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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 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. 'So immense and beautiful, it's both gorgeously composed and an addictive page-turner. Sue Rainsford is an extraordinary writer' DONAL RYAN 'Unnervingly, thrillingly strange . . . a masterpiece of literary horror' CAL FLYN 'Lyrical, hypnotic and provocative, I devoured Redder Days in a single, slightly furious sitting and have been haunted by it ever since' JAN CARSON


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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 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. 'So immense and beautiful, it's both gorgeously composed and an addictive page-turner. Sue Rainsford is an extraordinary writer' DONAL RYAN 'Unnervingly, thrillingly strange . . . a masterpiece of literary horror' CAL FLYN 'Lyrical, hypnotic and provocative, I devoured Redder Days in a single, slightly furious sitting and have been haunted by it ever since' JAN CARSON

30 review for Redder Days

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amalia Gkavea

    ‘’In short, there was nothing to do but accept it. Let our fears and beliefs settle around it. Red wind, red sun, red hurricane. That’s when we start running. But block your ears and stuff your mouth, When you see the red man coming.’’ The world has changed. Or so a man would have us believe. The Storm is coming, a force unknown and unutterable that will sweep everything away. The leader of an uncanny community ‘discards’’ the ones cursed with the Red, people - mostly women - who are thought ‘’In short, there was nothing to do but accept it. Let our fears and beliefs settle around it. Red wind, red sun, red hurricane. That’s when we start running. But block your ears and stuff your mouth, When you see the red man coming.’’ The world has changed. Or so a man would have us believe. The Storm is coming, a force unknown and unutterable that will sweep everything away. The leader of an uncanny community ‘discards’’ the ones cursed with the Red, people - mostly women - who are thought to be burdened with an evil too ferocious to be explained. Two siblings, Anna and Adam, are trying to survive like shadows, meeting during the dawn and the dusk, burdened and scarred by the disappearance of their mother. What can be worse? The world that approaches its end or the bitter knowledge that your mother has abandoned you? ‘’-What reds are weak reds? Crimson, carmine, scarlet, pace. What reds are hurtful reds? Vermillion, ruby. What reds are carnal? Cochineal, cerise and sanguine.’’ This novel is one of the strangest, most atmospheric, enigmatic and utterly brilliant stories I’ve ever had the pleasure to encounter. Rainsford doesn’t rely on the same-old dystopia tropes to drive her novel forward. She wants to puzzle and confuse us, she wants us to question every page we read. Is this a dystopic society or a community that has fallen victim to a cult leader’s twisted ambitions? What is that Storm? How will it affect the characters? What happens to the women and children? And why is Red so threatening? Red has always been the basis of a plethora of convictions, customs and legends. The colour of blood, of life and love and passion. The colour of revolution, of temptation, sin, and seduction. The colour of fire. Of menstruation and sex. And birth. There is a terrific, alluring feeling of danger and a deeply weird sense of sensuality throughout the story. The siblings have known no other member of the community close to their age. ‘’We’re like the sun and the moon, passing one another in the sky’’, and this is the very essence of the development of their characters. Adam is the sun, always trying to discover a crack, to shed light, to know the truth. Anna is like the moon. Secretive, mercurial, silent, wise and watchful. Two young adults that desire to be left alone by everyone, except their mother. But Eula left them long ago… ‘’I keep my fear here, in my right hand... Any time the fear gets too much I remind myself I can just cut my hand away.’’ To say more about this book is to spoil the pleasure of uncovering every layer of the story and the unique process of unveiling thoughts you didn’t know you have been keeping in your mind. This is my kind of book. The one that leaves you to ‘’fend’’ for yourself, the one that makes you a better reader. The one that doesn’t conform to the trash of our times. ‘’Fresh night, still and viscous. The trees only ever so often creaking and making me think of winter when they tighten and buckle within their cases of ice and snow. The whole wood loud with a neighing sound you might mistake for horses. The red wolves calling out. Whisper of a track that red deer leave behind. The woods and the gifts they give me. At the very bottoms of hills and at the very tops of trees. Kneeling in the stream and seeing my howl who always knows when and where to come for me.’’ Many thanks to Doubleday and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.word......

  2. 5 out of 5

    Neil

    All credit to Sue Rainsford: she does not spoon feed her readers. Rather, she drops you into her world and leaves you to work out what is going on by piecing together the clues that emerge from the action and from the dialogue. There’s enough there to make this a perfectly manageable task, but don’t expect to be given all the answers. In fact, it’s not just the context that is left to the reader’s imagination: if you are the kind of person who likes books to tie up loose ends and draw stories to All credit to Sue Rainsford: she does not spoon feed her readers. Rather, she drops you into her world and leaves you to work out what is going on by piecing together the clues that emerge from the action and from the dialogue. There’s enough there to make this a perfectly manageable task, but don’t expect to be given all the answers. In fact, it’s not just the context that is left to the reader’s imagination: if you are the kind of person who likes books to tie up loose ends and draw stories to a close, this probably isn’t the book for you. This is the kind of book that you may well finish with more questions than answers. Rainsford’s first novel (Follow Me To Ground) was one of the spookiest books I have read and this second novel has some similarities to that one. It is a kind of horror story and it is written in an illusive style that works by feeding the reader’s imagination rather than explaining everything. But it wasn’t that previous novel to which my mind kept turning as I read this one. I found myself rather thinking about the COVID pandemic and about the novels of Emily St John Mandel. Imagine a world where something strange and new starts to affect the lives of all the people around you and even kills many of them. It’s something that means you have to learn to live in a different way and you have to ensure you always keep your distance from others until you know it is safe (there’s even a paragraph that explains the social distancing rules). Like me, you probably find that world far easier to imagine in November 2020 than you did in November 2019. This is the world of Redder Days, although I am not going to go into details about exactly what is happening because putting it all together (as much of it as Rainsford sees fit to tell us) and then imagining some more is key to the reader’s enjoyment. In truth, it’s nothing like COVID, but there are a lot of things that happen and observations that are made that seem spookily relevant. I mentioned Emily St John Mandel. What she does remarkably well in her novels is straddle a major event giving us both before and after (perhaps Station Eleven is her best and most well known example of this) jumping from one to the other in a way that allows each part of the narrative to feed the other. Here, Rainsford does a similar thing. Part of what we read is in the form of documents written by one character when everything was just kicking off. Another strand of the narrative tells us about what is happening to them in the book’s “now”. This second strand also includes a number of flashbacks which fill in details. I enjoyed reading this book. But I think that’s because I like books that leave loose ends and that leave a lot to the reader’s imagination. I can see that the style might frustrate readers with different tastes. This novel is not as spooky as the author’s first, but it does leave the reader with a lot of unanswered questions about exactly what was going on and how some of the things that are mentioned but don’t happen might play out. You might even decide that some things do play out to completion in the novel but just in ways that are not what you were expecting. I’m not sure that happens, but it’s a possible interpretation (I think). Motherhood, abandonment, power in the wrong hands. These are all key themes set in a world where something strange is happening to the population. It’s a heady mixture. My thanks to the publisher for an ARC via NetGalley. 3.5 stars rounded up for atmosphere and for stirring the imagination. PS You might find this article interesting after reading the book: https://www.hobartpulp.com/web_featur.... The article includes discussion of the work of Ana Mendieta whose art was, I understand, an inspiration for this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paul Fulcher

