Published by Delacorte Press on July 14th, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
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.
I won a copy of this book which was provided by the publisher. It has been a very long time since I read a book in present tense. I originally thought it was going to take me a while to get used to the writing style. However, that was not the case when I realized I was one hundred pages in. The writing is easy to follow and straightforward, with that in mind, some sentences were very simple. Stone Rider is nothing like anything I have ever read before. Not only is the story unique but so are the characters. Adam, for one, has uncontrollable blackouts that always occur when he his occupied. Thirsty to avenge his brother and father, Adam enters the Blackwater Race, fully aware of the dangers that lurk ahead. Seemingly reserved, Kane has world-shattering secrets of his own. Modest and distant, Kane knows when to pick a fight and when to bail. Sadie, on the other hand, leaps into action. Daughter of the Colonel and sister of a fellow Race rider, Sadie is known for her master mechanic skills. An unlikely group with even more unlikely odds of survival, team up, hoping to be victorious. There was much more action than I thought. My heart was pounding as it raced alongside Adam. I really enjoy the world Hofmeyr has created. It is a different take on life in a dystopia. Instead of mutated creatures attacking the last of humankind, it has vicious wolves and humans. And the characters are not protesting the government, they are racing to achieve a spot in the spacecraft's above. I enjoyed the plot twist thrown in at the end, I didn't start questioning it until Sadie mentioned Joe. The ending fell a little flat. I was expecting a big race to the finish. But it was clear who the winner was two chapters before the end.