Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (1/4/22) – Rise of the Red Hand

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Since I haven’t been able to go to the library lately, I’ve been going through some books on my wish list at the Kindle library. I found this in the sci-fi section, and despite a lot of mediocre to bad reviews, I figured that I would give it a try. And yes, it was a little messy at times, but it presented a unique addition to the YA dystopia genre.

Enjoy this week’s review!

Rise of the Red Hand (The Mechanists, #1) by Olivia Chadha

Rise of the Red Hand (The Mechanists, #1) – Olivia Chadha

25 years after a devastating nuclear war, Ashiva ekes out a living in the slums of the South Asian province. While the rich gorge on new technology, the poor barely get by on secondhand tech and scarce food and water.

Ashiva works for the Red Hand, a revolutionary organization with the goal of dismantling the oppressive government of the South Asian province. As a new sickness ravages the province, Ashiva is forced to ally with Riz-Ali, a rich uplander who may hold the key to exposing a dark conspiracy within the government.

ohapplejuice.tumblr.com - Tumbex

TW/CW: human experimentation, pandemic, graphic violence, emergency medical procedures, death, blood, faked disability, attempted murder

Rise of the Red Hand was more than a little messy, but it had enough unique takes on the average dystopia to pull it through.

What sets Rise of the Red Hand apart from most everything else in the YA dystopian genre is its setting; it’s set in a futuristic South Asia, which is really cool to see, especially since 90% of the dystopias I’ve read are set somewhere in the U.S.! That, along with the atmosphere of the future world that Chadha created and the interspersed South Asian culture and slang, was a breath of fresh air.

Along with that, the highlight of Rise of the Red Hand is that it made dystopia feel…human. There were slices of life that the reader witnesses amidst the horror and destruction—the last real-food vendor in the market, a group of children putting a “kick me” sign on a government robot—that made the setting feel genuine. Dystopias are supposed to be bleak and horrible, of course—that’s the definition of a dystopia in the first place—but elements like these are what make it believable. No matter the circumstances, little pockets of life always thrive. Or, in the words of Jeff Goldblum, “Life finds a way.”

I have mixed feelings about the worldbuilding. On the one hand, Chadha did a good job of making a thorough buildup to the current state of her world, and I didn’t feel as though I were missing anything as I read it. On the other hand, this information was delivered in chunks that were often hefty and distracted from the present dialogue. Good worldbuilding, but ruined by getting dropped on the reader’s head like cinderblocks. Also, on the subject of the provinces…if Asia was divided into the South Asian province and the Asian province, why were North America, South America, and Africa just provinces on their own? It made sense for Europe and Australia, since they’re both fairly small as far as continents go, but…North and South America and Africa are huge. How could that be one province?

The plot itself wasn’t terribly unique; Chadha’s writing made it compelling enough, but underneath all its trappings, it was your garden-variety “take down the oppressive government (that is oppressive for very vague and unspecified reasons) kind of dystopian plot. It’s not to say that it isn’t bad, just overdone. Take away the thorough worldbuilding and unique setting, and this could have been something from 10 years ago, post-Hunger Games. However, I will say that at least it was specified why the government was so oppressive—and a lot of it’s horribly sinister. But again, the setting was the saving grace here—not much else.

Other than that, the characters were decent—not terribly interesting, but not cardboard either. The romance between Ashiva and Riz-Ali felt very rushed and insta-love-y, and was ultimately very unnecessary. Taru’s chapters didn’t feel very necessary, and her voice bothered me. And on the subject of Taru—why exactly did they fake her having brittle-bone disease? Not only are we supposed to be rooting for Ashiva, who conspired to do this, how is that even a solution? That part just felt…weird.

Overall, a dystopia that boasts a unique setting, humanity and atmosphere—but not a lot else. 3 stars.

Dystopia GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Rise of the Red Hand is the first book in the Mechanists duology, and it is followed by an untitled sequel set for release this year. Olivia Chadha is also the author of Balance of Fragile Things.

Today’s song:

the harmony at the very end is so pretty 🥺

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags

Enola Holmes Book Tag

Hey there, bibliophiles!

You probably noticed that I didn’t post anything for about a week and a half or so. The first two weeks of school were just really overwhelming and I had quite a lot of projects to do and quizzes to study for, so I had to take a little time away. But things are starting to go back to a manageable level school-wise, so I’m back. For now. And hey, three-day weekend!

Anyway, I went through some of my tags that I’ve been wanting to do, and I found this one! Enola Holmes was absolutely a series that shaped my childhood, and even though I found the Netflix movie to be a bit of a disappointment, I think we can all agree that Millie Bobby Brown is phenomenal.

