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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.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Book Reviews, 0 comments

The Signs of Aging

Oh man. Let’s just say I’ve been feeling my age lately. It’s not even like I’m that old; I’m turning 33 this year. That’s not old at all. But hot damn do I feel old.

I was knocked flat on my ass yesterday by a cold. A COLD. I used to laugh at those and hop myself up on Halls, DayQuil and whatever other manner of medication I could find. Maybe some Advil Cold and Sinus. Those little pills are usually the relief bringers for me.

But nooooo. Not yesterday. I had a sore throat on Tuesday so I left work early. I figured I’d work from home for a bit and then when my coworker returned from his lunch I’d have a nap and chill. Things seemed to be going fine, but then the city I live in started burning dead trees. Right near my house. The combination of the throat and the smoke knocked me out. My nasal cavities are stuffed and yesterday I didn’t get out of bed until 4:00pm.

So I took a sick day yesterday. I filled my bed with manga and my tablet and promptly passed out for a few hours.

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Have I read all of these before? Of course I have. That’s the joy about owning something. You can keep reading it.

Folks at my Day Job were pretty okay with me taking the day. I always feel really bad and have this urge to apologize profusely. But they won’t hear of it.

In other good news, I heard back from Memorial University so I know where to send my transcripts! I can get that organized today. Hopefully I can take at least one class come the Fall term. That would be awesome!

I hope your Thursday is going well! What are some signs you’ve discovered of your ‘aging’?

me

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 3 comments