Welcome. We are today's stop on the Stone Rider blog tour presented by Random House Children's Books. Along with our review, we also have a giveaway. Enter!
Stone Rider by David Hofmeyr
Hardcover/eBook, 336 pages
Published July 14th 2015 by Delacorte (first published January 1st 2015)
In the vein of The Outsiders and the early Western novels of Elmore Leonard, this inventive debut novel, a cross between the cult classic Mad Max movie series and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, blends adrenaline-fueled action with an improbable yet tender romance to offer a rich and vivid portrayal of misfits and loners forced together in their struggle for a better life.
Adam Stone wants freedom and peace. He wants a chance to escape Blackwater, the dust-bowl desert town he grew up in. Most of all, he wants the beautiful Sadie Blood. Alongside Sadie and the dangerous outsider Kane, Adam will ride the Blackwater Trail in a brutal race that will test them all, body and soul. Only the strongest will survive.
The prize? A one-way ticket to Sky-Base and unimaginable luxury.
And for a chance at this new life, Adam will risk everything.
Cover comment: Just about perfect
Book source: Received a promotional copy
Visually rich, action-packed and well written, Stone Rider by David Hofmeyr is an engrossing read. What a strange, unique world this is! In this dark, depressing world one survives by either competing in dangerous byke (interesting spelling) races or mining. The hero, Adam, lives with his older brother and wants to earn enough points racing to enable him a trip to Sky Base. At the local byke shop, Adam befriends Sadie, the owner's daughter, Levi, her brother, and two boys which became instant favorites, Nate and Kane. The bykes themselves are very cool and their descriptions make them so real I could practically touch them.
The fast pacing amps up the tension and danger, and the variety of sentences give the story plenty of movement and atmosphere. I would have liked more worldbuilding so I could understand how and why the world had become like this and another girl or two added to the mix would have been great. What little romance there was seemed out of place and I didn't think it was necessary. Stone Rider is all about the bykes and their riders, family and friendship. The starkness of a society, the gritty way of existing and the daily competing for something reminded me of another YA series geared towards boys, The Maze Runner.
What I really liked was the old western 'feel' of Adam's world. What a contradiction from everything else. The book cover provides a perfect entrance to a novel where a huge barren wasteland is the setting for a tale of three byke riders. Adam's journey is told sparsely and what we gleam of this depressing society resonates with the reader. Like Mad Max, this is not a fairy tale land and no one has a magical godmother to save them, they can only save themselves. Stone Rider is definitely a cool read and its characters and their world will remain in my mind for some time. I can't wait to see the movie version.
We have one copy to giveaway to one reader. Open to US only, sorry.