    Follow Me to Ground, Sue Rainsford’s debut novel, published in 2018 by the small, independent press New Ireland, was a striking inclusion on the longlist of the Republic of Consciousness Prize. My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Redder Days is her second novel, and will be published in March 2021. It is set in an area where a disease of “redness” has struck nature including people, or at least as believed by a commune under the leadership of Koan: A glimmer of puce in a woman’s eye Follow Me to Ground, Sue Rainsford’s debut novel, published in 2018 by the small, independent press New Ireland, was a striking inclusion on the longlist of the Republic of Consciousness Prize. My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Redder Days is her second novel, and will be published in March 2021. It is set in an area where a disease of “redness” has struck nature including people, or at least as believed by a commune under the leadership of Koan: A glimmer of puce in a woman’s eyes, a child’s back with its fuzz of copper fur. Biological ripples that spoke to an interior horror, to a particular kind of damage – that signalled we were now vessels for a very particular kind of rupture. We knew it was entwined, somehow, with the abbreviated timeframe – perhaps, a kind of cleansing. The planet, thus distressed, had found a new way to purge. But we did not know why every body it moved through it moved through like a storm. Why it turned a person to rough hands and probing tongues, why it landed in the body as an unrelenting fever. But this is the cruelty of any storm; irrespective of its size and point of origin, it is without motivation or vendetta. No storm is subject to reason. If you are destroyed by a storm, it is simply because of where you were standing at the time. In short, there was nothing to do but accept it. Let our fears and beliefs settle around it. Red wind, red sun, red hurricane. That’s when we start running. But block your ears and stuff your mouth, when you see the red man coming. This last one of the simple rhyming couplets (seemingly having invented a whole religion out of red rhyming with dead) uttered by the rather misnamed Koan, as he certainly doesn’t use Kōans. Indeed as the backstory emerges Koan appears to be misogynistic, manipulative and possibly delusional. The story centres on two twins, Anna and Adam, born in the community and now the only two left, with the now rather feeble, Koan, after the others left, including their mother, her only remaining trace a stain in their cabin: Two years without our mother, with only the stain she left behind that Anna every so often rubs her foot over. A stain made by our mother. The stain Mother made. Mother’s stain. Sometimes I pretend it’s her mucus and blood, a mark she made while birthing. I picture her overcome by our birth and not making it to the farrow room, not even making it to her own bed. Or: simply deciding she didn’t want the later trouble of cleaning the sheets in the stream and so lying down on the floor. Not even a pillow for her back, her head. Our strong, strong mother. Mostly woman but also iron, also stone. Rainsford has acknowledged (https://www.hobartpulp.com/web_featur...) the influence of Ana Mendieta’s Untitled (Silueta Series) on the novel. The novel’s world includes many seemingly key elements – the complex manifestations of redness, the 'Devotion' those in the community undertake (which for the twins seems to verge on the incestuous), the approaching Storm, personified as female but seemingly the end of the world, hawks, whales, jellyfish, and, particularly interesting for me as a twin, the importance of twins as perhaps the only ones able to fight off redness – but the novel gives no explanations or framework for any of this [which in a first-person narration can be a little off as presumably the characters have some idea of the world in which they live], and the reader ends the novel with even less understanding than they began. But that is to set the book expectations it has no intention of meeting – this is poetic not dystopian fiction. A novel perhaps to revisit post publication when it is more widely read and discussed, including by the author, as I suspect, from her previous novel, there is much more symbolism here than Mendieta’s artwork. For now 3 stars. Thanks to the publisher via Netgalley for the ARC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer

