July 14, 2015

Stone Rider Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for STONE RIDER by David Hofmeyr! Today I'll be sharing my review of the book - and don't forget to enter the giveaway for the chance to win a finished copy!

Stone Rider
Author: David Hofmeyr
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopia
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press


"Intense, original, compelling . . . bristles with attitude. So cool. Just read it."--Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Gone and BZRK

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.

Stone Rider is a gripping and fast paced novel that will have readers eagerly turning each page to see what will happen next! The story follows main character, Adam Stone, who dreams of leaving his desert hometown for the luxurious Sky-Base. The only way for Adam to have a chance of going to live on Sky-Base is to race the Blackwater Trail - and win. He's not alone in his determination to beat the course - the dangerous Kane is racing against him, along with Sadie Blood - Adam's longtime crush. The Blackwater Trail is meant to break the contestants - body and soul - and will test each of them in ways they never dreamed. But only the strongest will survive the race and be given a ticket to Sky-Base. Will Adam be able to beat both Kane and Sadie in the race? Just how badly does Adam want to leave this life behind and start fresh on Sky-Base? What is he willing to do to ensure he wins the race?

I thought that this was a strong debut novel that shows a lot of promise for the author. It turned not to be something I was really into, but that's all on me - not the book. The description basically tells the majority of the story - it's about these teens who enter a really hard dirtbike race, and all of the obstacles and situations they encounter along the way. The characters were well written with distinctive personalities and traits, especially the main character Adam, and the secondary characters of Kane and Sadie. I liked watching each of their characters reveal a little bit more about themselves throughout the book. Their interactions with one another and during the race proved to be interesting to watch as well. I enjoyed getting to know each of them on a deeper level throughout the story.

The story is full of action and adventure - which isn't surprising due to the plot - as well as a bit of romance. The story takes place in a dystopian world that's been basically reduced to desert. The majority of the residents in the town where Adam lives have oxygen masks or air filter masks that they use to help get clean air - instead of the acrid, dust filled air that surrounds them. I didn't think there was a lot of world building - especially when it came to the town or other towns around them. We don't get a clear picture of what this place is like, except for the trail - which is the main focus of the story. When I read dystopian novels, I want to be able to slip inside the world the author has created - even though it may be incredibly different from our own. I wasn't able to do that with this book, which made it hard for me to empathize with the characters on a deeper level and I couldn't put myself inside the story alongside them - which was another thing that hindered my experience. The race itself and all of the obstacles and situations that the three riders encounter was exciting. You never quite knew what was going to happen next - there were several obstacle courses along the way and lots of other dangerous paths they had to take. That aspect of the book was full of action and adventure with some suspense because you had no idea what was going to happen. Dangerous situations were hiding around every corner, and that's without taking the environment or the riders themselves into the equation. Overall, this was a good debut novel that shows that the author has lots of talent and potential. I'm hoping that his next book will better utilize these skills and I'll be able to have a completely different experience than I did with this one. I do recommend this book to fans of science fiction and dystopian stories, along with fans of action, adventure, dirtbikes, and racing.

David Hofmeyr is the author of STONE RIDER. He works as a Planner for Ogilvy & Mather. David was born in South Africa and lives in London.

Author Links:
Giveaway: (1) Hardcover copy of STONE RIDER - Open to US/CAN only!

*A huge thank you to the awesome people at Random House Children's Books for sending me a copy of the book for review and for sponsoring my giveaway!*


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