Grond: The Raven High

Grond Series Book 1

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
193 Pages
Reviewed on 10/03/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite

Grond: The Raven High is the first book in the Grond series by Yuri Hamaganov. Translated from the original Russian, the thrilling narrative chronicles the early life of Olga Voronov. She is a ‘changed’ human and has lived in a self-contained orbital space facility from a few months old, looked after by her android nanny, Arina Rodionovna. Planet Earth is dying, its population polarised between the wealthy haves and the starving have-nots. Olga has been selected and modified, trained from infancy to operate a critical orbital factory which could prove to be the salvation of the planet.

The story takes us from her early attempts to master docking manoeuvres using the station’s simulators, her first space walks and exploration of the orbital facility of which she will one day be mistress - its processes and functions will become part of her mind and neurology. It chronicles her adventures in the matrix world of virtual reality and her successful transition at a very early age to mastery of her space-borne world high above a shattered Earth. But taking charge of the station is not all smooth sailing - an explosion resulting from a space transport hitting an orbiting mine sends a destructive shower of debris to threaten the station with devastating effects, and an emergency rescue mission develops into something altogether more sinister. Can Olga keep the crucial facility running? Can planet Earth be saved?

Grond: The Raven High is top quality, classic science fiction. The plot is carefully paced, allowing the reader to assimilate many interesting concepts regarding the technology of the times, virtual reality, time compression and the fate of the planet, all of which are presented in a clear, accessible style. The book also has a bonus chapter from the next volume Grond II: The Blitzkrieg, which looks very promising. Yuri Hamaganov has created the basis of a great new series which I am sure will be welcomed by all sci-fi enthusiasts. A highly recommended book by a welcome new name in the genre. I wish Mr Hamaganov every success.

Faridah Nassozi

In Grond: The Raven High Grond Series Book 1 by Yuri Hamaganov, the year is 2086 and Earth as we know it is quickly disappearing - all natural resources are gone and people live in despair. The survival of the inhabitants of Earth depends on a group of very well trained bio-engineered humans, the Changed, who live on space stations from where they make and deliver the resources that Earth needs. Among the Changed is 6-year-old Olga who has been raised and trained for just that purpose by an artificial intelligence nanny and a curator. Olga has always displayed an impressive level of intelligence and skill and, as she undergoes more years of training, she proves her superior abilities more and more. Olga might be Earth's last chance at redemption, but not everyone wishes her success.

Grond: The Raven High Grond Series Book 1 by Yuri Hamaganov is a must-read YA sci-fi/dystopian story that will grip the reader's attention from the start to the very end. I loved how detailed the story is and how Yuri Hamaganov manages to blend the technical details into the narration without taking attention away from the main story. The bond between Olga, her nanny, and the curator is one of the most unusual and yet most sincere bonds that you will ever witness. Having read this story just after the recent catastrophic hurricanes and earthquakes, it really hit a raw nerve and left me thinking really hard about the future of our planet and how much longer it will be able to sustain life if we continue on the destructive path that we are currently on. This is a truly amazing read and fans of YA sci-fi and dystopia will absolutely love it.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Olga has never known a world outside of her space station, but her work is extremely important to the rest of the world. While she spends her entire life training for her mission, there are a few things that are being kept from her. Of course, the most important thing is whether or not she’ll be able to survive long enough to complete not only her mission and the contract she’s been born to fulfill, but her own dreams for the future. With only Arina and Uncle Misha to keep her company, she’s determined to fulfill her job and find a way to live her own life, but when danger comes to her station, not just once, but twice, she’s going to be in for the fight of her life. Grond: The Raven High by Yuri Hamaganov is a story of far more than anyone could predict.

This is a futuristic tale and one that focuses on the best and worst of what may happen to our world. Olga is a precocious child and one who is stronger and more powerful than any reader would suspect. This is a story of love and one of money. It’s also about the lengths to which anyone will go to protect the ones they care about, and of course, their own financial interests. Since Olga knows little of any of this, she’s the perfect main character, but she starts to develop her own interests with the loss of a friend and the knowledge that comes along with learning even more about her. Grond: The Raven High by Yuri Hamaganov is a book you’ll want to read, as well as the ones that come after it.