Title: Red Hands
Author: Christopher Golden
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller
One Word Review: Heinous
I love Stephan King novels. But knowing many are slow burns, I try to find similar authors that will pack the thrills from start to finish. Sometimes this strategy backfires because who can genuinely compete with the King, right? Well, Christopher Golden can, that’s who, and he delivered in his novel Red Hands.
“Grief thrust its fist inside her chest, clutched at her heart, and squeezed.”Red Hands by Christopher Golden
The Sinclair family had overcome challenges, but nothing could prepare them for the horror they must endure after their traditional Fourth of July parade turns evil. A car plows through the crowd, killing and injuring people in its path until a fire hydrant brings it to a halt. But the terror isn’t over. A man emerges from the car wielding a special power: the death touch.
Mauve Sinclair, the hero in disguise, leaps into action to stop the man from touching people. Her success comes at the expense of her livelihood because the death touche transfers to her. As the Blackcoats close in, Mauve flees the scene taking refuge in the vast nearby mountains. The story follows Mauve’s sickness turns deadly while scientist Ben Walker and Mauve’s family try to find her before it’s too late.
I become skeptical when the first chapter of a book hooks me. I’ve been burned too many times into thinking, yup, this book will be awesome, and then the rest of the book sucks. It’s like the author put all of their creative juices into that one chapter and skipped the gas station before continuing to write.
The first chapter of Red Hands captivates you, and (for once!) it’s a real hint at what the book will bring: sadness, terror, and suspense.
What I liked Most
Everything. Is that helpful? Probably not. Let me elaborate. The plot and explaining of the mysterious bioweapon were really well done. Supernatural and science fiction stories are tricky because the write (often) has to ground the story enough to be believable. It’s hard to convince us that the boogeyman is real in a story, for example. But Golden did an excellent job connecting the bioweapon and what was happening to Mauve to culture, stories, and science, at least to help me imagine this story.
The descriptions of Mauve’s sickness, especially towards the end when things get weird AF, were really well written. As much as I’m sure Golden would love the $$$ a movie or TV Show would bring for this story, I really hope they don’t try to translate this story to screenplay. Only the imagination can provide what Golden wrote to a picture. It was brilliant.
And finally, I loved the characters. Each main character had their own well-crafted internal and external conflicts that propelled the story forward and gave me all the feels.
What I Didn’t Like
I would have zero critiques had I not discovered that Red Hands is part of a series. The third Ben Walker book, in fact. Knowing that this story is supposed to be about Ben Walker, I find it odd (or amazing maybe) that Ben was my least favorite character. Is he more like an Indiana Jones or James Bond type of character where it’s less about him and more about the adventures he goes on? If so, then Ben Walker is great. Am I supposed to love him and feel sorry for him that he’s a meh father because he’s always pulled away to save the world? If so, then his character development needs some work. (Or, I need to read the first two in the series).
Should you read it?
Yes. (I mean) If you like science fiction thrillers, yes absolutely. Red Hands is at the top of my all time favorite reads.
But don’t just take my word for it. See what other readers thought:
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Last Updated: 5/11/2021