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Rise of the Red Hand

(The Mechanists #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  264 ratings  ·  110 reviews
A rare, searing portrayal of the future of climate change in South Asia. A streetrat turned revolutionary and the disillusioned hacker son of a politician try to take down a ruthlessly technocratic government that sacrifices its poorest citizens to build its utopia.

The South Asian Province is split in two. Uplanders lead luxurious lives inside a climate-controlled biodome,
Published January 19th 2021
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December 07, 2020: A dystopian that seems to be fast approaching, this science-fiction set in the south asian province is a sword of horrifying climate change, classist ideologies, and impending destruction of those who don't deserve to be saved—a selection done by humans with more resources—on a lit candle of hope, justice, and revolution.

actual rating ➸ three and a half stars
consider reading this review on my ↣ blog

Like a wind than can extinguish this flame, further gene-based stratification
Oof. I'm really sad I didn't like this more. It was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021.

Unfortunately, while the elements of a really good and kickass sci-fi dystopia were there, the rest of the book ultimately fell flat.

Things I liked:
➽ The South Asian representation was phenomenal. I'm not South Asian myself, but I do think that own voices readers will be able to appreciate the book from this angle.
➽ The plot was really good. I found myself eager to find out what happens next and how t
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.8/5 ☆ = 3-

Nothing breaks my heart more than giving this book 2 stars. I was really looking forward to this book, with its sci-fi and dystopian elements. Yet, the plot and pacing were "off", characters were undeveloped and I believe this book would have done better if it went through another round of editing. I simply lost interest halfway through and began to skim through the book.

Here are some of my thoughts in bullet points 🖊:
➡ I was thrust into this new world and with no proper introductio
Probably more of a 3.5 but I’m rounding up.

I am always on the lookout to support more desi authors, but it’s very rare that I get to read books by diaspora authors set in South Asia. And finding a genre novel set in and around the subcontinent is a rarity. So, when I first saw the announcement about this book, I can’t describe how excited I was.

This was a fascinating but scary look at a future where another world war has taken place resulting in a sort of nuclear winter, climate change has rav
The future is terrible. Or, at least that’s what Olivia Chadha proposes in this cyberpunk, post-war, destroyed-climate dystopia. She situates her story in South Asia, specifically in two places: the Narrows, and affluent Central city.
The Narrows is chock full of people with a variety of augmentations and prosthetic limbs, and rife with gangs, the impoverished, and the Red Hand, a rebel organization comprised of different cells, each with different functions, all working to improve the lives of p
Sherwood Smith
I really wanted to love this book. Southeast Asia, yay! Climate change! Underdog characters!

And there were some aspects of the story I really thought potential, but sadly, I kept finding it a chore to get through. At first I thought it was just me being old, and tired (I read before bed time), and those elements might absolutely be true, but I've read a number of other books since that didn't bog me down, including some hefty historical non-fiction tomes replete with footnotes.

I'm going to blame
Oh how I wanted to love this book. I think that's really what kept me going, but more on that later.

I'm 99% sure the release date on NetGalley said the 19th but Goodreads has two dates, depending on the edition, so I'm doing this in between both of them, probably should've done it even earlier BUT.

I really thought this would be a four star read AT LEAST...and then I started reading it.

I could tell even by the first page that the writing would bug me. It started off very monotone and didn't fit
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cool sci-fi dystopian novel!

I really enjoyed the setting of this, it takes place in a futuristic South Asia that has been ravaged after World War III. A neocity has been created that houses a small portion of the population that are considered genetically superior. These people have plenty of food, clean water, and money to spend on genetic modifications. Unfortunately, many people live in horrible poverty and are struggling to live. They look to the Red Hand, a mysterious vigilante group trying
Liz Murphy
Didn't particularly like this one. It had potential: the idea and plot weren't too bad, but execution wasn't great. First half was so slow. So much description that didn't seem to actually matter to the plot.
Based on when it was written compared to the climate of our world right now, it may have read a bit like the "Covid is a hoax" people. Just hit closer to home than a standard dystopian would based on which topics were used.
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rise of the Red Hand scratched my cyberpunk itch. This is a really promising first book in the series.

