looking forward to book two.

Book Reviews

So I’m going to be writing book reviews and posting them on my site soon.

I’ve created a special section for them so that you guys can navigate accordingly.

I’m in the process of reading the first book that I’ll write a review of.

It’s pretty exciting! I’m going to play around with my themes too and see if I can do something fun.

Anyway, look forward to it!

Hard Times – Paramore

 

All that I want
Is to wake up fine
Tell me that I’m alright
That I ain’t gonna die
All that I want
Is a hole in the ground
You can tell me when it’s alright
For me to come out

gonna make you wonder why you even try
(Hard times) gonna take you down and laugh when you cry
(These lives) and I still don’t know how I even survive
(Hard times)
(Hard times)
And I gotta get to rock bottom

Walking around
My little rain cloud
Hanging over my head
And it ain’t coming down
Where do I go?
Gimme some sort of sign
You hit me with lightning!
Maybe I’ll come alive

gonna make you wonder why you even try
(Hard times) gonna take you down and laugh when you cry
(These lives) and I still don’t know how I even survive
(Hard times)
(Hard times)
And I gotta head to rock bottom

Tell my friends I’m coming down
We’ll kick it when I hit the ground
Tell my friends I’m coming down
We’ll kick it when I hit the ground
When I hit the ground
When I hit the ground
When I hit the ground
When I hit the ground

gonna make you wonder why you even try
(Hard times) gonna take you down and laugh when you cry
(These lives) and I still don’t know how I even survive
(Hard times) (hard times)
(Hard times) (hard times)

gonna make you wonder why you even try
(Hard times) gonna take you down and laugh when you cry
(These lives) and I still don’t know how I even survive
(Hard times) (hard times)
(Hard times)

And I gotta get to rock bottom!

-Lyrics from Google Play Music

Heavy – Linkin Park Ft. Kiiara

[Verse 1: Chester Bennington]
I don’t like my mind right now
Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary
Wish that I could slow things down
I wanna let go but there’s comfort in the panic
And I drive myself crazy
Thinking everything’s about me
Yeah, I drive myself crazy
‘Cause I can’t escape the gravity

[Chorus: Chester Bennington & Kiiara]
I’m holding on
Why is everything so heavy?
Holding on
So much more than I can carry
I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down
If I just let go, I’d be set free
Holding on
Why is everything so heavy?

[Verse 2: Kiiara]
You say that I’m paranoid
But I’m pretty sure the world is out to get me
It’s not like I make the choice
To let my mind stay so fucking messy
I know I’m not the center of the universe
But you keep spinning ’round me just the same
I know I’m not the center of the universe
But you keep spinning ’round me just the same

 – Lyrics from Genius

 

Mindful Musings #220

She looks out the window

At the world as it passes by.

She extends her hand

But she cannot reach the life beyond her fingertips.

She is drowning.

She is being buried alive.

She is losing herself to the whirl of her reality.

She must continue to give all of herself

While retaining only a little of herself.

Take that fragment

Hold it close.

Cup that ember

In the palm of outstretched hands.

Softly, carefully, protect that ember

From the buffeting waves of life.

When the storm dies down

And the agony abates

Feed that ember

Until it bursts into the flame of who

She used to be.

Mindful Musings #218

mindful-musings

Feeling trapped.

Fingers numb from clawing

Lungs burning from lack of oxygen.

All within a prison made of glass.

Now the water rises.

Slowly, carefully

Swallowing from the bottom up.

Trembling from fear

Gives way to sweet defeat.

Exhaustion envelops like a blanket.

Soothing the pain.

Covering the wounds.

Darkness descends

And there is only black.

 

Mindful Musings #215

mindful-musings

It’s that dangerous time of year

When the ice thaws

And the snow melts.

What dangers lurk beneath the not-so-pristine blanket

That has covered us for 6 long months?

Careful, careful

Look where you step.

Beware the warmer temperatures

That taunt you on the forecast.

Half of them might be lies

Or wishful thinking.

Here in the Great White North

Mother Nature teases us with sunshine

Framed in by blizzards.

Think twice before you leave your house.

Bring a scarf, toque and gloves

Just in case.