- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Lexile Measure: HL560L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Press (July 14, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385744730
- ISBN-13: 978-0385744737
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,097,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Stone Rider Hardcover – July 14, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Fifteen-year-old Adam Stone inherited his biomechanical bike from his brother, who inherited it from his father. His family has escaped working in the mines by riding the race circuit, providing entertainment for the Watchers. The Blackwater Trail will be his first race, and unlike most of the other racers who ride with fellow gang members, Adam plans to do it alone. It is a vicious race over treacherous terrain, riddled with deadly booby traps and fellow competitors who'll stop at nothing to be among the first three across the finish line. The grand prize is a one-way ticket to Sky Base, the only refuge from the toxic planet they call home. Second and third place win cash and points toward buying their way into the sky. Shortly into the race, Adam is joined by three unlikely allies, whose presence helps and hinders his progress. From the privileged Watchers, who place bets on race participants to the catchphrase spoken to start the race, "May you live to see the sky," there are numerous undeniable parallels to Suzanne Collins's "The Hunger Games" (Scholastic). But there is also the feel of the old Westerns, but with bikes instead of horses, slingshots instead of guns, vigilante justice, and, of course, a beautiful girl. The gritty, nonstop action and violence will appeal especially to reluctant readers. VERDICT A dystopian title that is worth adding to already packed shelves.—Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA
“Hofmeyr constructs a bleak futuristic world and a landscape both sublime and unforgiving...[in his] novel about self-preservation and reclaiming one’s humanity amid brutality."-Publishers Weekly
"A dangerous race is run with everything on the line in this gritty dystopian thrill ride."--Kirkus Reviews
"Gritty nonstop action."-School Library Journal
"A truly gripping dystopian novel."-VOYA
"Intense, original, compelling . . . bristles with attitude. So cool. Just read it."--Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author
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In a decrepit future world, Earth is barren and those left living on its surface are poor and left to struggle for their meager existence. Humans living on Earth are stuck mining (and dying) for the benefit of those lucky enough to have escaped Earth's surface, those living on the Sky Base. One singular hope remains: the winner of a mystical and treacherous byke race wins passage to the Sky Base and a life of better health, better food, and better overall circumstances.
Adam Stone is a product of his environment. He's born witness to terrible ordeals, lived in squalor, and survived horrific environmental assaults. He's dreamed of winning The Race, but it has never been a reality to even compete. Gangs dominate his world and thwart most moves he tries to make to even enter the race. Adam's character struggles to maintain some measure of the humanity that we cherish, all while trying to survive and seek a better future. His is a story of loyalty, family, danger, humility, pain, and perseverance.
This was a powerful novel that pulled no punches. It is gritty, suspenseful, and at times, depressing. However, the drive to compete and survive pulls this novel from a mere retelling of a race story into something with more depth and insight. I definitely recommend this one, my friends!
The action takes short breaks now and then to allow for world building and character development, but the latter two items are really just stop gaps for more action. There are few moments to catch one's breath in Stone Rider, but the action heavy text does not suffer overly much as this keeps the book more streamlined. Those looking for a solid world build or more character development will be disappointed as there's just enough to keep interest but plenty that goes unanswered. The author himself states in a short interview section at the rear of the book that he was going for something that's a bit Westerns of his youth meets the futuristic of Blade Runner and Mad Max. Hofmeyr delivers on that promise in Stone Rider. Once you start, it's hard to put down and once you hit the end, well, you'll certainly be hoping for more.
Note: ARC received via Amazon Vine in exchange for review.