Sunday 28 May 2017

BOOK REVIEW - Sand Runner (Sand Runner, #1) by Vera Brook

Sand Runner
(Sand Runner, #1)
Author: Vera Brook
Genre: YA Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Book Description:
For fans of The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner comes a gripping new novel of action and suspense set in the world of extreme sports... SAND RUNNER.

Welcome to the No Limits Race.

In the near future, 16-year-old Kaiden Reed makes a bold and dangerous decision to enter the most brutal sports competition on the planet. One in which he will undergo a radical upgrade and become a new kind of athlete and a new kind of hero.

Part human. Part machine.

All Kai wants is a shot at a better life and to impress the girl of his dreams. But the stakes in the Race are higher, and the choices tougher, than Kai ever imagined. The physical challenges are just the beginning.

Ten days. Ten contenders. One winner.

Does Kai have what it takes to compete? How far will he go to win? And should he trust the person who recruited him in the first place - or is she using him to carry out a bold and dangerous agenda of her own?

Don't miss this action-packed new series - read SAND RUNNER now.

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Vera Brook's portrayal of a world where everything and anything is manufactured via 3D printing is equally as terrifying as it is plausible. I found the depiction of this dystopian reality to be a nearly accurate demonstration of the consciousness of our current reality, particularly when it comes to technological advancements (cybernetics, specifically), as we experience with the experiments undertaken by the atheletes competing in the No Limits Race, 16-year old Kaiden Reed being one of ten contenders. There are some very serious themes portayed througout Sand Runner that can, at times, be very thought-provoking, but there's also the adventurous, fun element of the race that lightens the load of these topics that I appreciated as the book is directed at teens, so an adventure of  a lifetime is a must, which this book does provide.

Kaiden (Kai) wants nothing more than to impress the girl of his dreams, Sara, who has promised to bestow a kiss on the winner of the local race. Naturally, he does his best to impress and comes up victorious, winning himself that long-awaited kiss. Kai not only manages to impress the girl, however, he also catches the attention of the Optimex Agency, the highest profile athletics management firm in the world, and they want him to run for them. This is no ordinary challenge, Kai realises, but his willingness to impress Sara and his lack of a promising future takes precedence over any potential dangers, and he quickly agrees to sign up with the agency. It's not long before Kai realises just what he signed himself up for, forcing him to challenge himself in ways he never imagined. Although he often jumps into things without much thought, Kai's left pondering just how much he is willing to sacrifice to win the race.

There was a lot about this book I liked and found promising. I found Kai to be an engaging character, Emily too. They definitely carried the story well and had complexities that allowed us to see different sides of their characters. The story is full action and features some serious threatening situations that propels the characters to take action. I did find the story to be very fast paced, moving a little too qucikly at times. There were certain things I would have liked to have been explored in more depth, as to better establish the reality and Kai's place in it. I didn't get what Kai found so special about Sara that he fell madly in love with her as we didn't get to know much about Sara. I wasn't particularly fond of his obsession with his dream girl, but it didn't annoy me. I just didn't care much for their potential romance, although it was the reason behind most of Kai's decisions.

This book has a lot going for it, and as much as I thought it was a fun read, I didn't engage with the story as much as I hoped I would. It didn't maintain my focus all the way through, and I found myself wanting to put it down a few times. Don't get me wrong, it's well-written and has a great premise, and I think many readers will enjoy the book; it just didn't connect with me. I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have. I still recommend it as I feel it's worth the read.


Award: Silver
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Source: Author

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