cover image Stone Rider

Stone Rider

David Hofmeyr, read by Matthew Morgan. Listening Library, unabridged, 7 CDs, 8.5 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-1-101-91645-2

Fifteen-year-old Adam Stone knows only hard work, mining, poverty, and racing “bykes,” wondrous vehicles. The only way out of this dry, deadly life in the futuristic desert town of Blackwater is to win a race like The Blackwater Trail. The winner will be sent to Sky-Base, a space station where there is no poverty or disease. Adam, with his much tougher friend Kane and his love interest Sadie, all enter the race, alongside other riders who are distinctly unfriendly. There is gang warfare, bykes that are psychically attuned to their rider’s consciousness, deadly environmental issues, and a fast-paced action-packed race. Voice actor Morgan reads with quiet intensity. He embodies gruff-voiced, moody young men who are tough-as-nails survivors, but his throaty voice also handles the story’s dystopian teenage drama with ease. The world Hofmeyr has created is bleak and desperate, and Morgan conveys this with a gravelly narration punctuated by husky growls. His intensity leads to some breathing and mouth-noise issues, and his precise enunciations might distract listeners at times, but the action is nonstop, and Morgan’s energy never flags throughout the entire byke race. Ages 12–up. A Delacorte hardcover. (July)