    Published today 11-3-21 The water turned a mouth that will swallow, uncomplaining, anything you can think to put inside it. Indiscriminate, salty and pure. The whales and their roaring flesh, a swarm with strands of lightning caught inside, a sister and her brother who have been waiting on red wind, red rain, red hurricane and I see it now, the red come through rushed with crimson rinsed carmine blushing ruby and puce rich with hum not wind and not rain and not the earth shaking only a woman s Published today 11-3-21 The water turned a mouth that will swallow, uncomplaining, anything you can think to put inside it. Indiscriminate, salty and pure. The whales and their roaring flesh, a swarm with strands of lightning caught inside, a sister and her brother who have been waiting on red wind, red rain, red hurricane and I see it now, the red come through rushed with crimson rinsed carmine blushing ruby and puce rich with hum not wind and not rain and not the earth shaking only a woman singing since she was a girl only a boy still waiting to grow and the red on us, the red – I see it now, the wide red ocean leaving its red stain across the shore that’s where we’ll go Sue Rainsford is a Dublin based writer and researcher concerned with “hybrid, lyric and embodied texts, explicit fusions of critical and corporeal enquiry, as well as with experiences that alter our understanding of flesh” Her first novel – "Follow Me To Ground" – was first published in 2018 by the small Irish press New Island – and longlisted for the 2019 Republic of Consciousness Prize, before being republished in the UK in 2019 by Doubleday/Transworld. It was a memorable and latently haunting book – one inspired by the author’s research interests and her interest in art (in that case - the installation art of Jenny Keane and her lick drawings) – effectively taking artistic, written and metaphorical ideas around women’s bodies and imagining a world in which those idea serve as a reality for the novel’s protagonists. And the same concept implies here. Here the artwork is Ana Mendieta’s Silueta Series where she left imprints of her body in nature using a variety of substances including blood to mark the silhouette, and the author’s wider research has also researched stains which (in an essay) she describes as “an unintended mark that, once made, resists removal. Inadvertent remnant and by-product, it is something made while we were looking elsewhere; evidence that our attention faltered, or that some vessel failed to function”. And that leads us to the world of the book – one where the world appears to have been struck by various manifestations of some form of blooming corporeal redness (of various shades), associated in nature as well as humanity with a kind of ecstatic self-absorption leading to a breakdown in both natural processes and society. Koan – some form of researcher seems to spot the signs before many others and as disaster begins to strike a group of his colleagues and their friends follow him to set up a form of sanctuary on top of a disused but still burning mine. Given Koan’s seeming ability to predict what had happened (although in a rather nice analogy to both climate change and catastrophic pandemics, he admits in his journal that “Of course, of course, of course it was coming. It was inevitable. It had always been inevitable, but it had never seemed that “inevitable” would pertain to our lifetime”), the others initially acquiesce to a cult-lie religion he establishes involving elements such as the ruthless eradication of red (including exposing infants – most of whom are born exhibiting it), salt cleansing, the believe in an apocalyptical Storm and devotional worship to it. But at the time of the book – almost all his followers have left (dissillusioned when the Storm did not come and then starting to see signs – via jellyfish – of nature starting to right itself) except for two twins – Anna and Adam. Anna and Adam were born in the commune - to one of his most independent followers who openly challenges his leadership as sexist and controlling. As twins (like it seems litters in animals) they are not born with redness and so allowed to live – but Koan siezes his chance to indoctrinate them (particularly Adam) in his worldview. Now Koan is sick and his ex-followers are feeling guilty about having left the twins with him. The novel is told through various voices – Anna and Adam (who have a complex relationship) in the present day, Matthew (one of the ex-followers now returning), Matthew’s wife (who lost a child), the twins mother and in the journals of Koan. As with Rainsford’s other book – the world in which the protagonist lives is their reality – and although it is one whose origins and underlying truths and patriarchal assumptions Ada (in “Follow Me To The Ground”) and Anne here explore – it is not one where either the narrator or characters provide detailed and artificial expositionary explanation – rather Rainsford relies on her readers imagination - something I much prefer. Overall I found this another memorable and latently haunting book. It is already clear to me that the author is carving out a distinctive niche for herself in literature. My thanks to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for an ARC via NetGalley.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Twins Anna and Adam live in an abamdoned commune in a volitile landscape where they prepare for the world-ending event they believe is imminent. Adam keeps watch by day, Anna by night. hey meetat dawn and dusk. Their only companion is Koan, the commune's former leader, who still exerts a malignat control over their daily rituals. But when one of the previous inhabitants returns, everything Anna and Adam knew to be true was thrown into question. Anna and Adam are preparing for the world to end. Th Twins Anna and Adam live in an abamdoned commune in a volitile landscape where they prepare for the world-ending event they believe is imminent. Adam keeps watch by day, Anna by night. hey meetat dawn and dusk. Their only companion is Koan, the commune's former leader, who still exerts a malignat control over their daily rituals. But when one of the previous inhabitants returns, everything Anna and Adam knew to be true was thrown into question. Anna and Adam are preparing for the world to end. They live in an abandoned commune. Set in a dystopian world where a diease called the reddness is contaminating nature and people. Koan makes his community believe everything he tells them. This is quite a disturbing and shockingly weird quick read. It covers: child death, incest, physical and mental abuse. I would like to thank #NetGalley, #RandomHouseUK #TransworldPublishers and the author #SueRainsford for my ARC #RedderDays in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Max Lau • Maxxesbooktopia

    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 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 sceptical 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 will only be recalled 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. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris Haak

