Saturday, July 18, 2015

Stone Rider by David Hofmeyr

Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?  The wind blows through your hair, if you lean you can make sharp corners, you use speed to keep yourself upright and moving forward, and you feel as one with your bike.  Now imagine if it could communicate with you and send you thoughts from previous riders as well as anticipate your needs...

Delacorte Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It was published July 14th, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.

This is a dystopian tale where there is no real hope in the world.  The earth has been almost totally destroyed, water is scarce, mining kills you, and when you come of age you have two choices:  Run the trail on your bike and hope to win to escape this planet or go to work in the mine.

Adam wants to leave Blackwater.  His father died here.  His brother lost a leg on one of the races.  His "girlfriend" is here.  But freedom is at the end of the race.  When he gets cross way with a gang and won't give them his entry money, they come and rock his house.  Slingshots have become weapons of mass destruction.  When the carnage is over, his brother is dead.  He buries him and then heads out for the race.  Imagine his surprise when the girl he has a crush on is also racing.  It seems that her brother (leader of the gang) got her place of business taken away from her.  She also has nothing but hope of a better life.

There are written rules about the race and unspoken ones shared by the riders.  Don't partner up if you can avoid it.  A partner just makes you weaker.  Don't stop for anyone hurt, don't trust anyone, protect what you've got and stay away from bandits.  Besides the booby traps on the trails, your opponents are trying to eliminate you, too.  It's dangerous out there across the badlands...

You catch the spirit of the run as you read.  It's almost hopeless, but you can't give up or you'll never  get a chance to go up in the spaceship.  For those who don't win, there are monetary prizes for the top three.  That's not much when you're daring your life but it's better than nothing.

I was glued to this story.  There is a side story that adds to the suspense.  Quite a few die on the trail but it's just the price you pay for the ultimate reward.  I liked the ending.  And it appears that there could be a sequel.

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