Hands down, the worldbuilding is brilliant. This is a smart sci-fi novel that actually reads like it was published in 2021, unlike many other cyberpunk stories that seem perpetually stuck in 80s Blade Runner mode (I love Blade Runner, but I hope you get me). Honestly, this universe is a believable extension of our own. A segregated city that divides by both class and genetics, a pandemic sweepin
Oct 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
↠ 3.5 stars

Rise of the Red Hand provides a glimpse at a future that could be right on our doorstep. A planet ravaged by climate change, and a society that must deal with the aftermath. For the province of South Asia, the population is split in two. The upper class that live in the climate-controlled biodome, being deemed genetically worthy, and the others, that live outside and must fend for themselves. Ashiva, a smuggler for an underground resistance group known as the Red Hand, uncovers a dan
Alex (The Scribe Owl)
See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl!

Thank you to NetGalley and Erewhon for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

2.5/5 stars

I am honestly so sad that I didn't like this book. It had all the components that I like--a cyberpunk world, a cool rebellion, and other things, but the execution fell flat in every aspect.

The South Asian Province is split in two. Uplanders lead luxurious lives inside a climate-controlled biodome. Outside, the poor and forgotten barely scrape by. Ashiva w
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

Rise of the Red Hand is a thought provoking start to a new series. I quite liked some components, while a few others left me wanting a bit more. Let's break it down!

What I Loved:

►The world was both incredibly complex and utterly believable. I mean, it was awful, don't get me wrong. The rich got richer and the poor... well, they would just exterminate them if they got in the way. Trul
RS Rook
May 23, 2021 rated it did not like it
This book has a great concept and some really interesting world-building. For that reason, I was originally going to give this book an extra star here, thinking it was written by a young, inexperienced author.

But then I got to the author profile and apparently Chadha has a PhD in Creative Writing, and yikes. I suspect either her editor was phoning it in or Chadha fits that example of someone who struggles to accept editorial criticism because of her academic credentials.

First of all, I don't un
Rachel Kathryn Wright
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was ok
This might be the first book where I am disappointed with giving a book this rating because I feel it had a lot of potential. But there is also one characteristic the main character has that I hate seeing in books. And that is when a character is continuously lying to their sibling or friend to protect them because in the end it just hurts them. This was in it and the main character does not care at the end that her sister now no longer wants anything to do with her for the time being, because s ...more
Mitchell Clifford
While the characters of this book seemed more dynamic than other dystopian texts I’ve read the book lacked from a lot of info dumping or telling what was happening when creating the world instead of showing what was happening, which made it slower to follow.
Johan Haneveld
Oct 29, 2021 rated it liked it
7- An adequate YA dystopian Cyberpunk SF that is diverting and has some great action scenes, but ultimately does not reach classic status. I enjoyed parts of it and was hooked for the conclusion, that has a couple of interesting revelations, but I think it could have been better.
I must note, however, that my reading experience was hampered by the font that made comma's look like points - so I had to read several sentences again, which was jarring at the start.
First the positives: this is a rich
eARC provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. all opinions are my own.

note : this is an ownvoices book ; the author is of south asian origin.

rep :
✨ south asian characters and setting



the premise of this story is brilliant -- a south asian-inspired dystopia featuring the consequences of climate change and a technocratic government.

unfortunately, i wasn't able to get through this book and ended up dnf-ing it. but because i felt
Soph the Oaf
Nov 23, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lacks-depth, arc
I expected more from Rise of the Red Hand. The plot was okay, slightly mundane, but the real problem was the writing quality. Right away, I could tell that the author was an amateur. From the run-on sentences to the lengthy descriptions of each and every one of the characters, no matter how minor, as soon as they were introduced, the editor clearly needed to do a better job.
Jan 30, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
☆ advanced reader copy from edelweiss ☆

dnf at 50%

I'm just not gonna waste my time.

I hate writing negative reviews. I hate being that person that spits on your book after years of writing it. It's like me coming up to you on the side of the road and telling you how ugly your newborn baby is. It just puts a sore taste in my throat.