    I'm so glad I discovered Sue Rainsford! I loved Follow Me to the Ground an her new book Redder Days is almost as good. Redder Days deals with the abuse of power in a very scary way and it can be read as a very topical book as well when you think of corona. Rainsford is a wonderfully imaginative writer. She creates a world that at first look resembles ours, but appears to be quite different, stranger. She also leaves you guessing what exactly is happening and leaves lots of loose ends, so as a re I'm so glad I discovered Sue Rainsford! I loved Follow Me to the Ground an her new book Redder Days is almost as good. Redder Days deals with the abuse of power in a very scary way and it can be read as a very topical book as well when you think of corona. Rainsford is a wonderfully imaginative writer. She creates a world that at first look resembles ours, but appears to be quite different, stranger. She also leaves you guessing what exactly is happening and leaves lots of loose ends, so as a reader you must be willing to invest a bit. Personally I like that in a novel, but I can imagine readers wanting an easier read. Recommended! Thank you Random House UK and Netgalley for the ARC.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    Perhaps it’s because red is the colour of blood, the colour of infection, rashes and inflammations. Perhaps it’s because it represents danger. Or because it is so often a symbol for passions which some consider too risky, or too dirty, akin to a malady. The fact is that since Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, different authors have referenced the colour in the context of pandemic fiction – be it Jack London in The Scarlet Plague or Niccolo Ammaniti in the post-apocalyptic Anna. Redder Days by S Perhaps it’s because red is the colour of blood, the colour of infection, rashes and inflammations. Perhaps it’s because it represents danger. Or because it is so often a symbol for passions which some consider too risky, or too dirty, akin to a malady. The fact is that since Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, different authors have referenced the colour in the context of pandemic fiction – be it Jack London in The Scarlet Plague or Niccolo Ammaniti in the post-apocalyptic Anna. Redder Days by Sue Rainsford taps into this tradition, even while it’s smashing it to smithereens. Yes, Redder Days is a post-apocalyptic, (post- ) pandemic novel with strong horror undertones, but it’s certainly not your typical run-of-the-mill scary bonanza. This is immediately clear from Rainsford’s narrative approach, which is purposely challenging to the reader. She does not provide us with a linear story but, rather, invites us to piece the plot together through short chapters told from different characters’ viewpoints, alternating with journal entries describing the advent of a mysterious pandemic which disrupts normal life. The journal entries, however, place us in medias res and are quite cryptic, with Rainsford avoiding the short-cut of simply using them to provide us with the context of her tale. The result is that we readers, much like the protagonists of the novel, are often unsure of what exactly is happening. So what are the bare bones of the story? A new malady afflicts both the human and animal world, with symptoms which are shocking and fatal. A group of survivors decide to set up a remote commune where they can be safe from the pandemic. They appoint as their leader Koan – a doctor who manages to keep a cool head when everything is falling apart. Koan “knows things”, he seems to understand the illness better than the others, and he is therefore the natural choice to head the fledgling community. But Koan is also manipulative and, in the declared interest of protecting his clan, starts to imbue this physical illness with “moral” and “spiritual” implications, essentially changing the community of survivors into a misogynistic cult. And then, the real horror begins. Revealing any further details of the plot would undermine the whole point of the novel, which invites the readers to reach their own understanding about the strange events portrayed. A word of warning though. Redder Days raises more questions than it answers and is not a book for those who expect the final chapter to tie up all the loose ends. There are also several details in the novel which appear to have a symbolic rather than literal meaning, making the narrative dense but lyrical and poetic. This is certainly an unusual and thought-provoking read. https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/20...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    2.5 stars (coming out March 11, 2021) **ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review.** #RedderDays #NetGalley Pros: Rainsford's uniquely weird word choices where everything feels a bit off (great for a dystopian setting), red plague/infection dystopian, cult vibes Cons: too many POVs (5+), 80% talk/reminiscing with only 20% action/current plot, incest between the brother-sister twins (which was NOT needed at all), confusion due to vague/subtle writing style (which I usually love--as in her previo 2.5 stars (coming out March 11, 2021) **ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review.** #RedderDays #NetGalley Pros: Rainsford's uniquely weird word choices where everything feels a bit off (great for a dystopian setting), red plague/infection dystopian, cult vibes Cons: too many POVs (5+), 80% talk/reminiscing with only 20% action/current plot, incest between the brother-sister twins (which was NOT needed at all), confusion due to vague/subtle writing style (which I usually love--as in her previous book, Follow Me to Ground--but it didn't work for me here at all), flatlining of almost all character arcs TW: incest, murder, child death, parental abandonment, physical abuse, mental abuse Similar vibes: Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich Video link: Jan WU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRCG2...)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    I've tried to read reviews to see if I could find some kind of explanation of the point that I seem to have missed, but there's hardly anything. Redder Days is a book that I find hard to summarise. The dystopian elements remind me a little of Ness' Chaos Walking but, other than this, it's pretty much impossible to compare to anything else. What I can say about this book is that it is full of complex ideologies - devotions and the Storm, which I can only compare to the apocalypse - which are ulti I've tried to read reviews to see if I could find some kind of explanation of the point that I seem to have missed, but there's hardly anything. Redder Days is a book that I find hard to summarise. The dystopian elements remind me a little of Ness' Chaos Walking but, other than this, it's pretty much impossible to compare to anything else. What I can say about this book is that it is full of complex ideologies - devotions and the Storm, which I can only compare to the apocalypse - which are ultimately left open to interpretation with no real substantial conclusion to them. I believe Redder Days is aa book that has two levels of understanding: the basic surface level of understanding and the deeper conscious level of understanding. I definitely belong to the former category, as I think there was a lot that went right over my head that I didn't grasp. I understood the general tone and concept of the book, but I think I'd have to read this multiple times in-depth and discuss it with other people to truly understand the underlying theme. In terms of characters, some of them blend together which makes it even more difficult to understand the plot. It's a book with many layers that have to be carefully peeled back but I don't think I was exactly the right reader for this book. Content warnings: misogyny, incest, emotional manipulation. Thank you to Doubleday Books and Sue Rainsford for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rosie Amber

    3.5 stars Redder Days is a dystopian tale set in a semi-abandoned commune; teenage twins Anna and Adam remain with ex-commune leader Koan. The commune is in an unknown setting but it is close to the shore and a forest, while much of the ground bubbles with volcanic disturbance. Anna and Adam prepare for STORM; an end of the world prediction. Each day at dawn and dusk they kneel for devotion and prayer. Then Anna keeps watch through the night and Adam has the day shift. What they fear most is a re 3.5 stars Redder Days is a dystopian tale set in a semi-abandoned commune; teenage twins Anna and Adam remain with ex-commune leader Koan. The commune is in an unknown setting but it is close to the shore and a forest, while much of the ground bubbles with volcanic disturbance. Anna and Adam prepare for STORM; an end of the world prediction. Each day at dawn and dusk they kneel for devotion and prayer. Then Anna keeps watch through the night and Adam has the day shift. What they fear most is a red disease; something which turns humans and animals into monsters. The commune was created by a group who wanted to escape this red disease. During the heyday of the commune, Koan’s leadership was strict; women giving birth did so in a farrowing room with only Koan in attendance. He alone controlled the fate of each babe, with those who survived being ‘educated’ by Koan; we learn about this via accounts from the twins. The chapters go back and forth between Anna and Adam, with some chapters from Koan’s diaries and a sprinkling of others from a former commune inhabitant, Matthew. This is quite a slow gruesome story, with little let up of the pacing, even at the end. It deals with indoctrination, survival and incest. The subject matter is disturbing and the style of the narration added to the overall atmosphere with no light relief, which I found made it hard to read. The author has also chosen to use an experimental style of prose and it did feel awkward to read. particularly the over-use of subordinate clauses as well as dialogue with no speech marks. I can understand wanting to make your work different, but it had me re-reading some lines believing I was missing something, which became a distraction from the main narrative. I know there will be a market for this type of writing, but it isn’t for me at this time; experimental styles need a lot of skill to carry off.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sinead