This tag was created by Cielo @ Bellerose Reads, and that’s where I originally found it as well. 🙂

Rules

  1. List the rules and the prompts of the tag in your post
  2. Thank the person who tagged you and pingback to their post
  3. Give credits to the creator of the tag, Bellerose Reads, and pingback to her post.
  4. Tag at least 5 people to do the tag.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Enola Holmes: strong woman is the new black – The Movievaures

🌹THE ENOLA HOLMES BOOK TAG 🌹

ENOLA HOLMES: An independent and smart female protagonist

Amazon.com: Daughter of the Pirate King (9781250095961): Levenseller,  Tricia: Books

Alosa Kalligan from Daughter of the Pirate King was my first thought–strong-willed, independent, and the captain of a pirate ship at just 17. Gotta love Alosa.

SHERLOCK HOLMES: Your favorite mystery/thriller book

Amazon.com: Grown (9780062840356): Jackson, Tiffany D: Books

I don’t read much mystery, but Grown was such a raw and powerful book! Monday’s Not Coming was incredible too…I’ve only read three of her books, but Tiffany D. Jackson is definitely a master of the YA mystery genre.

EUDORIA HOLMES: A character that defies the rules of their society

Amazon.com: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse: Book One of the Thorne  Chronicles eBook: Eason, K.: Kindle Store

Rory Thorne from How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is the perfect example for this prompt–not just defying the royal family by taking control of her situation and starting a revolution, but…I mean, eventually becoming a space pirate is the ultimate defiant move when you’re a princess, I would think.

MYCROFT HOLMES: The most annoying character you know

Amazon.com: The Hunger Games (9780439023481): Collins, Suzanne: Books

It’s been a while since I’ve read The Hunger Games, but I haaaaaaaaaaated Gale. The whole “catnip” nickname was just an instant dealbreaker…[vomits]

LORD TEWKSBURY: A character you want to protect at all costs

Amazon.com: The Gilded Wolves: A Novel (The Gilded Wolves, 1)  (9781250144546): Chokshi, Roshani: Books

Zofia from The Gilded Wolves is just too good for this world. And now that I’ve read book 2…[cries]

INSPECTOR LESTRADE: A loyal side character

Amazon.com: Raybearer (9781419739828): Ifueko, Jordan: Books

Sanjeet from Raybearer always stayed by Tarisai’s side, and he was the PERFECT side character! I think he was my favorite character in the whole book, honestly…

MISS HARRISON: A book that aged like milk

The Familiars: Epstein, Adam Jay, Jacobson, Andrew: 9780061961106:  Amazon.com: Books

Whew, this one’s a throwback for me…

The Familiars was my favorite series for a while when I was in elementary school, but even when it was still coming out, I remember being super disappointed by the fourth book. (Unnecessary, didn’t like the style of the illustrations, cliffhanger that was never resolved…) I’ll still always have a soft spot for this series, but I remember outwardly cringing at the writing the last time I flipped through it…

LINTHORN: A character you hated from the very beginning

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

This one was a major disappointment…

Pru from Instant Karma bothered me almost from the get-go…she was just so demanding and bratty. (And hey, I get being mad for getting a C on a group project, but…would it really kill you to settle for a B?)

EDITH: Your favorite book with Black rep

Amazon.com: An Unkindness of Ghosts (9781617755880): Solomon, Rivers: Books

It was super hard to pick just one book for this prompt, but I read An Unkindness of Ghosts last summer, and it blew me away!

I TAG:

The World Is Quiet Here — Enola Holmes (2020)

Today’s song:

NEW JULIEN BAKER AND IT’S ABSOLUTELY TRANSCENDENTAL (plus this video is INCREDIBLE)

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: October 26-November 1, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles, happy November, and happy Día de los Muertos, if that’s your thing!

Whew, October’s definitely been a rough month for me, and this week wasn’t much of an exception. Junior year is weighing heavy on me, but through it all, at least I’ve had lots of good music and books to keep me going. Having a snow day on Monday was lovely, and now the weather’s nice and moderate. (Oh, and this fourth season of Fargo might just be my favorite, but I’m just hoping Rabbi Milligan survives for a few more episodes…) And Halloween season is always fun–we celebrated on Friday with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and we carved our pumpkins and watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice on Saturday night. Here’s how my pumpkin turned out, I carved the logo from Fargo on it!

It was promptly eaten by a deer this morning, but hey, I was really proud of it while it lasted.

All things considered, I’ve had a good reading week. I had a couple of disappointments, but I finally got around to reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and really enjoyed it! (Expect a review next week!)

