cover image Stone Rider

Stone Rider

David Hofmeyr. Delacorte, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-385-74473-7

After 15-year-old Adam Stone loses his entire family to a parched and toxic environment where citizens rarely reach the age of 50, Adam decides that his only chance for survival is to ride his %E2%80%9Cbyke,%E2%80%9D an intuitive %E2%80%9Cwonder-machine%E2%80%9D passed down through his family, in the Blackwater Race. The winner of the race is granted entrance to Sky-Base, a space station with fresh water and food. Hofmeyr%E2%80%99s dystopian debut, which may draw some Mad Max comparisons, moves at breakneck speed, pausing only for spare descriptions of the landscape. As Adam takes off on his byke through the %E2%80%9Chell-desert%E2%80%9D of the Badland, the merciless, all-powerful Colonel Blood, who oversees the race, doesn%E2%80%99t hesitate to %E2%80%9Cunplug%E2%80%9D (slaughter) his fellow riders. Joining Adam are Kane, a scarred fellow loner, and Sadie, an attractive byke fixer who is also the Colonel%E2%80%99s daughter. Hofmeyr constructs a bleak futuristic world and a landscape both sublime and unforgiving. Gory moments are balanced by majestic ones in a novel about self-preservation and reclaiming one%E2%80%99s humanity amid brutality. A sequel is planned. Ages 12%E2%80%93up. Agent: Stephanie Thwaites, Curtis Brown. (July)