    I was stunned while reading this entire book, underlining whole paragraphs to pick apart later. Sue Rainsford returns to the viscera in this compelling and uncomfortable piece of magic realism, using language so primitive and raw that I couldn't take my eyes away. Twins Adam and Anna are living in a derelict commune, a commune they had been born into. They are alone there except for the commune's former leader, Koan. They live there waiting for Storm, what they presume to be the apocalypse. They I was stunned while reading this entire book, underlining whole paragraphs to pick apart later. Sue Rainsford returns to the viscera in this compelling and uncomfortable piece of magic realism, using language so primitive and raw that I couldn't take my eyes away. Twins Adam and Anna are living in a derelict commune, a commune they had been born into. They are alone there except for the commune's former leader, Koan. They live there waiting for Storm, what they presume to be the apocalypse. They are taught to fear 'redness,' an infection where the body's animalistic desires seem to manifest itself outwardly. At least, that's what I think redness is - Rainsford doesn't spoon feed but instead she places a lot of trust in the reader, dropping you in to her world with precision and care. This book is easy to speed through, but I had to take my time because of the absolute poetry of it. This read was disturbing, shocking and beyond heartbreaking. The characters were all brilliantly portrayed and Rainsford paints images so instinctually I adored this read and was so honoured to be given this advance copy by Netgalley and Penguin Books Ireland. Out on March 4th and I can't recommend it enough!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    I was so impressed by Rainsford’s debut, Follow Me to Ground. Really looking forward to this one. Bring on the horrific speculative!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Redder Days is the sophomore offering from Rainsford and is an equally unsettling story of human endurance, corrupted power and the powerful influence both people and words can have over our thoughts and actions. Set within an abandoned commune that twenty-one-year-old twins Anna and Adam were born into, the siblings prepare for a prophesied world-ending event, until a previous inhabitant returns and forces them to question everything they were taught to believe by their enigmatic messiah Koan. Redder Days is the sophomore offering from Rainsford and is an equally unsettling story of human endurance, corrupted power and the powerful influence both people and words can have over our thoughts and actions. Set within an abandoned commune that twenty-one-year-old twins Anna and Adam were born into, the siblings prepare for a prophesied world-ending event, until a previous inhabitant returns and forces them to question everything they were taught to believe by their enigmatic messiah Koan. The fall of civilization begins with a man purring like a cat before dropping stone dead in front of his wife. And this isn’t an isolated case. Soon an epidemic of “redness” is spreading across the world, changing people and animals in fatal, horrifying ways. The twins live in a strange, volatile landscape surrounded by derelict cottages and dense woodland where they perform devotions to the event they believe is imminent. Once members of a functioning commune, based on top of a disused mine, which has now been abandoned, they must now protect themselves from the condition by implementing extreme social distancing measures, practising good hygiene and preparing for the fatal, world-enveloping event they believe is coming—an event which they call The Storm. While vulnerable Adam sleeps all night and tends to domestic tasks during the day, the more independent Anna sleeps all day and keeps watch over the woods and coastline at night. They are so indoctrinated that even when the rest of the group, including their mother, became disillusioned and left two years ago when the predicted day of The Storm passed without incident, they carried on following scientist Koan’s ”guidance”. Anna also visits with doctor Koan, their frail former leader who is rapidly deteriorating, and whose old journals she reads for glimpses of the truth he worked to keep hidden. The pattern of their life together is largely unbroken, until departed members of the commune start returning and the twins are forced re-evaluate all they assumed to be true. This is scintillating, refreshingly original and profoundly disturbing literary sci-fi horror with a tension that is palpable throughout and sumptuously rich imagery. It's an unnerving read with a creeping sense of dread, and a sinister tale with earthy prose and eviscerating detail that questions our preconceptions of predator and prey and the consequences of unchecked desire. Told across shifting timelines and perspectives, Redder Days explores the aftermath of abandonment, how any relationship can turn toxic, and what might cause a group of people to long for the end of the world. It explores some very dark topics such as cults, incest, manipulation, control, mental illness, delusion, misogyny, brainwashing, indoctrination and identity. The nightmarish post-apocalyptic world feeds into an exploration of the devastating damage that can be done when power falls into the wrong hands, and I loved the juxtaposition between the lush, poetic prose and the disturbing happenings which worked exceptionally well and added a rich contrast to the narrative. This is a strange, evocative and visceral tale that drops you right in at the deep end and there are lots of aspects you must unravel for yourself; Rainsford leaves lots of the story open to interpretation and subjectivity which will not be for everyone but I thought it was ingenious. Highly recommended.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Mullane || At Home in Books