That being said, I'm going to keep it short. I just didn't care. I was bored out of my mind and nothing made sense. The writing was utterly clunky and it felt like readi
Welp, I am very sad now.
I expected so much more from this book but I was left disappointed.
My problems with this were the very chunky writing and the extreme info dump which left me confused. The pacing was also a bit off, and as you all know, slow pacing really bores and puts off the book for me.

2 Stars.
Julia Ember
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really honored to have had the chance to read this early! Such a smartly-written, harrowing book that examines a potential future if climate change isn't addressed! ...more
kaz auditore
Dec 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
i received an e-arc of Rise of the Red Hand by Olivia Chadha from Netgalley for an honest review.
i liked it honestly, but maybe i had too much expectations the concept is Amazing and i liked the plot but the writing style didn’t helped to really dive in the book. the first part was a massive info dump, i had trouble getting through it, it made it seem like nothing was happening and terribly slow and i was also kinda confused.
also there was a bit too many pov who sounded the same, the romance i
Mal Reads
Thank you so much to the author and publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review!!

The Rise of the Red Hand was such a promising book that was shot in the foot by its writing style.

When I first read the synopsis of this book I was like oh my god give it to me now! Talk about a new adult sci-fi with South Asian rep? Something wonderful is about to come my way. Unfortunately, 'The Rise of the Red Hand' was such a promising book that was shot in the foot by its writing style.

First, What
Vicky Again
I was debating whether or not to write a review because, to be completely frank, I was pretty let down by RISE OF THE RED HAND.

It had potential--the underlying story of rebellion, class conflict, corrupt systems in politics and science were all inherently interesting. There's mechas! And hacking! What was happening in the world was interesting.

But the presentation of the underlying story just kind of muddled the essence of it, and made it difficult to understand and not as engaging as it should
Mackenzie (bookish_black_hole)
3.5 - wanted to LOVE it but it fell a little short.
you can find my full review here: http://colourmeread.com/rise-of-the-r...
Nov 14, 2020 marked it as dnf
Shelves: arcs
I received an e-arc of Rise of the Red Hand by Olivia Chadha from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Unfortunately I ended up DNFing this book, I couldn't get into the story and there was a LOT of info dump at the beginning which was kinda confusing and hard to process at all once.
I thought that this book sounds like a cool sci-fi in the same vein as the Lunar Chronicles when I requested it, and from what I read it was eerily similar, with a cyborg main character and references to a pla
Fernanda Granzotto
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
*Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an early copy of this book for review, all opinions are my own*

The beginning of this book is very difficult to read, the author introduces us to the world at the very beginning and I admit that I don't know if I understood everything at first, I had to read some parts more than once, because the author used words I never saw and expressions I didn't know it either, but that may be because English is not my first language.
The author use
My attention was captured by the premise and the promise of diversity (South Asian rep!) in science fiction. I mean, "a streetrat turned revolutionary and the disillusioned hacker son of a politician try to take down a ruthlessly technocratic government that sacrifices its poorest citizens to build its utopia" sounds both intriguing and relevant. Unfortunately, Rise of the Red Hand didn't quite meet my expectations. While the book has potential, there were a number of issues that I was unable to ...more
Jo Ladzinski
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Read an ARC from the publisher
Content warning: violence against children, plague, medical experimentation, violence

Set in South Asia, this cyberpunk science fiction dystopia has everything: a ruthless technocratic government, a deadly plague, mechanical augmentations, mechs, a shiny chrome utopia for the upper class, crowded slums for everyone else, a splinter group of revolutionaries, and hackers working from the inside.

Told in crisp, matter-of-fact prose by complex characters, this science fic
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Olivia Chadha is the author of Balance of Fragile Things, the Mechanist duology with Rise of the Red Hand and Fall of the Iron Gods, and a contributor to the anthologies The Gathering Dark and Magic Has No Borders.

Other books in the series

The Mechanists (2 books)
  • Fall of the Iron Gods (The Mechanists #2)

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