Tuesday, September 8, 2015

J Fally - Bone Rider

Riley Cooper is on the run. Misha Tokarev, the love of his life, turned out to be an assassin for the Russian mob, and when it comes to character flaws, Riley draws the line at premeditated murder. Alien armor system McClane is also on the run, for reasons that include accidentally crashing a space ship into Earth and evading U.S. military custody. A failed prototype, McClane was scheduled for destruction. Sabotaging the ship put an end to that, but McClane is dubbed a bone rider for good reason—he can’t live without a host body. That’s why he first stows away in Riley's truck and then in Riley himself. Their reluctant partnership soon evolves into something much more powerful—and personal—than either of them could have imagined.
Together, they embark on a road trip from hell, made all the more exciting by the government troops and mob enforcers hot on their trail. Misha is determined to win Riley back and willing to do whatever it takes to keep him safe. When hitman and alien join forces, they discover their impressive combined potential for death and destruction. It will take everything Riley has to steer them through the mess they create.

Comment: I knew about this book in a blog I follow and the blurb seemed interesting. I checked Goodreads to see how the general opinion was and someone I'm friends with liked it, and that was it. I got the book, it was in a pile for a bit but this month I decided to finally give it a go. For the most part, I'm glad I did so.
This is the story of Armor System Six, later known as McClane, a sort of AI alien that decided to leave his host body and for that he causes a crash. However, the planet where the ship falls is ours and after some fast but fatal happenings, System Six hides and tries to find a new host.
That person is Riley Cooper, someone on the run from his ex boyfriend, a mafia member. Riley can't cope with that despite still being in love with Misha. When a random strike of luck puts System Six in contact with Riley, the taking over happens but System Six realizes this new host is someone whose mind he likes and respects so their relationship is about friendship and a collaboration.
But with the military and the mafia after them, can they run fast enough? And what about Misha, does he regret his past actions?
I was very entertained by this story. It had a slow but steady start and allowed me to immerse myself in the right atmosphere to care about the characters and their trials.
The story is told from several character's perspectives. Although the narrative is told in the third person, the fact the focus is on so many characters makes the reader feel a bit lost among the different voices and scenes. I confess I'd prefer the focus to be on the important key characters like Riley, Misha and System Six's emotions rather than so dispersed.
My favorite part of the story is System Six's personality. He's a emotional entity that, despite not having a body, which means he has to occupy someone's, his bones - thus the bone rider reference - still thinks and feels and cares or not for his host. The alien he shared a body with before wasn't someone he respected or liked, and we can see his relationship to the host can get more personal and that depends on how much they accept each other and their personal space. System Six is funny, is finding a new world, many stimuli to think about, to process, but he also starts to understand and want to help Riley, to protect him like a System should. I liked the evolution of their relationship and even the things that allowed that to happen and why is Riley more special to System Six.
My issue with the book actually comes from the fact the relation ship between Riley and System Six isn't even more developed. Everything surrounding them, their need to keep traveling, to hide from so many people after them and the novelty of their bond didn't left much space, or maybe the author didn't dedicate as much time to the personal aspect of things. I wish it had been described better, or that the action could have allowed that to happen.
The end is clear about how they stand but I kind of hoped for more.
Riley and Misha's relationship has some focus too. I understand why things progressed the way they did, the author isn't very descriptive but does highlight the important things, but still I thought Misha wasn't in the best place to be the person Riley needed and deserved.
All the action related situations kind of made me distract from the relationships, the personal thoughts about Riley and System Six and that's what I wanted more of, so I can't really say I appreciated all the people talking, doing things...although that wasn't boring, just in the way of what I preferred to read about.
All in all, the story was very interesting, filled with new and interesting situations. I'd change some things but overall I was fascinated with happened and how System Six learned about important things and truths about itself and the person whose body he liked so much.
A good story to read for sure.
Grade: 8/10

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