    If I could describe the experience of reading Sue Rainsford's work, I would liken it to standing in a woodland and having tree roots and vines creep around your body, enveloping and consuming you. There is something swampy and earthy about it; it is hypnotic and utterly mesmerising. Redder Days follows the story of Anna and Adam, twins living on an abandoned commune in a volatile landscape, which has been devastated by an epidemic of "redness". It has taken over the world; affecting some lives, e If I could describe the experience of reading Sue Rainsford's work, I would liken it to standing in a woodland and having tree roots and vines creep around your body, enveloping and consuming you. There is something swampy and earthy about it; it is hypnotic and utterly mesmerising. Redder Days follows the story of Anna and Adam, twins living on an abandoned commune in a volatile landscape, which has been devastated by an epidemic of "redness". It has taken over the world; affecting some lives, ending others. Their only interaction is with Koan, the commune's former leader, who has convinced Anna and Adam the world is ending and they must perform daily devotional worship to an imminent apocalyptic storm. When a former inhabitant of the commune returns and forces Anna and Adam to question the malignant control Koan has on their lives, the twins must ask themselves: which is more terrifying - The End or the reality that their beloved mother chose to abandon them? One thing I love about Rainsford's writing is the illusive quality of it: she trusts you to piece the parts together and leaves you to forge your own way. Redder Days is a haunting and visceral exploration of corruption, abandonment, motherhood, abuse, manipulation and control. It is genre-bending and multifaceted in its nod to dystopian narratives, literary horror and feminist theory, and the influence of art and anthropology. In reading this novel I was fascinated by the symbol of the colour red and the discussion of the female body - particularly the symbol of the stain left behind by Anna and Adam's mother on the floor of their cabin. It is something that hints at a loss of control; it resists removal and has altered the very fabric of their lives. There are some writers who, no matter what their stories or concepts, whenever they put pen to paper, you want to read what they have to say. Sue Rainsford is one of those writers, for me. Redder Days is stirring and unnerving, wonderfully imaginative, beautiful and moving. I have so much to say about its many layers, much more than I can fit here ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark Redman

    Redder Days is a strange and powerful novel that I really enjoyed. It is a story about twins Anna and Adam who live in an abandoned commune. The landscape is volatile, their commune prepares for the world-ending event they believe is imminent. Adam keeps watching 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 A Redder Days is a strange and powerful novel that I really enjoyed. It is a story about twins Anna and Adam who live in an abandoned commune. The landscape is volatile, their commune prepares for the world-ending event they believe is imminent. Adam keeps watching 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. The story is set in a dystopian world that has been even more twisted by a corrupt leader. One of the key elements of the novel is the idea of a disease called redness, which is imbued in all elements, including people and nature. Rainsford uses all her writing powers to really get under your skin with the visual descriptions of the redness set in stark contrast to the landscape is very powerful and emotive. The leader Koan twists this idea so the people of his community believe everything they’re told. Koan is a leader who is manipulative, quite possibly self-delusional but carries all the power. Not an original idea but written very effectively. The story is told through the first-person narrative, which at times felt very stark, unsettling and uncomfortable, but that is the author's intention. The prose is very lyrical and beautiful, the story is moving in places with an emotional impact towards the end. The themes explored are about abandonment, the endurance of the human spirit in the most desperate of times. An interesting and engrossing novel.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mark Redman

    Redder Days is a strange and powerful novel that I really enjoyed. It is a story about twins Anna and Adam who live in an abandoned commune. The landscape is volatile, their commune prepares for the world-ending event they believe is imminent. Adam keeps watching 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 A Redder Days is a strange and powerful novel that I really enjoyed. It is a story about twins Anna and Adam who live in an abandoned commune. The landscape is volatile, their commune prepares for the world-ending event they believe is imminent. Adam keeps watching 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. The story is set in a dystopian world that has been even more twisted by a corrupt leader. One of the key elements of the novel is the idea of a disease called redness, which is imbued in all elements, including people and nature. Rainsford uses all her writing powers to really get under your skin with the visual descriptions of the redness set in stark contrast to the landscape is very powerful and emotive. The leader Koan twists this idea so the people of his community believe everything they’re told. Koan is a leader who is manipulative, quite possibly self-delusional but carries all the power. Not an original idea but written very effectively. The story is told through the first-person narrative, which at times felt very stark, unsettling and uncomfortable, but that is the author's intention. The prose is very lyrical and beautiful, the story is moving in places with an emotional impact towards the end. The themes explored are about abandonment, the endurance of the human spirit in the most desperate of times. An interesting and engrossing novel.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Redder Days would instantly appeal to an audience that does not back away from the strange and unusual, as it’s certainly not your run-of-the-mill read. Undoubtedly this is a book without boundaries, a place where surrealness shines down upon every page. Events explore the hidden wants, needs and demands of a new, malignant normal and appear to direct the story everywhere and nowhere simultaneously. During alternating chapters time is gifted to each character and their unrestrained voices to share Redder Days would instantly appeal to an audience that does not back away from the strange and unusual, as it’s certainly not your run-of-the-mill read. Undoubtedly this is a book without boundaries, a place where surrealness shines down upon every page. Events explore the hidden wants, needs and demands of a new, malignant normal and appear to direct the story everywhere and nowhere simultaneously. During alternating chapters time is gifted to each character and their unrestrained voices to share this perplexing story in a relatively primitive way. Through the crumbling grip of Koan, Anna and Adam clinging to the remnants of their mother, whose presence remains strong despite her being physically absent, and the enigma that is Matthew, the tension and expectancy of a reverential “Storm” gradually magnifies. There is a level of sacrifice, commitment, and concealment within their community, which would feel unfamiliar and even incomprehensible to the average reader. It’s almost dystopian, with something ‘otherly’ thrown in. Are they caught in the grip of hysteria, an affliction, or an inventive fictional reality? Well, considering the ending was more of a beginning raising more questions than answers, I guess I’ll never know for sure. Left me thinking about it for a while though. Rating: 3 / 5 (I received a digital copy of the above title courtesy of the publisher, with my thanks, which it was my pleasure to voluntarily read and review.)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    After absolutely loving Follow Me To Ground last year, I was very eager to get my hot little hands on Rainsford's new novel. I devoured Redder Days, but despite that, I was left not entirely satiated. Don't get me wrong, Rainsford can WRITE. Her prose is just as beautiful here as in Follow Me To Ground. There's something almost intoxicating about the way she writes that makes her books nearly impossible to put down. It's whimsical and enchanting but dark and complex too. She also has a way of con After absolutely loving Follow Me To Ground last year, I was very eager to get my hot little hands on Rainsford's new novel. I devoured Redder Days, but despite that, I was left not entirely satiated. Don't get me wrong, Rainsford can WRITE. Her prose is just as beautiful here as in Follow Me To Ground. There's something almost intoxicating about the way she writes that makes her books nearly impossible to put down. It's whimsical and enchanting but dark and complex too. She also has a way of connecting her characters to the nature and world around them that I haven't seen before, so that the world isn't so much a separate character in the story as it is an extension of the human characters. It really is gorgeous. But that glorious writing could only take me so far. I struggled with the ambiguity of the plot and found myself wanting more. The characters were a bit flat for me and, for a novel told from different perspectives, their voices weren't as unique as I would have liked. I think if I'd read Redder Days before her previous novel, I might have appreciated it more. Follow Me To Ground used the same kind of ambiguity in a much more satisfying way. With Redder Days, it felt less ambiguous and more incomplete. I would have loved more insight into the red and the 21 years between the start of the red and the main story here. Beautifully written, but I wish there had been a bit more meat to the story. ⭐⭐⭐✨

