Cover Image: The Red Hairband

The Red Hairband

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Member Reviews

This book is a post climate apocalypse dystopia told in three connected stories. Interesting and thought provoking.

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Thank you to the publishers, author and NetGalley for the free copy of this book.

This was such an interesting and thought provoking read. It was not what I was expecting but in a good way. I would definitely read more by this author.

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Catherine Greene's "The Red Hairband" is a captivating and thought-provoking exploration of post-apocalyptic reality, masterfully merging literary science fiction and socio-political commentary. The book, significantly longer than the stated 100 pages, turned out to be an engaging read that I couldn't put down, finishing in less than a day. It was well worth the unexpected length.

Set in a future beleaguered by climate change, the novel unfolds a unique narrative through the intertwined stories of Evie, Laura, and Bertram. Each character forces us to grapple with the compelling question: how much does our upbringing shape our worldview?

Evie, a product of a totalitarian state, is not immediately likable. Still, her zealotry provokes a mixture of intrigue and disquiet. This zealous fervor, deeply ingrained in her from childhood, adds depth to her character. Her drive to dismantle a more liberal society, albeit unsuccessful, sets in motion a chain of events that birth a revolution. The concept of The Religious is an interesting exploration of unity among diverse faiths. However, I would have appreciated a more inclusive representation of non-Christian religions in this union.

Laura's narrative at first seems detached from the central storyline, making it less engaging initially. But patience pays off. As the plot progresses, her story - a mother navigating her journey with a time-traveling son against a backdrop of disbelief and mental health stigmatization - is skillfully woven into the larger narrative, contributing to its complex tapestry.

Bertram, the orphaned truth-seeker, brings a different dimension to the narrative. His search for his origins leads him to the heart of the myth surrounding Evie, resulting in a choice that heightens the drama and lends a poignant undertone to his story.

"The Red Hairband" is a fascinating study of the dangers of blind faith and the lengths people might go to uphold their convictions. It subtly advocates for the necessity of questioning and doubting our beliefs, adding a philosophical dimension to the narrative. Greene navigates these deep waters with a deft hand, making the novel a worthwhile read.
This is a 4.5 out of 5-star read - a highly recommended addition to post-apocalyptic and literary science fiction enthusiasts' libraries. Thanks to NetGalley, Catherine Greene, and Guernica Editions for the free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Catherine Greene does a good job in creating a good scifi genre. The characters were what I was expecting and enjoyed how good everything was. The plot was well done in a post-apocalyptic setting works and it left me wanting more.

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First, when I found this on NetGalley, the title was listed as The Red Armband. When I opened the book, the title was The Red Hairband. There ensued about 10 minutes of me trying to figure out if this was some mixup on my part where I got the wrong book, if it was a last minute change in title, or if the people at NetGalley just want to screw with our heads. I decided on "maybe this will become clear later" and read on.

The book has potential. I really liked the premise but the execution leaves much to be desired. I thought the characters fell flat, like there wasn't enough substance to them. They felt like an idea but not fully fleshed out. It was hard to get a feel for them. I neither liked or disliked anyone and that made it hard for me to get through the book.

I liked how the book was divided into three different parts with completely different characters, and how it was all tied together at the end. I thought most of the dialogue felt forced, stilted. The plot didn't seem to have a "road," so-to-speak. It wasn't quite all over the place, but it also felt like it just...wasn't.

The Armband/Hairband thing did become clear but only in the sense that the choice of using one or the other had not been settled.

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