And…NaNoWriMo starts today, so there shall be writing aplenty tonight…

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Radio Silence–Alice Oseman (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

All the Stars and Teeth–Adalyn Grace (⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth Duology, 1)  (9781250307781): Grace, Adalyn: Books

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)–Suzanne Collins (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes' by Suzanne Collins book review - The  Washington Post

The Athena Protocol–Shamim Sarif (⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Athena Protocol (9780062849601): Sarif, Shamim: Books

Tweet Cute–Emma Lord (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Tweet Cute: A Novel (9781250237323): Lord, Emma: Books

The Sleeper and the Spindle–Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell (illustrator) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Sleeper and the Spindle eBook: Gaiman, Neil, Riddell,  Chris: Kindle Store

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Six of Crows–Leigh Bardugo (re-read for book club)

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, 1): Amazon.co.uk: Bardugo, Leigh: Books

Today Tonight Tomorrow–Rachel Lynn Solomon

Amazon.com: Today Tonight Tomorrow (9781534440241): Solomon, Rachel Lynn:  Books

Black Moon (Zodiac, #3)–Romina Russell

Amazon.com: Black Moon (Zodiac) (9781595147462): Russell, Romina: Books

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves! Here’s to a much better November.

Posted in Book Tags, Books

Would You Rather? Book Tag

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

As you might have noticed, I haven’t done Top 5 Saturday today. As of now, the creator hasn’t released the prompts for September, and I didn’t know how I felt about creating my own, so I decided to do a book tag today instead.

Anyway, I was tagged by One Book More (thank you!). I’m not sure who the creator of the tag is, so please let me know if you know. 🙂

RULES:

  • Thank the nominator.
  • Answer the questions given to you by the nominator.
  • Make your own questions.
  • Tag others to join in on the fun!

ONE BOOK MORE’S QUESTIONS:

  1. Would you rather meet your favorite author or your favorite character?

Oooh…this is a tough one…

Either way, it’s almost guaranteed that I might get choked up and embarrass myself, but either would honestly be amazing for me.

Wilfred Mott All Choked Up GIF by happmacdonald | Gfycat

2. Would you rather only read series or only read standalone?

Only series, absolutely. Unless they’re ridiculously long, I always like to see storytelling spanning over the course of several books, especially trilogies and duologies.

3. Would you rather read one book at a time or multiple books?

One book, without question! I used to be able to read several at a time when I was younger, but these days I find it hard to focus my attention on more than one book at a time. I’m also a very task-oriented person, so that’s likely part of it.

4. Would you rather only read physical books or only read ebooks?

Even though ebooks are convenient, I doubt there’s anything that can really beat the feel of a physical book in your hands. Plus, ebooks don’t have that amazing book smell. So physical books, absolutely.

Happy Illustration GIF by Aishwarya Sadasivan - Find & Share on GIPHY

5. Would you rather live in one of the factions from Divergent or one of the districts in the Hunger Games?

Um? I really didn’t get much into the Divergent mythos, but both of them sound like…not the best options? But I suppose one of the Hunger Games districts, I guess.

Hunger Games Salute GIFs | Tenor

6. Would you rather have your favorite hero’s powers or your favorite villain’s powers?

Hmmm…it’s hard to pick a favorite hero/villain out of…well, every piece of media I’ve consumed, but I do think that teleportation would be a lot of fun, so I guess I’d go with the powers of my favorite hero.

Kodi Smit-Mcphee Angel GIF by X-Men Movies - Find & Share on GIPHY

7. Would you rather never read a new release or never be able to re-read a book?

I suppose it if was a new release, I’d just have to wait a year or two until it’s not considered “new” anymore, so I’d go with never reading new releases. Loopholes, loopholes!

8. Would you rather live in your favorite character’s world or have your favorite character live in your world?

Option two! Most of my favorite characters that come from situations that…[ahem] definitely suck, and even though this world still sucks, at least it doesn’t suck as much as say…being on the run from an intergalactic government or waking up from cryosleep after two centuries and realizing that everybody you previously knew is dead.

9. Would you rather have every story start with “once upon a time” or have every story end with “and they lived happily ever after?”

I feel like having the second option in series would get redundant very quickly, so I’d go with “once upon a time.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEAUTIFUL! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULIE HUTCHINGS! @HutchingsJulie –  Jolene Haley

10. Would you rather never be able to buy a book again or never be able to borrow a book again?

YIKES, this one’s tricky…

I mean…even though borrowing them is free, it’s nice to have books to add to your shelf…so I guess I’ll go with never borrowing a book again…

MY QUESTIONS (for everybody I tag):

  1. Would you rather change the cover of a book or change its synopsis?
  2. Would you rather only read books by your favorite author, or be able to read books by any author, but only one per author?
  3. Would you rather live in a sci-fi novel or a fantasy novel?
  4. Would you rather have dragons in our world, or know of the existence of a Fae realm?
  5. Would you rather be in a love triangle or be the Chosen One?
  6. Would you rather have all book titles be three words, or only one word?
  7. Would you rather have your favorite book be adapted into a film or adapted into a graphic novel?
  8. Would you rather add a book to your favorite series, or subtract a book from it?
  9. Would you rather lose a copy of a book altogether or have it ruined/stained in some way?
  10. Would you rather change the plot or the characters of your favorite book?

I TAG:

Reading Read GIF by Alexandra Dvornikova - Find & Share on GIPHY

Today’s song:

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!