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vivienne

    My thanks to Random House U.K. Transworld Publishers for the invitation to read an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Redder Days’ by Sue Rainsford in exchange for an honest review. I had enjoyed Sue Rainsford’s debut novel ‘Follow Me to Ground’ and so was excited to read this second work of literary horror with its dystopian overtones. I was also intrigued by the opening quote by Ana Mendieta, an artist whose work in nature I adore. In respect to its plot: twins Anna and Adam live in an abandoned commune aw My thanks to Random House U.K. Transworld Publishers for the invitation to read an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Redder Days’ by Sue Rainsford in exchange for an honest review. I had enjoyed Sue Rainsford’s debut novel ‘Follow Me to Ground’ and so was excited to read this second work of literary horror with its dystopian overtones. I was also intrigued by the opening quote by Ana Mendieta, an artist whose work in nature I adore. In respect to its plot: twins Anna and Adam live in an abandoned commune awaiting an imminent world-ending event. Adam keeps watch by day, Anna by night. They are constantly on the lookout for people or animals infected with the ‘redness’. Their only companion is Koan, the commune's former leader who still exerts a malignant control over their lives. However, when one of the previous inhabitants returns, everything Anna and Adam thought they knew to be true is thrown into question. Rainsford moves between a number of first person narrative voices in a lyrical style. Stream-of-consciousness is always a bit hit and miss with me and here I just floundered and was left feeling confused. I can see that I am definitely in the minority with respect to ‘Redder Days’ but I concluded that sometimes weird and experimental works for me and sometimes it just doesn’t.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    It is just SO WEIRD. Spooky, creepy, dystopian and messed up. Just what I needed to effectively erase everything else from my overworked brain and just feel the sweet surreal suspense. I was so incredibly excited for this book because of this author's first novel, Follow Me to Ground, which swept me off my feet with is spookiness. Turns out I loved Redder Days just as much. Redder Days is a short, lyrical novel which you will want to read not just for the story, but also to devour the writing. It It is just SO WEIRD. Spooky, creepy, dystopian and messed up. Just what I needed to effectively erase everything else from my overworked brain and just feel the sweet surreal suspense. I was so incredibly excited for this book because of this author's first novel, Follow Me to Ground, which swept me off my feet with is spookiness. Turns out I loved Redder Days just as much. Redder Days is a short, lyrical novel which you will want to read not just for the story, but also to devour the writing. It begins with twins Anna and Adam preparing for the end of the world, totally isolated in a commune - how fitting with the pandemic mood. They alternate times when they keep watch and barely see other people.... which is when things get even weirder. It's a short novel already, so I don't want to ruin it for the readers by making any spoilers. I just feel that it's one of those books which you need to experience entirely on your own. Memorable, spooky and confusing, this book is simply brilliant. The only thing I didn't like was the dang ending, which left me hanging confused and mad. I want answers, where they at?! Perhaps that was just the point. *Thank you to the Publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Mirror twins Anna and Adam keep vigil for the apocalypse in a commune abandoned by all but its former leader, Koan. At times, the twins run so feral they no longer seem human. Elsewhere, Anna and Adam appear to be two sides of the same coin. A mother’s stain lies at the heart of Redder Days. The stain and other apparent portents, including hawks and wolves, cast light (albeit shadowy) on the characters who interpret them. The novel addresses the oppression of women and those without a voice, and t Mirror twins Anna and Adam keep vigil for the apocalypse in a commune abandoned by all but its former leader, Koan. At times, the twins run so feral they no longer seem human. Elsewhere, Anna and Adam appear to be two sides of the same coin. A mother’s stain lies at the heart of Redder Days. The stain and other apparent portents, including hawks and wolves, cast light (albeit shadowy) on the characters who interpret them. The novel addresses the oppression of women and those without a voice, and the transgression of boundaries. In this follow up to debut Follow Me To Ground, Rainsford returns to her fascination with viscera, delving deep inside the human to reveal our primal nature. Her writing is poetic and profound, and cryptic. Even at the most basic level (a few more dialogue tags would be helpful) the author challenges the reader. I intend to come back to this book and would love to discuss it with others who have read it. My thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK for the ARC.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    Having loved Sue Rainsford's Follow Me To Ground, I was eager to start Redder Days. This novel follows the lives of twins Anna and Adam after their mother leaves them in Rainsford's characteristically poetic style. I loved the lyrical, otherworldly atmosphere Rainsford creates as the twins deal with the threat of 'the red' - it's an apocalyptic cult-like novel but not like I've read before. Sometimes the surreal strangeness can be difficult to unpick, but I let the unsettling, abstract descripti Having loved Sue Rainsford's Follow Me To Ground, I was eager to start Redder Days. This novel follows the lives of twins Anna and Adam after their mother leaves them in Rainsford's characteristically poetic style. I loved the lyrical, otherworldly atmosphere Rainsford creates as the twins deal with the threat of 'the red' - it's an apocalyptic cult-like novel but not like I've read before. Sometimes the surreal strangeness can be difficult to unpick, but I let the unsettling, abstract descriptions wash over me and it was an enjoyable experience. The chapters from Koan's diary were successful in helping fill in the gaps of how the community and 'the red' began. Sue Rainsford is a writer I'm eager to follow, and Redder Days is a novel I'd like to revisit for a closer understanding of the subtleties I missed. Thanks to Netgalley and Transworld for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Siân Plummer (plumreads__s)

