If you enjoy post apocalyptic settings and characters with grit and heart, you need to get this book right now. It blew my mind. This was a mix of True Grit and Mad Max, and I found it so compelling that I already bought a copy for the classroom library at the full hardback price. It is so worth it.
“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.
This was an excellent read. Touted as a Wild West meets Mad Max Bildungsroman, Stone Rider lived up to my expectations. Adam lives in a brutal and violent future where you mine the precious commodity at the Earth’s core or you race. Adam comes from a line of racers – men who risk their lives in a dangerous trek across a wasteland reminiscent of the Wild West. Expect a vicious and brutal adventure where a boy who thinks his best chance is found in trusting no one, learns the importance of friendship and support. I liked Adam. His biggest weakness is his empathy for fellow man, and like any good person, he pays for that soft spot again and again. I loved the way he was able to grow as a character but retain the best parts of himself in the process. I also liked the cast of secondary characters. Adam’s love interest is one tough chick, and while she had her own limitations, I found her a lady warrior that I could admire. Kane, Adam’s enigmatic ally, however, is the stuff my sometimes still girlish dreams are made of! While I am fangirling, please don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a “girl” book. This is definitely one the guys will appreciate. It is fast paced, taking readers through the highs and lows of the hero’s journey, and the ending was a coin toss right up until the end. There were a lot of corpses littering the desert road of this race, and those who didn’t die might sometimes wish they had. Language and situations are probably grade 9+, but I think that blood thirsty middle schoolers will devour it and learn some important lessons about what it means to be tough in the process. As an adult reader, I found I couldn’t put it down.
This book is available in our classroom library because it is awesome, and I am awesome! Enjoy!
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.