Hello! I am Max and I will be reviewing a book christened Redder Days by Sue Rainsford today! I would like to thank Times Reads for sending a copy of this novel to me!
So, without further ado, let us get into the review section of this article!
Twins Anna and Adam live in an abandoned commune in a volatile landscape where they prepare for the world-ending event they believe is imminent. Adam keeps watch by day, Anna by night. They meet at dawn and dusk.
Their only companion is Koan, the commune’s former leader, who still exerts a malignant control over their daily rituals. But when one of the previous inhabitants returns, everything Anna and Adam thought they knew to be true is thrown into question.
Dazzling, unsettling and incredibly moving, Redder Days is a stunning exploration of the consequences of corrupted power, the emotional impact of abandonment, and the endurance of humanity in the most desperate of situations.
Redder Days is a story following Anna and Adam (who are twins) as they wait for the world to end in an abandoned commune as the rest of the world slowly succumb to the virus that turns humans into all shades of red and changes their behaviour depending on which animal has passed the infection to them. Their former commune leader, Koan, hasn’t been in the right state of mind ever since the commune dispersed, but he still exerts virulent control over Anna and Adam’s daily rituals. When one of the previous inhabitants returns, Anna becomes skeptical of their surrounding while Adam remains oblivious.
This book has everything I enjoy reading in a story: unreliable narrators, cult ambience, a leader who abuses his power and status, bits of information thrown into every page for you to connect the dots to look at the grander picture, brainwashing the inhabitants of this commune, the mental and emotional state of children who are abandoned by their parents, and how humanity persevere in this dolorous situation. Yet, none of them hit the mark for me, except the last two points that I mentioned.
Ever since Anna and Adam’s mother – Eula – left them in the commune to fend for themselves, Anna hasn’t been able to forgive her mother. Whenever she thinks about her, she shuts it down forcefully to keep those thoughts from arising. As for Adam, he thinks about his mother frequently and he wishes to be with his mother, and he also misses her. After their mother’s abandonment, Anna takes on her mother’s role to care for the both of them. I thought the topics on the emotional and mental state of the children and the perseverance of humanity in the worst of times were really well executed because the author really emphasizes them instead of taking these topics on a whim.
This novel contains an abundance of forgettable characters that you will only be able to recall if you try really hard to remember. Honestly, I couldn’t really remember any of them until I skimmed a few pages of this book to write this review. Anna and Adam are the unreliable narrators of this novel and I did not find them appealing at all. They don’t really have any definite personality and their actions confused the crap out of me. Sometimes I can understand why, but most of the time, I couldn’t. I thought their actions were very nonsensical, confounding, and unnecessary.
The writing style of this novel is not my cup of tea. It doesn’t feel cohesive to me and I felt oddly detached from the story while I was reading it if that makes any sense. The author also replaces quotation marks with dashes for the dialogues which is an incongruous choice. I, unfortunately, didn’t enjoy the direction and the outcome of the story. I thought the story went in outlandish directions and the bed crumbs and clues didn’t lead to anything that we didn’t already know as the author has already established all the facts at the beginning of the novel. The idea of the leader exploiting his power and using his status to indoctrinate the inhabitants didn’t bring anything new to the table; it felt like I was reading every other common dystopian novel in the dystopian genre while I was reading those scenes.
Before I comment on the scene that scared the living life out of me, I would like to give a bit of context on Adam’s mental illness. I liked the ambiguity of his illness; the author didn’t explain much about what Adam is dealing with, but she did leave a trail as to who aggravated his mental state. With his worsening condition, there comes a scene where Adam grabs Anna’s private part which he calls it the “moisture around her sex” and Anna swatting his hands off of her and I don’t understand why the author decided to leave that scene in the book because there isn’t any repercussion after that revolting scene. I was waiting for it to be addressed, but the author let me down by not addressing it and letting it run free with no consequence.
I am going to lay this out there and say I did not like the ending of this novel. I thought it was extremely unsatisfying and I had gotten more questions than answers when I got to the end of the book.
In conclusion, this novel is going to receive a score of 30% (E) from me. If you are looking for a better novel with an unreliable narrator and a disease contaminating everything that has succumbed to it, I would suggest reading Wilder Girls by Rory Power instead.
This is the end of my review for Redder Days By Sue Rainsford! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!