    I went into Redder Days totally blind, having requested a copy purely for a cover click, and because I knew a pal had recently been approved for the eArc too. One chapter in and it's safe to say I had already became obsessed. I need to read everything Rainsford ever releases because her writing and storytelling really is captivating. Redder Days, a dystopian novel primarily following twins Adam and Anna, did leave me a little confused in places, but honestly I didn't even care, I was just along I went into Redder Days totally blind, having requested a copy purely for a cover click, and because I knew a pal had recently been approved for the eArc too. One chapter in and it's safe to say I had already became obsessed. I need to read everything Rainsford ever releases because her writing and storytelling really is captivating. Redder Days, a dystopian novel primarily following twins Adam and Anna, did leave me a little confused in places, but honestly I didn't even care, I was just along for the journey needing to know what was going to happen next. The novel is written beautifully, potentially lacking a little backstory to give the more rounded understanding of the HOW and maybe even the WHY for the reader, but then that makes it all the more intriguing. It's pretty unputdownable., you should give it a read. 4.5 stars, rounded to 5. Thanks to NetGalley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and Sue Rainsford for an eArc copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nic

    I loved Rainsford's Follow Me to Ground and was looking forward to reading her next book. I was lucky enough to have been offered Redder Days to review through NetGalley but upon finishing it I have mixed feelings. Rainsford's world building is just as vivid in this book and she does not hold the reader's hand as she drops them into her world. I found this novel was a slightly harder read than Follow Me to Ground but was certainly intrigued enough to keep reading as I wanted to follow the protag I loved Rainsford's Follow Me to Ground and was looking forward to reading her next book. I was lucky enough to have been offered Redder Days to review through NetGalley but upon finishing it I have mixed feelings. Rainsford's world building is just as vivid in this book and she does not hold the reader's hand as she drops them into her world. I found this novel was a slightly harder read than Follow Me to Ground but was certainly intrigued enough to keep reading as I wanted to follow the protagonists' journeys of discovery. My conflict comes from the vague culmination of the novel however if you like books which leave more up to your own interpretation you may well love this book - it may well be a deficiency in me as the reader rather than the author!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bertie (LuminosityLibrary)

    dnf - 35% I could tell this book wasn't for me within the first few pages. Despite the beautiful writing, and the excellent atmosphere of Redder Days I found myself struggling to discern the point. Perhaps books where reality is shrouded in mystery, where you can't tell what's actually happening, aren't for me. The plot and characters slipped through my fingers and I felt no connection to either. The strength of Redder Days lies within its themes, but without anything to drive the story forward, dnf - 35% I could tell this book wasn't for me within the first few pages. Despite the beautiful writing, and the excellent atmosphere of Redder Days I found myself struggling to discern the point. Perhaps books where reality is shrouded in mystery, where you can't tell what's actually happening, aren't for me. The plot and characters slipped through my fingers and I felt no connection to either. The strength of Redder Days lies within its themes, but without anything to drive the story forward, I was left feeling unsatisfied. I'd recommend this to people who love dark literary books that aim to create confusion and atmosphere to drive its themes.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Seher

    Thank you, NetGalley for the ARC! I found Koan to be the most interesting character here. The weird religion he put together, while still being a scientist who saw this coming (and who was really good at his job) coupled with his misogyny makes it a really interesting read. He goes from being a tough leader to someone who seems to be delusional (and really really messed up in the head). Ngl though, this was weird. While the imagery was haunting and it definitely isn't like a lot of other dystopia Thank you, NetGalley for the ARC! I found Koan to be the most interesting character here. The weird religion he put together, while still being a scientist who saw this coming (and who was really good at his job) coupled with his misogyny makes it a really interesting read. He goes from being a tough leader to someone who seems to be delusional (and really really messed up in the head). Ngl though, this was weird. While the imagery was haunting and it definitely isn't like a lot of other dystopian novels, it was also really slow and really confusing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gemma ♕ Bookish Gems

    I loved this book! So weird! So wonderful! I love how you are dropped into the world and fed little morsels of the story to try and figure out what is happening, how everything came to be as it is, what the characters are doing and why etc. The ending worked so well with the story too! I love that there was never any clear cut answers or solutions. My absolute favourite thing about it all is Sue Rutherford's amazing writing. I am in love with her style and already cannot wait to see what she come I loved this book! So weird! So wonderful! I love how you are dropped into the world and fed little morsels of the story to try and figure out what is happening, how everything came to be as it is, what the characters are doing and why etc. The ending worked so well with the story too! I love that there was never any clear cut answers or solutions. My absolute favourite thing about it all is Sue Rutherford's amazing writing. I am in love with her style and already cannot wait to see what she comes out with next!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Beautifully written. Not for you if you need answers at the end of a book but didn’t matter to me on this occasion as the writing made up for it. Addictive and intriguing- can’t wait to read this author’s other book. Descriptions are vivid and characters are developed very well. If you fancy something different this is a good shout.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Casey

    Flat and round characters. This narrative works because character development comes through the story. Going between characters by scene changes as opposed to traditional chapters. Characters begin flat and become round as we learned from school. Not quite a case study as I enjoy more but besides any gripes this is a page turner. I will read her previous book soon and any other book she writes.

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